Advice & Your work set-up

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
Hello Team,

I'm going to start out doing web development on my (future) machine, and later progress into some advance AI computation and algorithms. I ruled out an iMac since it will only be useful for web development & not for the later.

I'm looking for advice, on a few things:

  • 6-Core Mac Pro w/ Dual 24" or 27" ACD's and 16GB Ram, 4SAS Drives or 4 512SSD's in the drive bays?
  • 12- Core Mac Pro w/ Dual 24" or 27" ACD's and 16GB Ram,4SAS Drives or 4 512SSD's in the drive bays ?


I plan on also scaling it in my development to incorporate hosting my own server and buying a separate XServe. This workstation will be strictly A WORKstation, with an iPad 3G for my Laptop substitute (for fun things).

To give you the languages I will be using to help give me better advice will be:

  • Apache HTTP Server
  • Advance Intelligent Computing Theories
  • PHP & MYSQL
  • JAVASCRIPT, HTML, CSS
  • C, And Apples other Core Technologies
  • Algorithims

Can anyone give advice to what I should get? If anyone here are familiar with any of the languages I listed please share. Thanks

iDisk

Mods Im posting this in the Programming section also, since i'm not sure where this thread should go, Im not trying to break forum rules purposely
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
7
USA
Honestly, it won't matter. Web servers don't eat up much processing unless you're running a huge corporate site with tens of thousands of visitors a day. I can use my 10 year old system to do the same web development I'm doing right now except perhaps also running virtual machines, which requires more resources than I had then. Bandwidth is usually the big constraint for running web servers, not the hardware.

I don't get why you think an iMac won't be useful for AI computation.

Be sure to check the stickies in this forum for many web related topics.
 

THX1139

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2006
1,928
0
I'm not sure why anyone would want to host their own web server when it's so cheap to rent space nowadays. Seems like a waste of resources, unless you just want to play around with it.

But anyway... for what it looks like you plan to do, I think you should consider going with a PC instead of Mac. Web technologies are better supported on the PC side and you can do much more for less money.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
7
USA
But anyway... for what it looks like you plan to do, I think you should consider going with a PC instead of Mac. Web technologies are better supported on the PC side and you can do much more for less money.
Why do you think that? I find Macs a much better platform because it's built on Unix and most web servers are Linux-based so there's more similarities. Plus, Mac comes with most of the languages already installed such as Apache, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, etc. Unless you're doing ASP.net type stuff, I'd prefer developing on Mac over Windows any day.
 

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
Honestly, it won't matter. Web servers don't eat up much processing unless you're running a huge corporate site with tens of thousands of visitors a day. I can use my 10 year old system to do the same web development I'm doing right now except perhaps also running virtual machines, which requires more resources than I had then. Bandwidth is usually the big constraint for running web servers, not the hardware.

I don't get why you think an iMac won't be useful for AI computation.

Be sure to check the stickies in this forum for many web related topics.
So your saying that a iMac Core i5 21.5" OR 27" can do the following task I listed above?

If so I wasn't aware of such. Also I will not be running virtual machines. Please explain why the current iMacs would be suffice.

And you base this upon.... what?
Just my own thoughts, please share why either the 21.5" or the 27" current product lines would suit my needs. I would be open to hear why.

Also the reason why I opted for the Mac Pro was for expandability, which the iMac lacks.

;)
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,039
36
The Land of Hope and Glory
So your saying that a iMac Core i5 21.5" OR 27" can do the following task I listed above?

If so I wasn't aware of such. Also I will not be running virtual machines. Please explain why the current iMacs would be suffice.



Just my own thoughts, please share why either the 21.5" or the 27" current product lines would suit my needs. I would be open to hear why.

Also the reason why I opted for the Mac Pro was for expandability, which the iMac lacks.



;)
It sounds very much like you have already made your mind up.

That begs the question why ask in the first place?
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
7
USA
So your saying that a iMac Core i5 21.5" OR 27" can do the following task I listed above?
You haven't listed any reason that would lead me to believe that any 10 year old or newer computer wouldn't be able to handle what you're doing. If you believe otherwise, then you didn't convey your needs well enough. All I see is that you're doing coding in various languages so anything that has a text editor and can execute some code would be good enough.
 

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
You haven't listed any reason that would lead me to believe that any 10 year old or newer computer wouldn't be able to handle what you're doing. If you believe otherwise, then you didn't convey your needs well enough. All I see is that you're doing coding in various languages so anything that has a text editor and can execute some code would be good enough.
Your right, and besides it's cheaper, I'm going to reconsider the iMacs and scale up if need be, since I'm not doing serious video or Scientific work, the Mac Pro would be overkill.

It sounds very much like you have already made your mind up.

That begs the question why ask in the first place?
How can I take your question seriously, when your own forum name means the following:

"Used in an ironical sense to mean legitimate, and therefore, in reality, spurious and not at all legitimate. Assumes common knowledge of the inherent Simpsons reference."


As far as my name iDisk goes, this is just a clear indication of how dedicated and driven i'am of the Mac Platform.
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,039
36
The Land of Hope and Glory
How can I take your question seriously, when your own forum name means the following:

"Used in an ironical sense to mean legitimate, and therefore, in reality, spurious and not at all legitimate. Assumes common knowledge of the inherent Simpsons reference."
Right, so peoples posts always follow their name. Anyway back to the point why ask if you have already made up your mind?

None of what you have said requires much power at all, you could probably make do with a Mac Mini.

