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Apple's Jobs Unveils Xeon-Based Systems, Talks Up Next Mac OS

In an announcement that marked the completion of Apple's shift to Intel-based processors, CEO Steve Jobs on Monday introduced new Apple desktop and server computers--the Mac Pro and an updated Xserve--based on two dual-core 64-bit Intel Xeon processors.

"Our transition's complete," Jobs proclaimed.

The Mac Pro is available today at speeds up to 3.0 GHz. It features 4 Mbytes of shared L2 cache, up to 16 Gbytes of 667 MHz DDR2 memory, and independent 1.33 GHz front-side buses. Because the Xeon processor requires less cooling hardware than the G5 chips Apple used in previous models, the Mac Pro has more space for peripherals inside its enclosure. It's up to twice as fast as the Power Mac G5 Quad using industry standard benchmarks, and from 1.4 to 1.8 times as fast using popular media creation applications.

The Mac Pro comes with room for four Serial ATA hard drives and two optical drives. The standard prebuilt configuration with two 2.66 GHz dual-core Xeons is priced at $2,499.

The Xserve 1U server will be available in October, starting at $2,999, and also features quad Xeon processors, ranging from 2.0 GHz to 3.0 GHz. It will support up to 32 Gbytes of 667 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory. It can support up to 2.25 Tbytes of storage and consumes as little as 65 watts of power.

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