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wiredbrother

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
4
0
The title says it all. Are people still interested? Is this a product that people still want to buy? Would it be more appealing if the fans were replaced with quiet fans?

Interested in what you guys think
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
1,666
609
on the land line mr. smith.
I expect a niche, shrinking market.

  • It's big.
  • It's loud.
  • It's a room heater (uses alot of electricity).
  • It runs an outdated OS.
  • It doesn't do what most folks want servers to do: easily run lots of VMs.

I'm sure there are still some that would use it for specific services, and could stretch it a few more years.

Clock it ticking though...
 
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Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2008
751
323
I expect a niche, shrinking market.

  • It's big.
  • It's loud.
  • It's a room heater (uses alot of electricity).
  • It runs an outdated OS.
  • It doesn't do what most folks want servers to do: easily run lots of VMs.

I'm sure there are still some that would use it for specific services, and could stretch it a few more years.

Clock it ticking though...
I think if flashed to a 5,1 cMP it would resolve the last 2 bullet points especially if CPU swapped to dual x5690 and loaded with RAM.

But certianly a small market.
 
Comment

sevoneone

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2010
550
589
There will always be collectors that want it for sure. It’s an aesthetically beautiful piece of server hardware that really is unmatched in design... If it wouldn’t be such a major hit on my electric bill, I’d love to find a way to have one do something practical.

Does anyone know of anyone that has ever tried to gut one and put modern server hardware in? Could you shoehorn a cheap, yet still far more modern, 1U Dell Power Edge into an XServe I wonder?
 
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hobowankenobi

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
1,666
609
on the land line mr. smith.
There will always be collectors that want it for sure. It’s an aesthetically beautiful piece of server hardware that really is unmatched in design... If it wouldn’t be such a major hit on my electric bill, I’d love to find a way to have one do something practical.

Does anyone know of anyone that has ever tried to gut one and put modern server hardware in? Could you shoehorn a cheap, yet still far more modern, 1U Dell Power Edge into an XServe I wonder?

I would expect you could...as the form factor is the same. Big challenges would include getting the front drive trays and power buttons/lights to work.

I actually have a early G5 Xserve that one day will be a fabulous coffee table. :)
 
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wiredbrother

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
4
0
I think if flashed to a 5,1 cMP it would resolve the last 2 bullet points especially if CPU swapped to dual x5690 and loaded with RAM.

But certainly a small market.

So it's interesting you bring this up... I recently purchased a pile of these old servers and am looking for someone skilled enough to upgrade the 3,1 with a new bootrom like what we did for the 5.1 bootrom upgrade.

I found a person that upgraded the fans with much quieter versions that did wonders for the sound.

I also did some research here and found (from this video)
that the Xserve lineup doesn't suck as much power as people think. I may be wrong on that so please share your evidence below.

If we find a way to upgrade the fans for sound, we know they dont suck as much power as people think, we upgraded them to a new custom bootrom with support for the x5690 CPU, 192 GB of RAM and the ability for NVME boot... these things may actually have life still.

Let's check the list real quick...

I expect a niche, shrinking market.

  • It's big.
  • It's loud.
  • It's a room heater (uses alot of electricity).
  • It runs an outdated OS.
  • It doesn't do what most folks want servers to do: easily run lots of VMs.

I'm sure there are still some that would use it for specific services and could stretch it a few more years.

Clock it ticking though...

Loud (New Fans),
Room Heater (Doesn't suck as much power as people think. Probably wrong on that one),
Outdated OS (With the custom bootrom it would support newer versions of macOS),
Easily run lots of VM's (Load it with proxmox and it will do the trick. Which btw is 100% possible)

Does anyone on here have the ability to work on bootroms? ;)
 
Comment

hobowankenobi

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2015
1,666
609
on the land line mr. smith.
OK...to be fair, all servers and workstations use alot of power (converted to heat). I wasn't picking on Xserve in particular. Same was true for Mac Pros of a similar vintage: big power supply, lots of power used, lots of heat output, especially under load.

Big CPUs and GPUs continue to use loads of power, compared to a typical desktop, much less than optimized portable or Mini. And more so for older gear: less efficient.

I guess we have to define what "alot" is. In the video he mentions 300 watts...which I would call alot. Considering a Mini could use as much as 10 time less.

