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Old Aug 12, 2007, 02:38 AM   #1
emeldahay
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Whats the difference between a MP and a Xserve?

I`m ordering a computer to run a SAN - im trying to figure out if theres any difference between a dual quad mp and a similar xserve apart from the rack mounting.



Any info ppreciated.
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Old Aug 13, 2007, 03:22 PM   #2
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The Mac Pro is a workstation. It is designed to create data.

It does run server chips, but it is still a workstation. If you're doing CAD, or doing intense graphics work, that is the machine to get.

However, the Xserve is a server, it is designed to serve information to other computers, it has a much higher throughput than a Mac Pro in terms of data. Its not very powerful, but if one needs to move large quantities of data quickly, a true server will function much better than a regular machine acting as a server.

Buy the Xserve, or talk to an IT guy if you can't tell the difference.
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Old Aug 13, 2007, 04:14 PM   #3
emeldahay
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Cheers

Ive talked to a big uk mac company - they also say "its a server so its faster"...

I get that...but the MP takes 32 gb like the xserve. The MP takes the same chips. THe mac pro has the same Fiberchannel card. I see whats the same but dont know enough to say what the difference specifically is.

I was hoping to find out that the server is a different motherboard.

Its more a moot point just now as Ive ordered the xserve and the lead time is significant - I had a MP I could have put to the task instead of waiting hence why I was considering using it.

I`d still like to know what specific specs make the Xserve the daddy.
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Old Aug 13, 2007, 05:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeldahay View Post
Cheers

Ive talked to a big uk mac company - they also say "its a server so its faster"...

I get that...but the MP takes 32 gb like the xserve. The MP takes the same chips. THe mac pro has the same Fiberchannel card. I see whats the same but dont know enough to say what the difference specifically is.

I was hoping to find out that the server is a different motherboard.

Its more a moot point just now as Ive ordered the xserve and the lead time is significant - I had a MP I could have put to the task instead of waiting hence why I was considering using it.

I`d still like to know what specific specs make the Xserve the daddy.
Servers have server type of material already built in. Hot-swappable hard drives, pre-built usually come with a raid card, etc.

Just it being called a server doesn't make it faster (the geek squad at Best Buy aren't IT people)... A Mac Pro is built on a server motherboard, so you can use a home Mac Pro as a server if you wanted to, but it would cost more to collate than a 1U rackmount.

People use "servers" as you guys call them as their workstation. They make clusters of them for more processing power for digital media and etc.
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 12:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heeriill View Post
People use "servers" as you guys call them as their workstation. They make clusters of them for more processing power for digital media and etc.
Correction, very few people actually use a server as a workstation, but many use a server or collection of servers in lieu of a traditional workstation.

For example, a video editor might edit a video on a Mac Pro, but then use a server farm to render it.

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Old Aug 14, 2007, 04:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by emeldahay View Post
I`m ordering a computer to run a SAN - im trying to figure out if theres any difference between a dual quad mp and a similar xserve apart from the rack mounting.

Any info ppreciated.
How about the difference in what OS it's running? I personally have never seen/touched/used/fondled an Xserve, but from the specs page it lists OS X Server. I'm sure you've already noted that, right?
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 05:09 AM   #7
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The Xserve can have two power supplies, easy LED diagnostics of problems, hot swappable hard drives and of course it runs an unlimited client license version of Mac OS X server.
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 07:42 AM   #8
emeldahay
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How about the difference in what OS it's running? I personally have never seen/touched/used/fondled an Xserve, but from the specs page it lists OS X Server. I'm sure you've already noted that, right?
Im not actually setting it up myself - it will have Xsan1.4 I understand -

Hypothetically if for speedsake I had gone the MP route I wouldnt have needed raid cause the san is seperate and I had assumed I could of bought the server OS seperately.

Not the cheapest method but when I was considering this the two weeks or so to get the Xserve seemed like a long time.

Interesting to note the MP is basically server grade.
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 02:29 PM   #9
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However, the Xserve is a server, it is designed to serve information to other computers, it has a much higher throughput than a Mac Pro in terms of data.
What "throughput" is this, then?

Thje Xserve Xeon and the Mac Pro (Dual Core) use exactly the same processor X5100 series, same chipset, same FSB, and same memory (except the fact that the Mac Pro memory needs bigger cooling).
AFAIK same S-ATA HD, worse grfx.. etc.

All-in-all quite the same, IMHO.

But, the Xserve is rack-mountable, supports 32 GB RAM, has loud cooling (as it usually never is turned off), comes with Mac OS X Server (unlimited clients).... custom built to be used as a "server".
The Mac Pro is quiet, can have better grfx, 2 optical drives, comes with Mac OS X Client... custom built as a "workstation".
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Last edited by MacsRgr8; Aug 14, 2007 at 02:54 PM. Reason: typo's
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 03:04 PM   #10
emeldahay
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What "throughput" is this, then?

All-in-all quite the same, IMHO.

But, the Xserve is rack-mountable, supports 32 GB RAM,
I was under the impression (from the recent 32GB thread) that the MP could take 4gb sticks up to 32 like the Xserve?
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emeldahay View Post
I was under the impression (from the recent 32GB thread) that the MP could take 4gb sticks up to 32 like the Xserve?
From The Mac Pro Tech Specs
Quote:
Memory
667MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) memory
Eight FB-DIMM slots on two memory riser cards (four slots per card) supporting up to 16GB of main memory
But, yes. There are reports of people getting 32 GB of RAM in there, but I assume this means Apple doesn't support it, as they do support 32 GB RAM in the Xserve.
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