Apple now shipping Xeon Xserves; unboxing photos

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Following a rather obscure multi-month delay, Apple Computer has finally been able to push the first shipments of its Xeon Xserve rack-mount systems out the door, tipsters tell AppleInsider.



The new Intel quad-core 1U servers were announced at the company's World Wide Developers Conference during the first week of August with an estimated ship date of October.



Last month came and went without word from the Mac maker as to when the first units would actually ship. It wasn't until about a week ago that customers who placed orders back in August began receiving their shipping notifications.



As can be seen from the below set of unpacking photos (thanks, Tom), Apple employs far less fashionable packing for the enterprise-level systems than it does for its consumer products. The units ship in a large, Xeon-stamped black box layered with styrofoam, accessory packs, mounting kits, and of course, the Xserve itself.



The quad-core systems -- which house two Dual-Core Intel Xeon chips -- feature an industry-leading high bandwidth server architecture that includes PCI Express, independent 1.33 GHz front side buses with 4MB of shared L2 cache, and fully-buffered DIMMs (FB-DIMMs).



Apple says the Xeon Xserve delivers up to four times the I/O bandwidth, up to three times the memory bandwidth and twice the storage bandwidth of the its previous generation Xserve G5 systems.



Customers can configure the new Xserves with two Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors running either 2.0, 2.66 or 3.0 GHz; up to 32GB of 667 MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM memory; and up to three 3Gb/s SATA or SAS drives totaling 2.25TB of hot-plug storage.



The new servers also ships with internal graphics that can drive up to a 23 inch Cinema Display and packs two eight-lane PCI Express expansion slots that provide up to 2GB/s of throughput each to support the next generation of fibre channel, networking and graphics cards. Pricing starts at $3000.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    A completely superficial note: Heatsinks on the FB-DIMMs are considerably smaller, probably because of the massive cooling throughput present in rackmounts.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Are you sure this is not Apples long rumored 30in laptop without the LCD attached? *drool*
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Looks like a 1U Xserve, allright.

    I wonder what the U of VA did with the 1,100 white shipping braces that you unscrew from these things. Hope there's some unique work of art somewhere.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    Whoddathunk a rack mount server could look sexy.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Not much of a "Tip"... They had these shipping about 2 weeks ago when they updated Remote Desktop and such...
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Why is the box so beat up?
  • Reply 7 of 33
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,341member
    I'd like to see the testing on these.



    I wonder if Apple solved the transaction processing on the Intel machines.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Matthew Yohe


    Not much of a "Tip"... They had these shipping about 2 weeks ago when they updated Remote Desktop and such...



    YUP, they've been arriving for more than 2 weeks. People have been discussing them in the Apple Xserve support forum since then.



    It would so help this sites credibility if errors like this weren't made.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    dude that's the new tablet mac they sent you by mistake. you're gonna need an NDA now.

    that is, after you return it for the imac you really ordered.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    We're in Western Canada, and received our Intel Xserve yesterday. Here are our initial observations:



    - the server can no longer be serviced while in the rack, as the top of the case (lid) must be unscrewed and removed to access any of the internals. This is a glaring oversight, and totally unnecessary. Both the previous Xserves (G5 and G5) had the ability to slide the unit forward while still mounted in the rack and (if preferable) even connected, providing access to the majority of components. The rack mounting gear is poorly conceived and strangely proprietary, with all rack mounting componentry (which will never be visible once installed) strangely done up in black...



    - The new LOM (Lights Out Management) is handled via the (updated) Server Monitor application, and is configured via its own name and password for each interface (separate from the OS X user name/pwrd). Configuration of the LOM ID/pword is now and included step during Server Assistant. Bonus: ARD (Apple Remote Desktop) also provides access to the additional (LOM) fields.



    - ADMs (Apple Drive Modules) are interchangable - in that not only can SAS and SATA coexist via the interconnect board (they are all recognized as SAS by the System Profiler), but previous generation G5 ADMs and standard SATA drives work without a hitch.



    - The front panel LEDs are cleverly mutated in that the 2 rows (which previously represented each processor) are divided into 4 sections (half of each row, reading from left to right) - each representing a processor core. When booting the Xserve using the front panel LEDs, as the 7th LED used to represent Open Firmware (now replaced with Intel's EFI), it now jumps past to the 8th.



