Mac Pro desktop uses with serious 3D rendering needs have been waiting and hoping for an update to Apple's most powerful line of machines. Now we get quad core Penryn processors and some improved video card options.
According to Apple, its: "The fastest Mac ever, the new Mac Pro has eight processor cores and a new system architecture that delivers up to twice the performance of its predecessor (based on estimated results comparing a preproduction 2.8 GHz 8-core Mac Pro with a 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro running professional applications like Maya, modo and Logic Pro). It combines two of Intel?s new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2 GHz, powerful new graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage, offering the ideal system for creative professionals, 3D digital content creators and scientists. The standard 8-core configuration starts at $2,799.
The new graphics cards are: "The standard graphics card ? an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory, PCI Express 2.0, and two dual-link DVI ports ? provides great performance for typical creative applications. And you get dual 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display support out of the box.
For motion graphics, 3D modeling, rendering, or animation, you?ll need the greater graphics horsepower offered by the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of GDDR3 memory and latest-generation NVIDIA GPU technology.
The optional NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 graphics card is the ultimate workstation-class graphics card available, with a massive 1.5GB of GDDR3 memory and a 3D stereo port for stereo-in-a-window applications."
The new 8 core machine 2.8GHz Mac Pro with ATI HD2600 XT graphics is showing as shipping in 1-2 days from the online Apple store. Moving up to the 3.0 GHz will set you back an additional $800 and the 3.2GHz will set you back an additional $1,600.
The NVIDIA GeForce 8800 XT adds $200 to the build to order price and the Quadro FX 5600 adds $2,850.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview