Apple continues to pitch itself as an enterprise solution provider with new MacPro and Xserve systems ready to debut at MacWorld.
Both systems list for under $3,000 and are aimed at high-data environments, with an extra dose of graphics processing on the side. The MacPro sports a PCIe 2.0 ATI Radeon graphics card, although the system will also accommodate the Nvidia GeForce or Quadro for those in need of about 1.5 GB of video memory.
Meanwhile, the Xserve runs on 45nm Xeon 5400 quads with 12 MB of level-2 cache per processor and capable of 3.0 GHz operation. Three drives can hold anything from 73 to 300 GB SAS or 80 GB to 1 TB SATA. An optional RAID card supplies levels 0, 1 and 5 with 256 MB of cache and battery backup for 72 hours.
Third party suppliers are also warming to the XServe platform. Nexsan Technologies just announced a new SATABeast RAID array that uses the XServe management software to control up to 42 1 TB SATA drives through four iSCSI and four Fibre Channel ports. The SATABeast Xi can be outfitted with the AutoMAID system to manage energy consumption of idle disks.
It's rather unusual for Apple to tip its hand on new products a full week before the MacWorld showcase, which has some wags wondering whether we could be in store for a major announcement from Jobs & Co., perhaps something wild in the consumer field. Either way, Apple should get creds as long as it continues to support its existing enterprise lines. No one likes being left high and dry.