Apple Refreshes Xserve With Nehalem - InformationWeek

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Apple Refreshes Xserve With Nehalem

The baseline model is a single-processor unit available with only a 2.26-GHz Intel Xeon series E5520.

Apple on Tuesday refreshed its Xserve rack-mount server with Intel's latest Nehalem processors, which the company says boosts the computer's performance over the previous model by up to 89% per watt.

The latest version of the 1U server also has a new system architecture. Besides the power improvement, the new Xserve consumes 19% less power during idle time, according to Apple.

The system is available with up to two quad-core Xeon 5500 series processors. The baseline model is a single-processor unit available with only a 2.26-GHz Xeon E5520. The dual-processor model has the option of upgrading the processor up to the 2.93-GHz X5570 chip. Pricing starts at $2,999 for the least powerful model and $3,599 for the dual-processor system.

Intel introduced 17 Nehalem-based processors last week. Officially called the Xeon 3500 and 5500 series, the chips are based on Intel's next-generation microarchitecture that introduces the chipmaker's first integrated memory controller on the same piece of silicon as the processor, thereby eliminating the front-side bus that analysts said was a bottleneck in Intel's previous server platform. Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices has used an integrated memory controller in its Opteron processors since 2003.

Apple's new Xserve has three 3.5-inch drive bays that support 7,200-rpm SATA or 15,000-rpm SAS drives. The system can be configured with up to 3 TB of internal storage. Apple offers a 128-GB solid-state drive as an option.

Other features include two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots for high-bandwidth expansion cards. The system also comes with a RAID card option that supports RAID levels 0, 1, and 5 with 512 MB of cache. The option saves having to use a PCI-E expansion slot.

The latest Xserve supports up to 12 GB of 1,066-MHz DDR3 system memory on the single-processor unit and 24 GB in the beefier model. The system comes with an unlimited client license for Leopard Server, which supports Mac OS X, Linux and Windows clients.


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