What to do with Apple Xserve (Early 2008)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Southern Dad, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    I picked up an Xserve Xeon 2.8 "Eight Core" (Early 2008) machine with 80/300/300 hard drives and Mac OS Server 10.5.8 installed and 6 GB of RAM. It fired right up and seems to run fine (other than an annoyingly loud fan in contrast to all my other Macs). Now the big question is what to do with it. I wouldn't have picked it up if the price wasn't right (free).

    I've got many other Macs ranging from Minis to this Mac Pro (Early 2008). I have a problem getting rid of something that still works. Now, I need an idea of what to do with this Xserve that must have cost a small fortune when it was purchased. I'm betting in the neighborhood of $4k to $5k.

    Ideas or suggestions of a way to actually utilize this would be appreciated.

    IMG_4243.JPG.jpeg
     
  2. hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
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    on the land line mr. smith.
    #2
    Sadly, there are not many reasonable uses for out dated rack mount gear.

    The noise, space and power, not to mention heat, make it hard to re-task for desktop stuff.

    File server and/or backup server or something similar that you can leave in a quiet area with network only access is most common.

    It is possible to run it as a work station in a closet with long USB and video cables...if you have a compatible room layout.

    With all that CPU horsepower, it would be a great video rendering box. You can set it somewhere the noise doesn't bug, and share files to it, and remote to the desktop.

    It can run OS 10.7.5 without any hacks, and you don't have to run OS X Server; but you certainly can.

    You could run several VMs on it, but it would really want some more RAM to do it well.

    If you don't have a use for it, parting it out may get you some decent $, but not for long. The market of folks still running xserves will dry up very soon, based on age and OS compatibility.
     
  3. satcomer, Jan 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #3
    If you have an unheated garage install Ethernet to it and install a half rack and find older Server software and run it cooler in un-heated garage. This way you ran cool it and not have all the Server fan noise.

    This way you can play/use the server software for file sharing etc.
     
  4. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I did notice how fast it was when firing it up. My daughter tells people that I am a technology hoarder. I don't even want to tell you how many eMacs and iMacs that I have that are not being used. I just hate throwing away things that still work. Apple did a great job when building this Xserve. It is outright sexy.
     
  5. hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #5
    I am keeping my eyes peeled for a free G5 xserve to make into a coffee table.

    Top comes off, and a nice sheet of plexi (or better yet, tempered glass) on the top to display the tech.

    Add some modern legs.....done! Geeky coffee table.
     
  6. raghu8912 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    Location:
    San Jose
    #6
    Use it as a plex server to transcode/stream videos.
     
  7. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #7
    I have a couple G5 Mac Pros that I could use as the legs but I just have trouble doing that with a working machine.

    That is a good idea but my seed box has Plex included, which I love.
     
  8. nutjob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    #8
    If you use it as a doorstop you will save money on your power bill. Actually running it is the same as donating money to your power company.
     
  9. Longer Lane macrumors member

    Longer Lane

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    #9
    I initially used a MacPro as a server and then bought a Xserve to replace it. The noise and heat were too much. Soon after, I migrated to Mac mini Servers and haven't gone back. I would say, that even a 2012 Mac mini, upgraded to max RAM and SSDs will provide you with plenty of juice. For some tasks, I am actually using Raspberry Pis now as their power consumption is much better than the minis even. And some services don't require an ultra-fast network connection.

    So, unless you want to subsidise your local power company, the best use is really to exhibit the internals, maybe as that coffee table, or frame it and hang it on the wall, maybe add some blue LEDs. Or sell the parts on Ebay.

    My $0.02

    LL
     
  10. spiffers Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #10
    The server does not draw that much power actually.
     
  11. Longkeg macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #11
    Plex server for Mac now requires OS 10.8 or above. I believe someone said this machine maxes out at 10.7.5
     
  12. spiffers Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #12
    Got half a dosen Xserve 2009 and a couple of 2008 running Sierra, so its not a big problem. Install Sierra on a drive on a later Mac, fix the plist as explained in the YouTube vid, and you will be running Sierra like a champ.
     
  13. Longer Lane macrumors member

    Longer Lane

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    Oct 30, 2015
    #14
  14. iStiggy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    #15
    I received a 2009 for free. I ripped out the fans an installing 4 80mm instead. Using a fan controller to control the speeds. I have to cut the top case, I'm starting a blog to document my journey.
     
  15. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #16
    Sell it. If you have no specific use for it by now, all it will do is either gather dust or cost you a fortune in power to keep it running and cool.
    At one time I managed 42 of them, but that time has passed.
     
  16. spiffers Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #17
    Interesting, URL?
     
  17. hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #18
    Ripped the fans out?

    ...To try and make it quieter? Or some other reason?

    1U rack mount servers are designed for air to enter the front, flow over everything via channels, and exit the rear. Center mount fans (assuming they exhaust up, not back) could leave some hot spots. Hope you have it sorted out.
     
  18. iStiggy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    #19
    Nothing is up yet, I've been sick. It's XserveFiles.com
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2017 ---
    Quietness is the primary reason, will be using it in my office. I'll have 2 fans at a 45-ish degree angle inside the case, and 1 fan faced down with a light angle to the rear over each CPU to push more air in the case. I'll be keeping a very close eye on temps at first to ensure temps are within reason.
     
  19. tpiselli macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    #20
    If you connect the Xserve, via target disk mode, to a mac that is able to run a newer version of macOS than you should be able to install everything up to 10.12 on the xserve. You will need to edit one file to add the logic board id of the xserve so that the os thinks it's a supported board. A newer video card would be helpful as well. I have 3 2008 xserves running 10.10 and I used the same method to install 10.12 on a Mac Pro 208.
     
  20. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #21
    Okay, this sounds very interesting. I can access the Xserve in target mode without a problem. I also like the idea of putting one of my Mac Pros up to 10.12.
     
  21. tpiselli macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2016
    #22
  22. Jupeman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #23
    I have an '08 Xserve hosting email, websites, Time Machine, hosting video files, and running SecuritySpy.
     
  23. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #24
    I have an '08 Xserve sitting on a bench trying to determine what to do with it. I appreciate the suggestions.
     
  24. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #25
    XFX Radeon RX 460 single slot would probably be a pretty good upgrade card for one of these for sierra builds. granted, without proper EFI support you wont see a boot screen but it should work fine once it goes to finder. but the hackintosh guys have said the RX460s are easy cards to set up on Sierra. also doesnt require additional 6-pin power.

    [​IMG]
     

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