What to do with an Xserve (2008)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by iphone2g&3gfan, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. iphone2g&3gfan macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2013
    Orlando, Florida
    Hey, I just inherited a Early 2008 Xserve with everything tricked out (2x 3.0 Ghz Xeon E5472, 14GB RAM, booting from 320GB External USB Drive w/ OS X 10.9.1, Radeon HD 5570 Discrete PCI-E GPU)
    Any suggestions with what to do with it? I already managed to get it to run with the fan speeds quite low, but without damaging anything. So, the noise is of least concern. It is very darn fast, so I have no doubt it can pull off some very good trick? It is also armed with a Supermicro SAS controller that I can boot from (same chipset as real Mac Pro RAID Card, waiting for drives to arrive to install OS X) so maybe another thing I can pull off is a RAID 5 array with 3 drives or 4?
  2. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    That's a pretty hard question actually... There's a million things that can be done of course, but what do YOU want to do with it? I have 26 of them at work but they just do sharing via Open Directory... nothing more complex than that. I guess if I had a spare one it would be for "noodling around"... use all the features in Server for "fun" maybe, or set it to help with Rosetta@Home and SETI, which I currently have on maybe 10 machines here and there. Or maybe mine bitcoin, which will cost you more in power than you'll ever make fro that. :)
    I guess the bottom line is that I have nothing constructive to add as I am quite boring. But look around and start dreaming... Xserves are pretty nice machines. They suck power like a 10 dollar whore, so know that before you make the jump. Good luck.
  3. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    Do you have a home server? Wireless Time Machine Backups for your home Macs? That's what I did with my Xserve. Although, I have a spare closet to shove it in, otherwise my basement sounds like an airport runway.
  4. jamall macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2003
    Canberra, Australia
    If you're going to play with fan speed settings the first thing you should do is clean any dust out of the two large air intakes at the front. The wire mesh where the dust accumulates is about 20cm from the entrance so you'll need a long narrow attachment on the end of a vacuum.
  5. iphone2g&3gfan thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2013
    Orlando, Florida
    Hey I actually was doing that, well, in fact, the Xserve is in the same room as I (Air conditioned), and the fans usually run at minimum, for most fans it is 1250 RPM though some run at 1300. The only time it ever gets to even 1500 is when I did a geek bench run. And yes I did clean the mesh and in fact when I opened it to take measurements for a SAS card with an LSI1068E chipset the fan air was unusually cool. So I've got the temps in control at the moment and I rarely ever see a dot of dust around here. And I do take into consideration that you are the Xserve EXPERT around here. Anyway I am going to max out the RAID controller (Which has a single drive limit per SATA/SAS drive of 2tb so for a total of 8TB or maybe 6TB and one 15k RPM 146GB SAS drive for booting, in fact, I heard the 1068E is used in the real card, so it should be bootable. I will probably run a mirrored set of the 3 2tb and nothing on the 146gb. I will run the cables to the bays with power from a 12V and 5V line I fished out of the fan array connector, and also a ground. I use a mini SAS to 4x SAS drive connectors with external power (from the fan array) and that's what I decided to do with the Xserve, also using it for my main stuff, since it is faster than all the computers I have to use. Running it off a 320GB USB HDD.
    The 2tb I will use for time machine and backup, our time capsule with 3tb is big but has no redundancy, at least I will (RAID 1 needs one drive to maintain operation)
    I will gladly accept suggestions. FYI the raid card will be PCI-E X8 in the pci-x/pcie combined slot "depending on the riser you installed" A Supermicro AOC-USAS-L4i
    Thankfully the machine had both risers installed (X16 for the X16 slot and X16 for the X8/PCI-X slot) and apparently they fetch $$$
    Just to answer "playing with the fan speeds" it actually starts and boots with the fans always at the same speed as they are when booted, which is quite quiet. Is it true it is the only mac that doesn't chime at boot so far?
    Thanks jamall

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