Apple Delivers Minor Updates Mac Pro and Xserve

Apple (s aapl) sometimes provides updates to its products stealthily, in the dead of night, if said updates don’t merit a dedicated press event. That happened yesterday to both the Mac Pro desktop computer and the Xserve rack-mountable server. Both are minor updates, but will be of great interest to those looking to buy either type of machine.

The Mac Pro got a new option in the processor customization department, a 3.33GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor for an additional $1,200. As of yet, there’s no option to double up the 3.33GHz version of the quad-core to create a more powerful 8-core machine on the more expensive configuration of the Mac Pro. Read More about Apple Delivers Minor Updates Mac Pro and Xserve

Rumor Has It: Next-Gen Mac Pro Getting Six-Core “Core i9” Processor

gulftownApple’s (s aapl) powerhouse configurable tower desktop aimed mostly at semi-pro and pro users could be getting some update love in the near future, according to the latest rumblings coming out of the rumor mill today. Hardmac.com is reporting that one of its sources has solid information on the new Mac Pro, which should appear sometime in early 2009 2010.

The new Mac Pro will feature a brand new Xeon CPU from Intel (s intc), if the rumors are accurate, which it will offer exclusively for a short time until the second quarter of 2009. The CPU, code-named Gulftown, boasts a huge six processing cores, which beats the current single core total by two. With two processors, like the more expensively configured Mac Pro has, that would result in a total of 12 cores of processing power. Read More about Rumor Has It: Next-Gen Mac Pro Getting Six-Core “Core i9” Processor

ATI Returning to Mac With 4000-Series Graphics Cards

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Poor NVIDIA (s nvda) — it looks like your honeymoon with Apple (s aapl) is over. There hasn’t been an official announcement from Cupertino yet, but a glance at the customization options for high-end iMacs (the ones that use discrete graphics) and Mac Pros reveals that ATI (s ati) Radeon HD 4000-series cards are already available as new configurable alternatives to NVIDIA products.

ATI was shown the door at Apple when the computer maker introduced notebooks and desktops that feature integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics cards. Many suspect that things turned rocky between Apple and NVIDIA, thanks to the faulty GeForce 8600M GT cards that resulted in the Mac maker offering customers an unprecedented warranty extension for problems related to that component. Read More about ATI Returning to Mac With 4000-Series Graphics Cards

Apple’s Budget Macs: Real Possibility or Wishful Thinking?

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Apple (s aapl) computers are expensive. Whether or not you think that price is justified, you can’t deny that even machines on the lower end of the scale will cost you a decent amount of coin.

The Mac Mini is the cheapest machine in the bunch, and you don’t get any crucial peripheral gear like a monitor, keyboard or mouse without paying extra. Putting aside for a second our dear devotion to the Cupertino brand, if you know absolutely nothing about computers, and you’re presented with two all-in-ones side by side, and the price tag on the Dell (s dell) is a lot cheaper, you’re probably going to get the Dell. You’d be wrong, but that doesn’t change the fact that that means a sale for Dell, and nothing for Apple. Read More about Apple’s Budget Macs: Real Possibility or Wishful Thinking?

NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 Coming to Apple Mac Pro

quadro_fx_mac_3qtr_thumbLast month Apple (s aapl) updated its entire desktop lineup, from the Mac mini to the Mac Pro. Next month, Mac Pro users will have even more to get excited about when NVIDIA (s nvda) starts selling its new Quadro FX 4800 graphics card for Mac. The new card is supposed to be designed specifically for the unique requirements of the Mac Pro desktop, which might help explain why it costs about $230 more than the previously released, not-for-Mac Quadro FX 4800.
The extra cash probably also helps pay for the extra dual-link DVI port the Mac processor comes with, for a total of two. All the other stats are the same for the Mac edition as for its predecessor, including 92 CUDA parallel processor cores with 1.5GB GDDR3 that put out a whopping 76.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth. In other words, this thing kicks.
Other features of the new card include a 3 pin min-din connector for use with stereo 3D glasses, and out-of-the-box Boot Camp support that will ensure you’re using native Quadro drivers in Windows for the best possible graphics performance on both platforms.
The Quadro FX 4800 will cost you more than a lot of laptops, though, so don’t get your heart set on it unless you’re the kind of person for whom graphics are very important (which, if you own a Mac Pro to begin with, you probably are). Also, if you have an older Mac Pro, check before buying, since the card will only be compatible with Mac Pros with device identifiers of 3,1 and 4,1 or higher, which are the last two major product refreshes. No word on whether it’ll be an upgrade option when you’re setting up your custom computer for purchase, but it will retail at the official Apple online store, along with NVIDIA’s other retail partners.

Beginning Mac: Optimizing Your Display’s Color

With the release of the new MacBooks and Macbook Pros, I suspect there are many of you that have been holding out waiting to buy a new computer, and now that you have your shiny new notebooks, you need to get everything set up just how you like it. One of the most important things you can do is have a screen that you like to look at. This guide will walk you through calibrating your display to show color the way you’d like.
The first thing you want to do is set your screen brightness to the level that you think you will use the most. While the brightness won’t change much with the color, you will notice that certain color adjustments will look different when you change the brightness. Also, you can create different profiles that fit the way you use the computer. You may want to have a setting for watching movies, or editing pictures or typing documents. For this example, I will have the brightness all the way up, and I will be calibrating it for what looks good to me as I write.
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