Where are the dual core Xserves?

Where are the dual core Xserves?

Summary: The announcement of Apple's new dual-core Power Mac G5s last month was a much needed shot-in-the-arm for the company's desktop lineup but the new chips left a gaping hole in the product line.

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TOPICS: Processors
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xserve-xraid-200.jpgThe announcement of Apple's new dual-core Power Mac G5s last month was a much needed shot-in-the-arm for the company's desktop lineup but the new chips left a gaping hole in the product line. The machines that arguably need the increased horsepower that the dual-core chips provide the most—Apple's Xserve—we're passed over for the promotion. There are a couple of theories as to why the Xserve hasn't gone dual-core just yet:

1. Apple is allocating all of the new zippy new dual-core chips for the shiny desktop G5s, because they're in higher demand.

2. PowerMac G5s have a higher profit margin than the Xserve.

3. Apple's server applications, Workgroup Manager, Xserve RAID, Xsan, etc. aren't optimized to take advantage of the dual-core architecture and thus wouldn't benefit from it.

4. Apple is skipping the dual-core chips in favor of jumping straight into Intel chips in their servers.

I suspect that the actual reason for the lack of dual-core Xserves is more because chips are being allocated to the desktop Macs (The Power Mac Quad is still not shipping) than the software reason or that they're going to jump straight to Intel, but who knows.

So will the Xserve ever get a dual-core chip? I suspect that it will after Apple gets enough quantity of the chips to satisfy the demand for new Power Macs. I hope that Apple isn't spending a lot of R&D resources on the Intel Xserve, because while great, they can sell a whole lot more Intel PowerBooks.

Topic: Processors

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4 comments
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  • They need it badly

    XServe badly needs any speed boost it can get. Those things are dog-slow in real-world tests, and get crushed by the alternatives.

    Theck out this eye-opening report:

    http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2520&p=5
    Qbt
  • Um...no.

    The previous response refers to an issue with MySQL specifically.
    OS X has issues with pure throughput, and updating the
    hardware platform isn't going to help that a whole lot. Dual core
    chips in the Xserve would certainly help Apple in the renderfarm
    market, that's for sure.

    As to Jason's article, I'm not sure where he's getting his theories,
    but some of them aren't likely from knowledgable sources.

    -PowerMacs probably are in more demand. I seriously doubt that
    they have a higher profit margin, unless you consider that
    PowerMac buyers also purchase 30" Cinema Displays and
    professional products. For that matter, organizations that
    purchase Xserves also tend to purchase offices or classrooms
    full of iMacs and iBooks. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I
    guess.

    -You said 'Apple's server applications, Workgroup Manager,
    Xserve RAID, Xsan, etc, aren't optimized to take advantage of
    dual-core architecture...", etc. Workgroup Manager is a user and
    file sharing manager that is built into every copy of OS X Server,
    including copies that can be installed on (surprise!) dual-core
    PowerMac systems. Xserve RAID is a storage device, not a server
    application, and Xsan is also a product that can be and is run on
    PowerMac systems. This entire point is ridiculous and
    uninformed.

    Here's probably the biggest point you missed:

    Heat issues are going to be more prevalent in a 1U server than
    in a PowerMac. Apple went from 4 drive bays to 3 in
    transitioning from the Xserve to the Xserve G5 in order to
    provide proper ventilation. Current PowerMac systems require a
    liquid-cooling heatsink to keep the cores within operational
    spec. The G5 puts out a tremendous amount of heat, which is
    one of the reasons that Apple is currently transitioning to Intel in
    the first place.

    I'm very sure that Apple is going to fill its PowerMac needs first,
    because enterprise customers don't shop for the latest and
    greatest while professional artists do. Enterprise customers want
    reliability first (or at least they SHOULD :) While a dual core
    Xserve would provide that much more processing punch, it's
    going to require a great deal more than just a steady supply of
    chips from IBM to roll out a new product revision.

    I generally have a problem with Apple rumor mongering that
    points out when one product gets an update that another hasn't
    gotten that same update. It's the natural way of things in the
    Apple line. The Xserve didn't get a G5 processor until 6 months
    after the PowerMac G5 was released.
    boomeringue
  • Message has been deleted.

    boomeringue
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