The Xserve wait


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2007
We're looking to get an Xserve or two within the next month. They'll be used as file servers, do authentication, home hosting and such for a mixed-platform office.

I'm trying to decide if there's any reason to wait for the next revision to come out. It looks like they very quietly upgraded the drive modules (and added the internal RAID card, something I'm not after--we'll be getting an Xserve RAID for storage, and software level0 for the boot drives should suffice) after the announcement on the seventh, but I don't think that rules out an actual big upgrade any time in the near future.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? If the likely upgrades wouldn't have that much of an impact on the main purpose of the machine I may just get the current ones to get switched over to some more reliable machines.

(We're hobbling along on an old first-gen 'screamer' Xserve at the moment, complete with its chain of external drives and funky hardware monitoring).

We'll be serving primarily 10-50 meg files, but plenty of them. No DV streaming or anything like that.

Trying to get a feel for what I might gain by waiting at this point.


macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
More effcient quad processors (penryn) are the change that will usher in new Xserves I would think. I've not seen much on any other changes Intel are bringing in on the server side of things. Most articles seem to focus on workstations. Buy when you need I guess as I can't see what Apple might add on the hardware side of things. I'm sure there will be something though.

I don't know much about Apple's OSX Server releases, but I'm thinking if you wait for the revision they will be shipping with Leopard Server, and that may be something you do or don't want.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2007
I had looked at the Mac Pro as a server, but the Xserve really provides more of what I'm after. 3 years of 24x7 high-level, fast-turnaround support for $1k instead of the ~$20k it would cost for the Mac Pro, dual power supplies, and lights-out management really make it hard for the Pro to compete.

I hold out hope for the Xserve to be updated before Leopard comes out, but given how close that is now, I can't say as I'm expecting it either--I'll be using Leopard when it ships, but I'd much rather get to know the hardware with an OS that I'm much more familiar with before venturing into the unknown-- the whole changing one variable at a time thing. Good to see another person's speculations agree with mine, even if I don't particularly like the answer I came up with.

Thanks for your input. I guess when I buy comes down to when the new server room is finished. When that happens... well, we're at the mercy of our contractors now.


macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2006
The xserve has traditionally followed the Mac Pro (equivalent). I'd say the new machines will be getting a huge processor upgrade. I'd say the top end xserve will have two quad core xeons for 8 processors. (Who knows, maybe even 4 quad cores!!!) They should also be the "next gen" xeon chips. the speed improvements should put the new top of the line at at least twice as powerful.

I'm looking to buy one too. I'm waiting for both the new xserve and Mac OS 10.5 server. The new server software will be compiled (for the most pant) in 64 bit too. woot for speed.

If you can't wait, then take the dive.


macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
Dark Castle
When will Server Leopard will be available?

Will they will launch both OS versions at the same time?
How has apple handled this in the past?

Thanks for your comments.
hot box vape
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macrumors G3
Jun 3, 2006
One Nation Under Gordon
As Umbongo says, the major change in any near-future setup would probably be octocore. The direct core-to-core performance regarding the current and forthcoming Xeons would seem to be of minor benefit, and the speed increases are also fairly minimal at least in the initial Penryn chips. As far as anything else is concerned, I'm pretty certain it would be minor evolutions.

The dual-X5355 Dell 1950's that I'm replacing some of the ageing previous Poweredge servers with are clocking in some pretty impressive comparative benchmarks regarding computationally heavy tasks (which is what all my XServes are doing).

I'm locked to XServe for my computational grid and probably won't be buying more servers for a few months, but going by the results I'm getting from the Dells the move to octocore, at least for me, would be a major benefit.