In late 2005 I called on Apple to launch a computer that would “make the very firmament rattle and shake” when it enters the scene. I think I finally felt some serious shaking coming from the direction of Cupertino today as Apple unveiled a Mac Pro with a grand total of eight –count ‘em – eight cores on board. Shall I be the first to informally dub it with the nickname Mac Pro Octo-core?

There’s some serious horsepower in this box: Two Intel Quad-Core Xeon chips, each rated at 3.0 Gigahertz. The thought of that much oomph in a Mac almost makes my head hurt just thinking about it. It can also accommodate up to four 750-gigabyte hard drives, for a grand total of 3 Terabytes of storage capacity. Plus there’s room for two optical drives, both of which can be fully-loaded SuperDrives.

It doesn’t come cheap, but then you wouldn’t expect it to. The eight-core configuration starts at $3,997, and If you max out the storage, your talking almost $5,800, and that’s before boosting memory, which starts with one gigabyte standard, but which can be maxed out a stunning 16 gigs – for an additional $4,500. Max everything out, processor, storage, memory graphics (with an Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 card, for $1,649), wireless (Bluetooth 2.0 and Airport Extreme, $79), and you hit a grand total of $12,119. Now I feel my wallet shaking.

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