Apple has also chosen to update us on the fate of the Mac Pro, and announce a new 27in LED Cinema Display – however, the Mac Pros will not be available until August, while the new Cinema Displays are expected in September.
New Mac Pro with up to 12 cores
“In terms of the processor, we’re adding Intel’s latest generation Xeon technology, the Westmere generation of products,” said Apple vice president of worldwide Mac hardware marketing, David Moody, referring to the Intel code name for the processor line. The new chips feature a 32-nanometre process that can fit up to six cores on a single die.
The new Mac Pro features a pair of either quad-core or six-core Intel Xeon processors, with up to a 12MB L3 cache and speeds ranging from 2.66 GHz to 3.33 GHz. “The combination of the cache and the integrated memory controller provides outstanding memory bandwidth and improved memory latency,” Moody told Macworld.
The new Mac Pro also features Turbo Boost, which allows it to dynamically boost CPU speeds up to 3.6 GHz, while Hyper-Threading allows for the creation of up to 24 virtual cores.
A first for the Mac Pro line, customers can add a 512GB solid-state drive into one or all four of the drive bays. According to Moody, customers can fill all four drive bays with solid-state drives to create a striped RAID with up to twice the performance of traditional hard drives.
The ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory is now standard, though customers can substitute the faster ATI Radeon HD 5870, also with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. Both of these cards feature dual Mini DisplayPorts and one dual-link DVI port, allowing you to connect two LED Cinema Displays without the need for a second video card.
The new Mac Pros will be available in August. While the quad-core model starts at $3499, Apple puts great emphasis on the customise-to-order options, saying that most Mac Pro customers look to configure the machine to their own particular needs. “We played a game here this morning,” Apple’s Moody told Macworld. “We found that there’s 1.3 billion possible configurations of the Mac Pro. You can really go and build the configuration you want.”
Aside from these built-to-order models (including the 12 core options), Apple offers two base configurations:
- $3499 for a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Xeon W3530, 3GB RAM (expandable to 16GB), 1TB HD, ATI Radeon HD 5770 (1GB)
- $4899 for two 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5620 processors, 6GB RAM (expandable to 32GB), 1TB HD, ATI Radeon HD 5770 (1GB)
(See the press release for all the BTO options and full specs.)
27in LED Cinema Display
The 27in LED Cinema Display is essentially a 27in version of the existing 24in screen, and appears to be replacing the smaller model when released in September. Australian pricing has not yet been announced (though the American price is US$999).
The company says its new display features a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels and 60 percent more screen real estate than its smaller 24-inch cousin. The design mirrors that of its predecessors, with a 16:9 edge-to-edge arsenic-free glass display on an aluminium stand, with an adjustable hinge to control the screen’s viewing angle. The display also uses the same IPS display technology found in the iMac and the iPad, to provide a 178 degree viewing angle.
Apple has also added an ambient light sensor to the automatically adjust the screen’s LED emitter brightness in response to environmental conditions. That joins the display’s other environmental qualifications, such as its toxin-free construction that eschews arsenic, mercury, PVC, and BFRs. It also uses highly recyclable aluminium and glass in building the enclosure. Like many of Apple’s other products, the display has earned EPEAT Gold status and meets the EPA’s Energy Star 5.0 qualifications.
The new Cinema Display includes a built-in iSight camera, speakers (with an integrated subwoofer), microphone and a powered three-port USB-2.0 hub, in addition to a universal MagSafe adapter that can charge a connected MacBook or MacBook Pro. You connect computers to the display via the Mini DisplayPort, which transports both audio and video.
UPDATED at 9:30am, 28 July to add extra information on the new products.