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Hardcore Mac Guys

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Toyman, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Toyman

    Toyman

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    Hey Mac guys, I have a question for you.

    I'm a Windows software developer. I'm looking at getting a high end Mac for my next primary machine. (I already have 10 pc's and an intel iMac). I'll be primarily running XP in Parallels as the primary OS. (I'm already using Parallels on my Mac).

    Does anyone know if there are any major drawbacks to getting the xServe has opposed to a MacPro? I'm looking at the xServe because I have a rack system. It will need to run 2 monitors, one being a 30".
     
  2. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    I'm not certain the Xeon based Macs can run Windows in Parallels the same as on the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo based macs.If Xserve includes the OSX server OS it's very expensive and while OSX is great desktop OS it's a terrible server OS.The kernel just isn't meant for it.About the only ones using it are graphics companies with a lot of Macs.I think there is server upgrade for the desktop Macs with OSX but I don't know if standard OSX will run on the Mac servers.Also I've noticed the different Itel Macs have different OSX DVD's for the different hardware.The Intel I Macs are generally running Intel notebook hardware.
     

  3. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    There's only one drawback, but it's a big one - Xserves are truly LOUD - like jet engine loud. Part of the price of cramming that much performance into the 1U form factor is that that there are lots of fans, and they run hard.

    I would not, could not, share office space with an Xserve.

    I've got an Xserve as an office server, and while it's been an oustanding machine, highly versatile, and I LOVE the drive tray setup, the noise is a significant problem - it's the loudest thing in our office, other than the dot-matrix printer, when it's running.

    Finally, the Xserve is LONG - it's a full 30 inches deep, and that's enough bigger than most rack setups that you'll want to measure before buying.

    You're also paying a significant premium for the OSX Server - unlimited users that comes bundled with the Xserve - it's a fine server platform, but unless you're really running it for the server functions, and need unlimited local sharing connections, you're paying a fair bit extra for the heavy-duty server OS, vs. either the 10-User version, or the standard OSX desktop.

    In short, a Mac Pro is a better choice, unless you really need OSX server, in which case you should get a Mac Pro + a copy of OSX Server, or you truly need the 1U form factor, AND are installing it far away from anyone, in a noise-controlled enclosure. Xserve is a fine server, but it is NOT a server that you'd choose as a desktop replacement.

    Interestingly, Windows runs better in Parallels than it does on Dell hardware for me.... even on my little MacBook, I'm about 15 seconds from launching Parallels to having Windows up on my desktop. Coherence mode is too cool to be believed, and it's fast fast fast. I can only imagine how nice it would be on a quad- or (available as of next week?) eight-core Mac Pro.
     
  4. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    Sorry, I just don't understand this comment. The kernel is based on the Mach 3 kernel, which is a fundamental component of *nix servers worldwide.

    Mac OSX Server has some imperfections (like every OS), but I just don't think that 'the Unix kernel isn't meant for server applications' can reasonably be considered one of them.

    Do you have a source or a write-up somewhere that points to the deficiencies in the OSX kernel for server applications? If so, I'd be very eager to read it.



    On other items:

    Parallels runs fine on Xeon as of the last update.
    http://www.parallels.com/en/products/desktop/sr/

    You can run an Xserve on the OS X Client, though you can't buy an Xserve without the OSX Server.

    And finally, if you buy a Mac Pro and want to add OS X Server, I highly recommend the 10-Client version ($499) - the only limitation is that it will only accept a maximum of 10 simultaneous file sharing (AFP and SMB) logins.

    There are no limits on accounts, e-mail, FTP or web logins, etc. So unless you've got a need for more than 10 simultaneous local logins, there's no reason to pay the extra $500 for the unlimited-user versions.
     
  5. BilltheCat

    BilltheCat Quieter Cat Millennium Member

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    Dean,

    Why do you need parallels anyway? What Win apps do you need that are not available in Mac?
     
  6. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    The one I personally need is a travel-agency-specific application that's a mix of ActiveX and Java that runs on top of Internet explorer 6 for Windows. It talks to the great travel computers in the sky, and it's Windows-only.

    In addition to being the owner of a travel agency, I'm also the tech support guy, and having a copy of Windows right to hand to walk people through a problem is also helpful - I can't always remember exactly what menu certain controls are located on without looking at it. That's just a bonus of having it available - not worth installing it for by itself.

    In any case, the major difficulty of being a Mac user for many years has been that there are a goodly number of Windows-only applications, especially for corporate usage, or industry-specific, or that are just very cool, and Mac users have either had to forgo these, or switch entirely to Windows. Parallels is a truly awesome tool - for $80, I can set up a Windows program to simply launch in its own window on my Mac desktop, and it will open and save files to my normal Documents folder, so it can see and share everything on my Mac. Effectively, the primary reason for not using a Mac is gone, and I only have to use Windows when I absolutely HAVE to use Windows, instead of the former situation, where in many cases you had to use Windows 100% of the time, because you needed a Windows-specific application once a week.

    I'm not prone to gush, but the folks at Parallels should have their hoo-hoo's dipped in gold, and brought the finest muffins and bagels in the land.