Mac Pro gets a speed bump, Xserve has new storage options

After the introduction of the new 27" Intel Core i7 iMac in October, a lot of us in the Mac world were puzzled by the lack of a new higher-end Mac Pro. After all, the Mac Pro has traditionally been the most powerful Mac with the highest level of expandability.

This morning, Apple quietly announced a speed bump for the Mac Pro, as well as new storage options for both the Mac Pro and the Xserve. For the quad-core Mac Pro (but not the eight-core model), you can now order a 3.33 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor. This is an amazing CPU, with 8 MB of fully shared L3 cache, Hyper-Threading technology, an integrated memory controller, and Turbo Boost for short bursts of speed up to 3.6 GHz.

Now that prices have come down a bit on 2 TB hard drives, Apple has made them a configure-to-order option for Mac Pro and Xserve systems. Using high-performance 7200 RPM SATA drives with 32 MB of cache and a potential throughput of 3 Gb/s, the Mac Pro can now have a total storage capacity of 8 TB, while the Xserve can max out at 6 TB of storage.

The new options are available immediately from the online Apple Store.