Buying used Mac Pro for Lion Server which one?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Eric-PTEK, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    I decided to move to a Mac Server vs the Server 2008 R2 I had been running.

    I needed a native AFP Share for Aperture and figured since we had all Mac's in the house and the fact I could virtualize 2008 I'd be better 'served'.

    I moved my old Hackintosh to be my new server and built myself a new SB Hackintosh.

    Unfortunately Snow Leopard Server did not like the hack setup as well as it did the desktop OS. Kept getting KP's with no real rhyme or reason. Went back to the desktop OS and ran into another problem with Fusion where it would drop the network connection, can't expect VMware to support my hack so that was a problem there too.

    I never realized how inexpensive the older Mac Pro's were. Seen some decent dual quad core units for $1,200 on Ebay. Dual dual's for even less.

    I assume pretty much any of these would be faster than my Core i930 i7 that I had.

    I need the ability to run min 12GB of ram, 1 boot drive and a RAID10 array as large as I can go, if there is a limitation on the older units?

    Video/audio I don't care about. I'll run 2 VM's in the background, a Win7 and 2008 R2 box. 2GB dedicated to the Win7 VM, 4-6 for the Server 2008 VM, so possibly the ability to put in 16GB might be a good idea.

    I'll be connecting my current SB Hack, 2 MB Air's and my wife's 27" iMac. If the video card selection becomes better for the Mac Pro's I might even be tempted to switch out my SB Hack for a Mac Pro with a decent video card.

    I'm looking at some dual dual 3.0ghz Xeon's, Clovertowns. The price difference to the dual/quad isn't huge over all.

    What is easily and reasonably upgradeable? Is there ram limitations? I assume these are all ECC. Max number of drives/space support? Does the Mac Pro have a wall at 3.1TB in a single array?

    How is power consumption? This will be on 24/7. I estimate my current server costs me about $42 per month to run and that is a single Q9550 w/ 6 SATA II drives. I never checked on the Core i930 I had setup.

    Lastly, certain gens have inherent problems that are expensive to fix, power supplies and such?

  2. Electricidad macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2011
    Any of them will be great for what you need. Just set a budget and get the best deal you can find.
  3. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    Power consumption with just about any Mac Pro will most definitely be higher than with your old system.

    IIRC, my 2006 Mac Pro (upgraded to 8-core 2.66GHz) drew more than 300W from the wall idling.
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Not necessarily. The 2009 and 2010 models are very power efficient. A single quad from 2009 with the standard graphics card doesn't draw more than about 130W from the line.

    The 2009 machine would therefore be the ideal machine.
    Holds (in fact all Pros do) up to 6 internal drives SATA without extra controllers for a combined capacity of 18TB using 3TB drives. The array size using software RAID doesn't have a practical limit (theoretical limit is 8EB).

    This machine takes 48GB of RAM using 3 16GB sticks. ECC is not mandatory btw.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The 2009/10 models may be out of budget though, and it's the only MP that ECC is not absolutely necessary to get the system to POST (older Intel based MP's used FB-DIMM's = doesn't play with other forms of memory, as it's serial based rather than parallel).

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