The only real question mark is over "Advance Intelligent Computing Theories" which really doesn't mean a lot. What are you planning on doing? Genetic algorithms? Expand on that point and people might actually be able to help.
 

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
Right, so peoples posts always follow their name. Anyway back to the point why ask if you have already made up your mind?

None of what you have said requires much power at all, you could probably make do with a Mac Mini.

The only real question mark is over "Advance Intelligent Computing Theories" which really doesn't mean a lot. What are you planning on doing? Genetic algorithms? Expand on that point and people might actually be able to help.
Crom I was just kidding about the name, I should have added a emoji to indicate that. :)

The AI computation won't be anything significant at least during the beginning in which the iMac solution would be cheaper and more current for my needs and allow my work to earn a reason to upgrade to more powerful hardware at some point down the road.

You think I could get by on a Mac Mini server? Instead of a massive Xserve.

The mini server for Web Hosting, and email services.
 

lucidmedia

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2008
702
37
Wellington, New Zealand
I do a great deal of "advanced computation" on my MacBook air and have no serious performance issues... My advice would be to start your work first and then upgrade when you start reaching the limits of your current computer.

I think that you should do a lot more research and learning before you go looking to spend 5k on computer power you don't need.
 

whatsgooddan

macrumors member
Apr 6, 2009
49
0
NY, USA
if that is what you really want. i am sure the mini will suit you well.

your only limitation is your connection. assuming you are not buying bulk bandwidth from a larger provider, you are using residential or business class services. many cable and phone companies overcharge for their host-it-yourself services, which likely include a static iP and a higher upload speed.

not to mention, there may be some security issues if you are sharing a network between your server and other computers. an outsider may find a way in.

another limitation is your server itself. assuming you have enough ram and a dual core processor, you should get by with relatively high traffic, about 10,000 users at a time maybe. depending on if you are simultaneously using other services like database, etc.

running an email server is tough work. i could not hope to understand it. but, there are many measures in place by most email servers to detect spam. it is very likely than any emails you send will be marked as spam. a good place to start to fix this is to make sure the reverse dns for the IP address matches your domain of choice.

if you host on os x, you will get a nice interface to start and stop services. just because it's macintosh does not mean it is flawless, particularly when you're dealing with os x server. i'd say os x server has it's place as a server for multiple macs all in the same lan. i am sure you will not be able to upgrade individual bits of software, etc.

my advice, install linux without the graphical tools. use this as your server software. start with ubuntu server.
 

eponym

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2010
297
3
re: displays, something to keep in mind:

It's good to have a cheaper TN panel LCD for at least testing. If you're doing any kind of serious design/colour work, it will be important. Most people won't see what you're building with the same quality. So don't be reliant on ACDs (or even really good Dells etc). But if you're mainly just coding, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
Forum members I really appreciate the advice being given, and Im highly considering all these less costly options.

Anyone else feel free to chime in, cause it's much welcomed :)

I do a great deal of "advanced computation" on my MacBook air and have no serious performance issues... My advice would be to start your work first and then upgrade when you start reaching the limits of your current computer.

I think that you should do a lot more research and learning before you go looking to spend 5k on computer power you don't need.
I will do more research. That's nice your able to use an Air, but I definitely assume it's not your only computer right?

if that is what you really want. i am sure the mini will suit you well.

your only limitation is your connection. assuming you are not buying bulk bandwidth from a larger provider, you are using residential or business class services. many cable and phone companies overcharge for their host-it-yourself services, which likely include a static iP and a higher upload speed.

not to mention, there may be some security issues if you are sharing a network between your server and other computers. an outsider may find a way in.

another limitation is your server itself. assuming you have enough ram and a dual core processor, you should get by with relatively high traffic, about 10,000 users at a time maybe. depending on if you are simultaneously using other services like database, etc.

running an email server is tough work. i could not hope to understand it. but, there are many measures in place by most email servers to detect spam. it is very likely than any emails you send will be marked as spam. a good place to start to fix this is to make sure the reverse dns for the IP address matches your domain of choice.

if you host on os x, you will get a nice interface to start and stop services. just because it's macintosh does not mean it is flawless, particularly when you're dealing with os x server. i'd say os x server has it's place as a server for multiple macs all in the same lan. i am sure you will not be able to upgrade individual bits of software, etc.

my advice, install linux without the graphical tools. use this as your server software. start with ubuntu server.
The server side of things (especially with hosting it myself) i'm ignorant on. I'm a person of always have more then one option, and as I'm going to start with an outside service for hosting my sites, I will primarily be heavy involved into doing code work for hours on end with the languages I described prior.


re: displays, something to keep in mind:

It's good to have a cheaper TN panel LCD for at least testing. If you're doing any kind of serious design/colour work, it will be important. Most people won't see what you're building with the same quality. So don't be reliant on ACDs (or even really good Dells etc). But if you're mainly just coding, I wouldn't worry about it.
I'm basically going to be designing my sites, I will be doing some print work (Magazines) but besides that nothing major like photo books or something (and If I do it will be for my own personally use , nothing client related).

Do you still think the ACD's will be suffice for just an occasionally Quarterly Magazine/Monthly one?
 

dmmcintyre3

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2007
2,131
1
Don't bother running your sites at home. You will never get enough speed on the upload side as cheaply at home as you will in a datacenter.

If you still want full control over the server in every way, look at VPSs which is just a virtual machine on a server dedicated to running VMs.

Check out http://lowendbox.com for cheap ones.
 
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