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Apple unveils Nehalem-based Mac Pro

updated 09:15 am EST, Tue March 3, 2009

Nehalem Mac Pro

Apple on Tuesday morning updated the Mac Pro Mac Pro based on Intel's Nehalem architecture. The first-ever Mac to use the technology now supports triple-channel, DDR3 ECC memory and builds a memory controller directly into an updated, faster line of Xeon processors. Doing so gives about 2.4 times more memory bandwidth and reduces memory lag by about 40 percent, according to Apple. The new systems also have an updated interior that provides much easier access to RAM slots as well as space for a RAID card that doesn't require cables to link with hard drives in the four bays above.

All models also now get a 512MB GeForce GT120 video card as standard that Apple believes is about three times faster than the Radeon HD 2600 XT it replaces. The card carries both Mini DisplayPort and dual-link DVI, letting it attach both to Apple's updated Cinema Display as well as to the older 30-inch model and virtually any other DVI-equipped monitor.

In a first since the Mac Pro was released, Apple is lowering the base price and starts out the workstation line at $2,499 with a single 2.66GHz quad-core Xeon 3500 processor with 8MB of Level 3 cache, 3GB of DDR3 memory in three slots, a 640GB hard disk, built-in Bluetooth and a new 18X SuperDrive. The option of a second stock configuration is also new and at $3,299 drops the clock speed to 2.26GHz but offers two quad-core Xeon 5500 processors, each with 8MB of Level 3 cache. It also doubles the factory RAM to 6GB across six out of eight memory slots while keeping other specifications identical to the base model.

Systems can be custom-ordered with up to two 2.66GHz or 2.93GHz Xeon 5500 processors, as much as 8GB or 32GB of RAM depending on the choice of the single or dual socket systems, up to 1TB of storage in each of the hard drive bays, and either multiple GT120 video cards or a single 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4870. An internal adapter for 802.11n Wi-Fi, wireless input and the RAID card are also available.

Apple expects its new Mac Pros to ship next week and is taking orders today from the online Apple Store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Haroscarfel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    dang it

    we just received our new 8 core

  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    $500 AUD price jump from the previous base model. I know times are getting tougher but this isn't going to help.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    base model 8GB ram

    This new single processor (quad-core) base model only supports 8GB or RAM.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Power and Money

    This are great machines. Great specs indead!!!

    Unfortunately for me are too expensive. :-((((

    Unfortunately for me this only a good solution for companies or rich people.

    This was a perfect solution for my home Lab Server for experiences with multi virtual machines with specific products that I need to try and to learn... But to much money...

    For that money I thing I will keep my old PC with Ubuntu Server... And continue to use Virtual Box for my personal tests.

    Well... I also still have, allways, my old Macbook Pro. :-)))

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    base price upgrade

    The lowest you can get a mac tower is now $2500. You used to be able to config the previous down to one processor and get it for $2300 or so. I guess Apple needs to raise prices to keep their markets defined.

    Or maybe they're putting in more room for the new mini-tower mac with the imac motherboard/processor and a couple of PCI Express slots for $1500....

    Oh, right. Can't do that. Then people who need a slot or two might decide they don't need the power and get the cheaper machine...

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Puzzling Mac Pro

    They no longer have an option for the Quadro cards, (perhaps they didn't sell many) and still no option at least for Blu-Ray? at least make it an option, perhaps the OS isn't ready?

  1. myramoki

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: base price upgrade

    Hi testudo. Um, no one could possible want half a MacPro (ie: a midtower) cuz only Pros ever need better video cards or want some drive expansion. Anybody who would want less than a MacPro obviously would be happy with an all-in-one iMac, or a completely non-expandable Mini, and everybody else must just want a Windows box cuz their just a Windows dweeb. I mean thats just completely obvious!

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Notion

    So what does this do for the used Mac Pro market?

  1. Hinson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If I configured the previous models and the new ones at the same "level" (e.g., the 2nd most expensive setup in each case) I found that my preferred setup jumped by about $400. Yes, they give you more power (I assume!) but the point is that getting the latest technology I want from Apple just went up in price--probably so much that I can no longer afford to make the purchase I've been waiting to make.

    I just hope sales suck and Apple has to find a way to lower the prices.

    Once again... UGH!

  1. Hinson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What IS the performance?

    On Apple's Mac Pro pages, they give some information about how much faster the new high-end models (two 2.93 GHz Nehalem) are compared to the old high-end models (two 3.2 GHz).

    What about the other configurations? What about comparing the new 8-core 2.26 GHz with the old 8-core 2.66 GHz??? The new one costs more--what's the performance comparison?

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