"Well, today, the Power Mac is going to fade into history," said Jobs. Apple VP of worldwide sales and marketing Phil Schiller joined Jobs on stage to introduce its replacement.
Schiller introduced the Intel Xeon-based Mac Pro. The processors that power the Mac Pro are Intel’s "Woodcrest" design — dual core processors at speeds up to 3GHz.
Schiller said they have 4MB shared Level 2 caches and 128-bit vector engines that replace the "Velocity Engines" found in Power Mac G5 systems. And they’re 64-bit.
"These are great microprocessors, and they deliver tremendous performance per watt," said Schiller, who added that power consumption is important both in notebooks and thin desktops. Xeons, said Schiller, offer up to three times the performance per watt than a G5.
"In every Mac Pro we’re going to put two of them," said Schiller. All Mac Pros, said Schiller, will feature quad Xeon performance.
Each microprocessor gets its own 1.33GHz Front Side Bus (FSB), with 21 gigabyte per second (GB/s) processor bandwidth. The processors are fed by four-channel, 256-bit 667MHZ memory, up to 16GB in the system. That’s twice as wide as the memory bus in a G5 and faster.
With better performance per watt, Apple can reduce the cooling inside the Mac Pro case, so they now support up to 4 drives for up to 2 terabytes (TB) of internal storage, as well as dual optical drive bays.
The Mac Pro also features two USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 ports on the front. And while the enclosure is clearly based on the Power Mac G5 chassis, the internal architecture is entirely new. The system features a new drive carrier that’s similar in implementation to the the Xserve — drives are inserted and snap right in.
The standard configuration features two 2.66GHz dual-core Xeon processors, 1GB of 667MHz memory, 250GB storage, Nvidia GeForce 7300GT graphics with 256MB VRAM and a 16x SuperDrive optical drive, priced at $2,499.
"This is a great product to bust the myth of Apple’s computers being more expensive," said Schiller, demonstrating by pricing a similar configuration from Dell for about $1,000 more.
Apple is also offering build-to-order configurations clocked at 2, 2.6 and 3GHz, with up to 16GB RAM, 2TB storage, upgraded Radeon X1900 XT or Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 video.
The new Mac Pro is shipping today, said Schiller.