Apple has announced an update to its Mac Pro desktop computer line a week ahead of Macworld in San Francisco.

The new system promises twice the performance of its predecessor and comes with two of Intel’s new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2GHz, up to 4TB of internal storage, up to 32GB of 800MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory, and an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card with 256MB of video memory.

It will also support the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of video memory, or NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5GB of video memory and a 3D stereo port for stereo-in-a-window applications

“The new Mac Pro is the fastest Mac we’ve ever made”, said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The standard 8-core configuration starts at £1749.