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New Mac Workstations Debut at WWDC

Dual-core Xeon 'Woodcrest' systems top out at 3 GHz; Leopard previewed By Dave Nagel
At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple today debuted new Mac workstations during a keynote address delivered by CEO Steve Jobs. The new models, dubbed the "Mac Pro," sport dual-core Intel Xeon "Woodcrest" processors, offering speeds of up to 3 GHz per core. They begin shipping today. 

New workstations
The new Mac Pro line, which begins shipping today, replaces Apple's PowerPC-based G5 systems in its desktop/workstation lineup. The new standard configuration sports two 64-bit dual-core Xeon 5100-series processors (Based on Intel's Core technology) running at 2.66 GHz. This configuration includes a 1.33 GHz frontside bus, 4 MB shared level-2 cache and a 128-bit vector engine, which replaces the Velocity Engine found in Apple's PowerPC systems.

The Mac Pro base configuration, which sells for $2,499, comes standard with 1 GB RAM (DDR2 667 MHz) with a 256-bit memory architecture, 250 GB hard drive, a 256 MB Nvidia GeForce 7300GT and a 16x SuperDrive.

Beyond the base configuration, Apple is also offering several build to order configurations, starting at 2 GHz and ending at 3 GHz. These configurations can also include up to 16 GB RAM, up to 2 TB storage and graphics upgrades to the ATI Radeon X1900 XT or the Nvidia Quadro FX 4500.

Additional configurations options, beyond the base configuration, include:

? Two 2 GHz dual-core Xeon processors (subtract $300)
? Two 3 GHz dual-core Xeon processors (add $800)
? Up to 16 GB RAM (add $5,700 for 16 GB total memory)
? 500 GB hard drive in bay 1 (add $200)
? 500 GB hard drive in bay 2, 3 and 4 (add $400 per drive)
? Two, three or four  Nvidia GeForce 7300 GTs with 256 MB memory (add $150 per card)
? ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512 MB memory (add $350)
? Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 with 512 MB memory (add $1,650)
? Dual SuperDrives (add $100)
? Wireless options, which are not included in the base price, such as $49 for AirPort Extreme and $29 for Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.

Apple says the new Mac Pro systems are up to twice as fast as their predecessors.

Xserves updated
Also announced at today's WWDC is a new Xeon-based Xserve. The update to Apple's 1U rackmount server line includes up to two dual-core Xeon processors running at clock speeds of up to 3 GHz. It also supports up to 2.25 TB of storage. The new Xserves will begin shipping in October, and the base configuration will run $2,999.

Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard'
Apple also provided its developers with a preview of the forthcoming upgrade to Mac OS X. The new version, dubbed "Leopard," includes several enhancements and new features.

A screenshot of Leopard, supplied by Apple.

Though Jobs said he wouldn't preview all of Leopard's new features, he did show off 10 of them.

? Support for 64-bit applications.
? "Time Machine," a new feature that provides automatic backups of a user's hard drive. Apple says the new feature can restore a completely failed drive to a new drive and also provides control over versions, so users can choose which version(s) of any given file will be restored.
? The full version of Boot Camp will ship with Leopard. It allows users to boot Windows on Apple's hardware. (Boot Camp is currently available in beta form fr Intel-based Macs. Apple says there have been some 500,000 downloads of the Boot Camp Beta to date.)
? "Spaces" is a new workflow that lets users organize applications they use often and switch between them rapidly.
? It also includes an update to Spotlight, Apple's search technology. It will include support for searching other machines on a network and will add support for Boolean expressions.
? Leopard also includes a new technology called Core Animation.
? Improved universal access for users with physical disabilities, as well as closed captioning in QuickTime.
? Enhancements to Mail.
? Enhancements to Dashboard, including a new developer tool called Dashcode for creating Widgets and Web Clip, which lets users turn ay part of a Web page into a Dashboard Widget.
? A new and improved iChat, which includes video effects, support for slideshows, multiple logins, animated icons and video recording. It also includes a feature called "Backdrops," which lets users swap out their backgrounds for still or moving images.

Leopard is expected to ship spring 2007.

For more information, visit http://www.apple.com.

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Related Keywords:mac pro, xeon mac, apple wwdc, announcements, jobs keynote, leopard, mac os x 10.5, xserve

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