Xserve for home use: Anyone own one for home or use one for FCP projects?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Does anyone own an Xserve that they use at home?



I having been thinking about purchasing one for home use. I do a lot in FCP and DVD Studio (and soon to be Motion) and would like to pass off the work load (compressor and rendering) to another computer instead of tieing up my iMac.



I was hoping to hear from someone who has done this or knows how I could go about doing it (I am not sure if you can pass off task like I mentioned above).



I know I could purchase a PM Quad, but I don't want a bunch of junk in my study. The iMac does the job, for now, on the editing/creative side. A quad would be nice but the clutter of the total package encourages me to seek an alternative. Having an XServe downstairs would be out of the way, take a load of my iMac, and provide networked storage.



So, if I had the money, is this possible and not too dificult to setup? Hopefully, there are some serious FCP/Motion users on the board that understand more than I do what an Xserve is and capable of...

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    An Xserve will be useless for Motion, because Motion relies on a the GPU.



    I'd get one of the newer Power Macs with the PCI-E graphics cards. I don't know how much Final Cut Pro utilizes the GPU (I'm assuming just for the previews), but I'd venture to say that newer versions will utilize it better and better, making the regular G5 a better long term investment. Xserves don't have worthwhile graphics cards.



    You'll want the PCI-E because that enables the GPU to send it's results back to the CPU. If a future Final Cut moves more rendering to the GPU (very likely), it'll require PCI-E in order to do that, because sort of thing is not really feasible on AGP cards.



    An Xserve would be fine for Compressor, but a Power Mac would be just as good.



    That said, I have no idea how to set up another computer to render in the background :P
  • Reply 2 of 8
    You end up paying a lot for the XServe form factor. It's not a great deal unless you're really married to the whole rack thing.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,579member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gregmightdothat



    That said, I have no idea how to set up another computer to render in the background :P






    I guess it would be better to just purchase a quad and set it down stairs with monitor and let it go to town...



    You make very good points. I guess the real trick is how to setup another computer to take over the crunching duties. I will look into that...
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aplnub

    I guess it would be better to just purchase a quad and set it down stairs with monitor and let it go to town...



    You make very good points. I guess the real trick is how to setup another computer to take over the crunching duties. I will look into that...




    I don't do very much as far as video editing, etc, but most of the 3D renderers I use have very thorough facilities for rendering on clusters. Now, it's still the cheapest to buy a bunch of cheap Athlon PCs and stick 'em in the basement on the business-end of a GigE switch, but I don't guess that Motion has this capability.



    I feel that it's something of a crime to cluster out a quad. . . Yeah, it's mostly a romantic thing, but still, a crime.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    In FCP and Compressor you simply enable Qmaster for the rendering. It uses Xgrid technology. Not a lot of people are using this yet because hell Powermac G5s are still spendy enough.



    I'd love to see Apple move to a 1U and 2U server
  • Reply 6 of 8
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,579member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    In FCP and Compressor you simply enable Qmaster for the rendering. It uses Xgrid technology. Not a lot of people are using this yet because hell Powermac G5s are still spendy enough.



    I'd love to see Apple move to a 1U and 2U server




    My upgrade to FC Studio should be here next week. I assume QMaster is in the new stuff and not on 4.5 HD?



    I tell you what, I have two macs at my house now just checking email. They will be drafted if it is as easy as you say it is.



    I guess most people are using PM's instead of a cool iMac for FCP ( ), but I can't justify the clutter. I am pathetic I guess. I'll keep you updated, I don't know how long I can wait or what decesion I am going to make.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    I have a XServe DP 2.3Ghz & XServe RAID 3.5TB coming in next week to go along with my G5 DP 2.0 & soon to be ordered Quad Mac. We are running a Fibre Channel network (2 Gbps throughput) to the RAID & XServe, so I will tell you what kind of performace you can do with it and how easily it will be done. I placed my order the 14th but they "lost" my order (I wire transferred them the money and they still "lost" it) or else everything would've already been in.



    I should be very easy to off-load it to the XServe and save tons of time. I am going to take and encode a video that takes 16 hrs now on a DP G5 and compare that to the new system next week. So if you can wait till then I can give you detailed instructions.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,579member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by O4BlackWRX

    I have a XServe DP 2.3Ghz & XServe RAID 3.5TB coming in next week to go along with my G5 DP 2.0 & soon to be ordered Quad Mac. We are running a Fibre Channel network (2 Gbps throughput) to the RAID & XServe, so I will tell you what kind of performace you can do with it and how easily it will be done. I placed my order the 14th but they "lost" my order (I wire transferred them the money and they still "lost" it) or else everything would've already been in.



    I should be very easy to off-load it to the XServe and save tons of time. I am going to take and encode a video that takes 16 hrs now on a DP G5 and compare that to the new system next week. So if you can wait till then I can give you detailed instructions.




    Yeah, I can wait that out no problem. It sounds like you are building my best case scenario. I can't do the fiber because I am on an iMac, unless they have FireWire cards for that stuff but I don't know much about the Fiber. It will be ethernet stuff for me now, but transfer time isn't a problem as much as bogging down my stinking computer for hours on end making it useless.



    Storage will be an issue too, I only have 1.1 TB on my desktop now and I know that isn't going to cut it 9 months down the road.
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