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Apple now shipping Mac Pro desktop preorders

Customers who ordered Apple's latest Mac Pro desktop with up to 12 processing cores have received notification that their order has shipped.

One U.S. customer on the east coast who contacted AppleInsider said their Mac Pro is scheduled for delivery on Aug 24.

The shipments mean Apple remains on schedule — preorders for the desktop began on Aug. 9 and were said to ship in 7 to 10 business days. Thursday was 8 days after ordering began.

New orders from Apple are now scheduled to ship in 5 to 7 business days for all models — the Quad-Core, 8-Core and 12-Core powered desktops.

The upgraded desktop is available in three standard options: a quad-core 2.8GHz Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor with 3GB of RAM for $2,499; an 8-core machine with two 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Xeon "Westmere" processors and 6GB of RAM for $3,499; or a 12-core system with two 2.66GHz 6-core Intel Xeon "Westmere" processors and 6GB of RAM for $4,999.

Apple unveiled the machines in late July, but they were not yet available for customers to purchase. At the time the company said the hardware would simply be available in August, without providing a specific date.

With the latest Intel Xeon processors and up to 12 processing cores, the latest Mac Pros are up to 50 percent faster than their predecessors. They also exclusively come with ATI powered graphics, with the Radeon HD 5770 graphics processor with 1GB of memory standard, and an upgrade option for the even faster Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB of memory.

Also announced in late July but still unavailable to purchase is the new 27-inch LED Cinema Display. The hardware, which sports a 2,560-by-1,440 pixel resolution and 60 percent more screen real estate than the previous 24-inch model, is set to ship in September for $999.