Apple has announced a new Mac Pro that features up to 12 CPU cores for up to a 50 per cent performance improvement over its predecessor, according to the Mac-maker.

The new Mac Pro features a pair of either quad-core or six-core Intel Xeon processors, with up to a 12MB L3 cache and speeds ranging from 2.66 GHz to 3.33 GHz. The new Mac Pro also features Turbo Boost, which allows it to dynamically boost CPU speeds up to 3.6 GHz, while Hyper-Threading allows for the creation of up to 24 virtual cores.

A first for the Mac Pro line, customers can add a 512GB solid-state drive into one or all four of the drive bays.

The ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB of GDDR5 memory is now standard, though customers can substitute the faster ATI Radeon HD 5870, also with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. Both of these cards feature dual Mini DisplayPorts and one dual-link DVI port, allowing you to connect two LED Cinema Displays without the need for a second video card.

The new Mac Pros will be available in August, and the quad-core model starts at $2,499 in the US (around £1,610). UK pricing has yet to be confirmed.

Apple Mac Pro