Mac Pro (2.93GHz Quad Core, Early 2009)

The Mac Pro (2.93GHz Quad Core, Early 2009) is a built-to-order configuration of the Mac Pro (2.66GHz Quad Core, Early 2009). The difference between this model and the 2.66 original is in the processor speed. Indeed, the new Mac Pro used Intel’s Xeon 3500 or 5500 quad-core processors which were part of the new Nehalem family of microprocessors. A few major architectural innovations had the new processors featuring all four cores on a single die. The architecture thus made its 8MB of L3 cache available to any and all processing cores. The memory controller was on-chip, giving the processor faster access to the main memory. It also eliminated memory latency by up to forty percent. Each new processor had full access to 8MB of L3 as well as a small amount of dedicated L2 cache, whereas the previous Mac Pro had no L3 cache.

Mac Pro (2.93GHz Quad Core, Early 2009)

  • Introduced on March 3, 2009.


  • Processor: Xeon W3540 (Nehalem).
  • Processor Speed: 2.93 GHz.
  • Processor Type: Q. Core Xeon W3540.
  • RAM Type: PC3-8500 DDR3 ECC.
  • Standard RAM: 3 GB.
  • Video Card: GeForce GT 120.
  • Display Support: Up to 8 Displays.
  • Resolution Support: 2560 x 1600.
  • Standard Hard Drive: 640 GB.
  • Connectivity: Standard AirPort 802.11a/b/g/n (optional). Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. USB Ports (5). Firewire Ports.
  • OS: Pre-Installed MacOS: X 10.5.6. Maximum MacOS: X 10.11.
  • Minimum Windows: XP SP2.
  • Maximum Windows: 8.1.
  • Dimensions: 20.1 in height, 8.1 in width, 18.7 in depth.
  • Average Weight: 39.9 lbs.

Apple Orders, Discontinuation, Price

  • Apple Order Number: As a custom configuration of the Mac Pro “Quad Core” 2.66 (Early 2009/Nehalem), this model doesn’t have its own Apple Order Number.
  • Apple Model Number: A1289.
  • Discontinuation: July 27, 2010.
  • Initial Price: $2499 – $2999 (depending on specifications).


  • According to Apple, a technology called Hyper-Threading created two virtual cores per each physical core, allowing each physical core to run two processes at once. This structure helped use the available processing power more efficiently. Also new to the Nehalem processors was a technology conceived and developed by Intel and known as Turbo Boost. Turbo Boost helps speed up the majority of applications that haven’t been written to take full advantage of multicore processors by allowing the system to spin down idle processing cores while increasing the speed of the processors in use. This let a 2.93GHz Xeon, for example, run at speeds as high as 3.33GHz (specifications based on Apple’s guidelines).
  • All the innovations described above translated to better performance. For example, tThe 2.66GHz quad-core Mac Pro posted faster speeds in Photoshop, Compressor, iMovie, iTunes, and 3-D game benchmarks than the previous standard eight-core Mac Pro. According to experts, that was s pretty impressive considering that the new Mac Pro was using only half the number of processing cores as 2008’s Mac standard configuration. The new quad-core’s score in our overall system performance suite, Speedmark 5, was 16 percent faster than that of the previous 2.8GHz eight-core Mac Pro. It was also 27 percent faster in our Photoshop tests, and 20 percent faster at Compressor than the older system.
  • Aside from the second optical-drive slot on the front, the Mac Pro continued to use the same big-handled, aluminum case as the Power Mac G5, introduced in 2004. There were some minor changes to the exterior, though—specifically in the type and number of connections – the two FireWire 400 connectors from previous generations have been replaced with backward-compatible FireWire 800 ports, bringing the number of FireWire ports to four. Two of them were located on the front and two on the back. However the five USB 2.0 ports – two of them on the front and three on the back, remained.
  • On Mac Pro (2.93GHz Quad Core, Early 2009) and Eight Core, on the graphics card, one of the two dual-link DVI connectors at the rear of the system has been replaced with a Mini DisplayPort connector. This connector let the user connect either to Apple’s 24-inch LED Cinema Displa or, with adapters – which by the way were not included, – to a second DVI display.
  • Installed in the first PCI Express 2.0 slot was theNvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics card with 512MB of video RAM. The last generation of Mac Pros came standard with an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256MB of memory.
  • The default video card of this model of the Mac Pro is capable of supporting digital resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 and analog resolutions up to 2048 x 1536.
  • Some of the many technical changes introduced to the 2009 variations of the Mac Pro include four PCle 2.0 slots instead of the previous two PCle and two PCle 2.0 slots; four Firewire “800” ports instead of the previous two Firewire “400” and “800” ports; a redesigned interior case.
  • In 2009 Apple released two models of Mac Pro: a quad-core system with a 2.66GHz Nehalem Xeon processor, and an eight-core model running two quad-core Xeon processors at 2.26GHz. Also new to the Mac Pros were Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics cards and a revamped interior designed to ease user access for upgrading internal components. In 2008 standard Mac Pro featured a 2.8GHz eight-core Intel Xeon processor based on the Harpertown/Penryn architecture.
  • With its improved graphics, memory bandwidth, and reduced memory latency, the 2.66GHz quad-core Mac Pro was faster than the 2.8GHz eight-core Mac Pro, and at $2,499 cost $300 less. It would be a fine purchase for anyone replacing an older Mac or buying a new one for the first time. This assumption was especially true for people who worked with processorintensive apps such as video or graphics.


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2009 Mac Pro (Nehalem). Published on August 5, 2009 by MacUserLogic.


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