    - The PCI riser cards are well designed in that you can combine (select) PCI, PCI-X, and/or PCIe hardware, provided you order the applicable riser card options, allowing the continued use of pre-existing older "legacy" hardware - ie: PCI-X fibre channel cards, etc...

    Sadly, the enclosure's PCI slot mounting threads (the screw that holds the card in place) is made of plastic, and poorly designed in that it cannot be accessed on the only angle the chassis provides.



    - The (one included) power supply is smaller than previous models, and there is a sprung hatch to keep airflow intact when only a single PS is present.



    - This does appear to be an Apple built and designed board, as it has a much nicer fit and finish than the course (Intel built ?) Mac Pro boards.



    - The Xserve NetBoots from an existing 10.4.8 (client) build without issue, so thats reassuring, as custom OS builds always pose intermediate compatibility issues...



    Further examination is necessary and inevitable, so stay tuned, and please chime in with your own assessments !
  • Reply 11 of 33
    Mmmm.... hardware pr0n....
  • Reply 12 of 33
    nchianchia Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    Apple employs far less fashionable packing for the enterprise-level systems than it does for its consumer products.



    Well, you mean just like the Mac Pro?
  • Reply 13 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheep


    dude that's the new tablet mac they sent you by mistake. you're gonna need an NDA now.

    that is, after you return it for the imac you really ordered.



    It's more like a stone tablet mac based on the form factor.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benzene


    A completely superficial note: Heatsinks on the FB-DIMMs are considerably smaller, probably because of the massive cooling throughput present in rackmounts.



    Something like that, I think they are ordinary FB-DIMMs rather than ones with custom heat sinks. The tolerance for noise is a lot higher for servers, they are often hidden away in some isolated room anyway, so cooling isn't an issue, just crank up a few fans if they need to. Server hardware often makes quite a racket, if you think generic desktop PCs are often loud, you would be in for a surprise. They aren't just loud, when put together, they can be damaging loud, some server rooms require ear plugs to prevent hearing damage. I have no experience with Xserves though.



    Workstations often can be loud though, but in my limited experience, they aren't nearly so bad. My PMG5 dual is the loudest workstation I've ever used and it is still a lot quieter than any server I've seen. Mac Pro is the quietest workstation I've ever used.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by veberfetzel


    - the server can no longer be serviced while in the rack, as the top of the case (lid) must be unscrewed and removed to access any of the internals. This is a glaring oversight, and totally unnecessary. Both the previous Xserves (G5 and G5) had the ability to slide the unit forward while still mounted in the rack and (if preferable) even connected, providing access to the majority of components. The rack mounting gear is poorly conceived and strangely proprietary, with all rack mounting componentry (which will never be visible once installed) strangely done up in black...



    The real issue is uptime. you couldn't really replace any of the comonents on-the-fly anyhow, so servicing the machine always involved a shutdown. The new mechanism of mounting the system via rails is far more elegant. It also makes for a much easier/quicker mass-deployment. You can fill entire racks with rails, and just come slide the guts in. Plus, when those guts are sitting in a pile off to the side, the innards are better protected. I would have liked to have seen a 50/50 splitting top, however, but this is a minor quibble. Sliding the entire machine out is a minor annoyance and doesn't add much time to a repair process that is one of the easiest in the industry.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    I like the little slide out card they added on the back with the servers specs.

    nice touch.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella


    I like the little slide out card they added on the back with the servers specs.

    nice touch.



    Completely agreed. There was no real place on the back of the machine to list hostname/IP information. It is a welcome addition.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol


    Whoddathunk a rack mount server could look sexy.





    It's all in the plastic
  • Reply 19 of 33
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj


    Why is the box so beat up?



    That is nothing...HP servers show up in worse shape than that and we are about 100 miles away from the assembling factory (who so generously offered my $10/Hr to hand build servers...who I told to **** off...)



    Also, the QC on HP servers is lacking...one thing I can say in Apples favor is that it appears that everything is hooked up right -- as screwy as this sounds, we have had servers mis-wired from the factory(why the fuck would you plug 4 SCSI drives directly into the mainboard along with the system drives when there is a hi-end raid controller in the case!!?!?!?!?!)
  • Reply 20 of 33
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella


    I like the little slide out card they added on the back with the servers specs.

    nice touch.



    Standard on the HPs ...at least the ProLiants that I have seen...also they have the same thing in the front with a little space to write the name and function of the server and it has the support number...also the HPs have the S/N engraved and/or on a plaque or sticker on the front and back, making inventory and warrenty calls a snap.
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