The point is, if you don't mind the power bill nor the heat under load, knock yourself out. The biggest hurdle for most folks would be noise, but as you said, that may be fixed with a right fan setup.

---

As for bootrom...good luck. Way above my pay grade. The biggest issue traditionally is that anything that is not known and supported by the OEM won't get used in IT, because of the risk of downtime and the unknown cost to support.

Hobby project...that is different. Much like any Hackintosh, up to tinkerers. While there may be a vibrant community, they don't get used for production.

Since servers are primarily are used for enterprise production, it could be slim pickings to find somebody who has done the work on Xserve bootrom.
 
Comment

wiredbrother

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 29, 2019
4
0
OK...to be fair, all servers and workstations use alot of power (converted to heat). I wasn't picking on Xserve in particular. Same was true for Mac Pros of a similar vintage: big power supply, lots of power used, lots of heat output, especially under load.

Big CPUs and GPUs continue to use loads of power, compared to a typical desktop, much less than optimized portable or Mini. And more so for older gear: less efficient.

I guess we have to define what "alot" is. In the video he mentions 300 watts...which I would call alot. Considering a Mini could use as much as 10 time less.

The point is, if you don't mind the power bill nor the heat under load, knock yourself out. The biggest hurdle for most folks would be noise, but as you said, that may be fixed with a right fan setup.

---

As for bootrom...good luck. Way above my pay grade. The biggest issue traditionally is that anything that is not known and supported by the OEM won't get used in IT, because of the risk of downtime and the unknown cost to support.

Hobby project...that is different. Much like any Hackintosh, up to tinkerers. While there may be a vibrant community, they don't get used for production.

Since servers are primarily are used for enterprise production, it could be slim pickings to find somebody who has done the work on Xserve bootrom.

Real quick just wanted to clarify that my earlier message was not meant to be rude or demeaning. So I apologize if it came across that way.

Is there anyone on the forums that have done that sort of work? Would anyone do it for payment?
 
Comment

jessecampbell

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2020
7
3
I recently brought one back to life to run some UI testing VMs at my job. new-used raid card for $12, cables for $12, 96GB ram for $100. G5 drive backplane for $12. SAS trays for $30. Ordering up 3 1TB SSDs this week. Not upgrading the CPUs for now, but will next year if this thing doesn't **** the bed.

There's a stack of 36 of them on ebay for 900 plus freight from Virginia. That works out to $25 per server, each with 48GB of ram.
I could use 1 as a spare/redundant pair, but not 36, and don't have time or space to go over them all and re-sell or store spares.

My company is unhappy that I'm trying to ressurrect 10 year old hardware, but they also aren't chomping at the bit to buy a pair of new pros for me... and ESXi doesn't run on the new pro yet anyways.
 
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invisiboole

macrumors newbie
Aug 18, 2020
1
0
So it's interesting you bring this up... I recently purchased a pile of these old servers and am looking for someone skilled enough to upgrade the 3,1 with a new bootrom like what we did for the 5.1 bootrom upgrade.

I found a person that upgraded the fans with much quieter versions that did wonders for the sound.

I also did some research here and found (from this video)
that the Xserve lineup doesn't suck as much power as people think. I may be wrong on that so please share your evidence below.

If we find a way to upgrade the fans for sound, we know they dont suck as much power as people think, we upgraded them to a new custom bootrom with support for the x5690 CPU, 192 GB of RAM and the ability for NVME boot... these things may actually have life still.

Let's check the list real quick...



Loud (New Fans),
Room Heater (Doesn't suck as much power as people think. Probably wrong on that one),
Outdated OS (With the custom bootrom it would support newer versions of macOS),
Easily run lots of VM's (Load it with proxmox and it will do the trick. Which btw is 100% possible)

Does anyone on here have the ability to work on bootroms? ;)

Came across this thread while researching possible 3,1 use as a Mac Pro 5,1, it seems that flashing 5,1 firmware is indeed possible but you will lose 2 or 4 RAM slots depending on CPU config and you will need to reinject the serial number.

I’m looking to buy one but can’t find one anywhere in Australia, if anyone has one for cheap i’ll take it lol
 
Comment

iGobbleoff

macrumors 6502
May 2, 2011
336
353
I’m in Oz and I picked up one earlier this year, and an XServe RAID that I’m going to setup in my rack at work but don’t know what I’m going to use it for just yet. Nice to have for nostalgia
 
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