ComputerWorld: Apple Xserve G5 ‘a dream machine’ for network administrators

“Focusing solely on the hardware, the new Xserve just wows me. It has one or two 2-GHz G5 processors, uses 400 MHz ECC RAM, and has a dedicated frontside bus running at 1 GHz (the dual-processor model has two independent frontside buses, one for each processor). Add to that the ability to support up to 8GB of RAM, and you have the makings of the fastest Mac ever conceived. But Apple didn’t stop there: Each of the three drive modules contains dedicated 150MB/sec. controllers, and the Xserve supports 100-MHz and 133-MHz PCI-X cards. Rounding out its impressive technology pedigree are two onboard Gigabit Ethernet ports, each with its own dedicated controller,” Ryan Faas reports for ComputerWorld.

“What does all that power mean? A machine that is up to 60% faster than the original Xserve, which was a powerhouse in its own right. Compared to similar server platforms, the Xserve G5 offers more sheer computational power for straight high-end computing tasks,” Faas reports. “In terms of file services, it outpaces one of the fastest Windows file servers — the IBM eServer x335 running Windows Server 2003 — by about 20% in high-volume NetBench testing.”

“All in all, the Xserve G5 is not something most Mac users will focus on. But for Mac administrators, especially those in companies and institutions with a high demand for fast, reliable network services, the Xserve G5 seems like a dream machine,” Faas reports.

Full article here.


  1. Great. Now Apple need to make Xserve G5 a dream machine for the Windows server administrators. Start with MS Outlook compatible mail/ical server (i.e., MS Exchange server replacement) which can handle more loginID per server than Windows, add utilities to Apache web server (e.g., chili ASP, FrontPage Module, Index server with an Apache module to accept IIS htx/idq scripts) and other Windows server utilities. The server needs to be a drop in replacement, so sales staff can demonstrate to IT staffs by just connect a Xserve to their network, then enter the Windows server name, administrator login information and the click to transfer data files over to the new server, then point the clients to the new server.

  2. s
    I second that. Apple desperately needs Exchange server replacement as you describe. There is a need for M$ Project replacement too.
    Apple is almost there

  3. I didn’t see any mention of price in the article, but if it is competitive, and a program like S’s idea above were used, these things would make serious inroads into the server market. The maintenance kit idea is cool too.

    Of course…….price and marketing… isn’t very good at that stuff so much success would be a surprise.

  4. M$ server software replacements should be seen as oportunities for third-party developers. I keep reading about how Apple is doing right by staying focused on its “message” and “core values”, and replacing MS isn’t on the list to hear the Apple brass say it. For Apple to shift the focus of its software developers from creating great Mac apps to replacing mediocre MS apps — that would be stupid.

    Not that the idea of having software that plays well with Exchange, ASP, FrontPage, Access, etc. is stupid idea in general — it’s a GREAT idea. I just wonder where the 3rd party people who could be developing this stuff are.

    Now, desktop applications may be a different story. Having something to compete with Project and Visio*, and having it come from Apple, would add credibility to having Macs on company desktops. They did it with Keynote … do they have something else up their sleeves?

    *being an educator and having used Inspiration since the alpha of v2, I’m really disappointed that the Inspiration folks didn’t do more with the program. It’s so much easier to use than Visio and creates such better drawings…. =^(

  5. OmniGraffle is one app that I bought recently. It is actually very nice little app.

    I really hope that Apple has something up their sleeve. There is not so much time to wait 3rd party to develop things. They are sometimes so incredeply slow and these apps are incrediply important. Without good project managment software there is not much you can do.
    If Apple can replace Exchange server then they found gold. They have practiced that with .Mac and iCal now we should get the Pro version out.

  6. Joe-
    I don’t have the exact price at hand but I am informed that the G5 Xserve is cheaper than any of the competition. The single biggest obstacle to it’s success remains the IT Micros**t drones who follow the blind into Monopoly City.

  7. Why is it a dream machine for Mac administrators? Any IT administrators who are open minded and concern about their company and their users (ugh, let me pause to laugh a bit. Yeah, right) ought to consider it. In the end they may not choose it, but it should make at least a contender, not an outright dismissal.

  8. Neil, that would be amazing for apple to price something cheaper than the others. Seems like a slam dunk hot deal to me. If you ever come up with a link to prices please post it.

  9. What’s wrong with giving praise when praise is due. The original Xserve….not that hot. this new one..praiseworthy. What’s so hard to understand about a publication reviewing something well.

  10. Well a quick google search for “eServer x335” gives a price of $2,719 for { Xeon 3.20GHz, 1GB PC2100 DDR SDRAM, 80Gb HD} compared to around $4,000 for an XServe G5 with roughly the same amounts of RAM/HD. Of course the XServe uses ECC PC3200 RAM which would account for the added cost and also better performance. Also the XServe uses independant SATA HD controllers while the IBM uses ATA 100.
    Ya gets what you pay for.

  11. I’m comparing direct prices from & the online Apple Store here:

    IBM xSeries 335 with one 3.2-GHz Xeon, 1 GB PC2100 RAM, 73.4 GB hot-swap SCSI drive, dual Gigabit Ethernet, $3,178, OPERATING SYSTEM NOT INCLUDED. If you want Red Hat Linux WS with Red Hat support, that’s $299 extra. Windows Server 2003 is $799 for the Standard Edition, a whopping $3,209 for the Enterprise Edition. Total: $3,477 to $6,387, depending on software.

    Apple Xserve G5, single processor, 1 GB PC3200 RAM, 80 GB hot-swap SATA drive, second Gigabit Ethernet card, $3,099. Panther Server with a licence for unlimited users is included. Total: $3,099.

    At the high end:

    IBM xSeries 335, dual 3.2-GHz Xeon, 2 x 146-GB SCSI HDD (the biggest drives listed), 4 GB PC2100 ECC RAM, DVD-ROM, & Red Hat Linux ES with Red Hat service, $7,922.

    Apple Xserve G5, dual processor, dual Gig Ethernet, 2 x 250-GB SATA HDD, 4 GB PC3200 ECC RAM, Combo Drive, & of course the unlimited-user licence for Panther Server, $7,099 . . . & you still have an empty drive bay & 4 more RAM slots.

    The Xserve competes quite well on hardware price, & the free software added to that makes it a steal compared to IBM’s Intel offerings.

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