Apple unveiled new Mac Pro updates today featuring Intel Xeon E5 processors.

The easy-access interior of the Mac Pro feels like the well-organized workstation it is. No rat’s nest of components here. You don’t need to turn the system on its side or struggle to reach into awkward spaces to make changes. Just remove the side panel for instant access to everything. Slide out the processor tray to add memory. Slide out drive bays to add storage. Slide a simple bar to change up to four expansion cards at once. And with plenty of I/O ports both front and back, you’ll have room for all your external devices.

The Mac Pro offers two advanced processor options from Intel. The Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor is available in a single-processor, quad-core configuration at 3.2GHz. For even greater speed and power, choose a 6-Core Intel Xeon processor. Since the Mac Pro comes with either one or two processors, you can have a 6-core Mac Pro at up to 3.33GHz, or, to max out your performance, a 12-core system at up to 3.06GHz.

System memory is often connected to a processor through a separate I/O controller. But Intel Xeon processors feature an integrated memory controller. By connecting memory directly to the processor, the Mac Pro processors have faster access to data stored in memory, and memory latency is reduced.

Apple Mac Pro Mid 2012

The integrated memory controller, along with fast DDR3 ECC SDRAM at either 1066MHz or 1333MHz, gives the Mac Pro an increase in memory bandwidth over previous generations. More bandwidth allows for more data to be fed to the processor faster, helping each core spend its time processing data, not waiting for information to arrive. And Error Correction Code (ECC) corrects single-bit errors and detects multiple-bit errors automatically. That’s especially important in mission-critical and compute-intensive environments.

The Mac Pro features Turbo Boost, a dynamic performance technology that automatically boosts the processor clock speed based on workload. If you’re using an application that doesn’t need every core, Turbo Boost increases the speed of the active ones, up to 3.33GHz on a 12-core Mac Pro, and up to 3.6GHz on a 6-core system.

The Intel Xeon processors support Hyper-Threading, which allows two threads to run simultaneously on each core. So, for example, a 12-core Mac Pro presents 24 virtual cores that are recognized by OS X. Performance is enhanced because Hyper-Threading enables the processor to take better advantage of the execution resources available in each core.

A bidirectional, point-to-point connection — called QuickPath Interconnect — gives the Intel Xeon processors quick access to the disk, I/O, and other Mac Pro subsystems. In dual-processor Mac Pro models, there’s a QuickPath Interconnect between the two processors as well. This connection acts as a direct pipeline, so processor-to-processor data doesn’t need to travel to the I/O hub first. It’s another way the Mac Pro boosts performance across the board.

The Mac Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the EPA, giving it ENERGY STAR qualification. ENERGY STAR 5.0 sets significantly higher efficiency limits for power supplies and aggressive limits for the computer’s typical annual power consumption.

The new models include:

• Quad-Core – $2,499
- One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
- 6GB (three 2GB) memory
- 1TB hard drive
– 18x SuperDrive
- ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5
- One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
- Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
- Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
- Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
- Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
- Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
- Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
- Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
- Multichannel audio through Mini DisplayPort

• 12-Core – $3,799
- Two 2.4GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors
- 12GB (six 2GB) memory
- 1TB hard drive
- 18x SuperDrive
- ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5
- One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
- Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
- Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
- Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
- Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
- Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
- Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
- Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
- Multichannel audio through Mini DisplayPort

Server – $2,999
- One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
- 8GB (four 2GB) memory
- Two 1TB hard drives
- OS X Lion Server
- ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5
- One PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot
- Two PCI Express 2.0 x4 slots
- Four FireWire 800 ports (two on front panel, two on back panel)
- Five USB 2.0 ports (two on front panel, three on back panel)
- Two USB 2.0 ports on included keyboard
- Front-panel headphone minijack and internal speaker
- Optical digital audio input and output TOSLINK ports
- Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
- Multichannel audio through Mini DisplayPort

All models are in stock at the Apple Store and available for ordering today.

More info about Apple’s new Mac Pro models here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is either an interim update to get Apple to a new model or the last Mac Pro update.

Related articles:
Apple shows off iOS 6 with all new Maps, Siri features, Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams via iCloud, and more – June 11, 2012
Apple updates MacBook Air and current gen MacBook Pro with latest processors and new graphics – June 11, 2012
Apple unveils all new MacBook Pro with stunning Retina Display – June 11, 2012
OS X Mountain Lion available in July via Mac App Store for just $19.99 – June 11, 2012
MacDailyNews presents live coverage of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s WWDC 2012 keynote address – June 11, 2012