Apple Brings Nehalem Xeon CPU, SSD To New Xserve

Apple's newest Mac Pro was the first machine on the planet to ship with Intel's Nehalem-based Xeon 5500 and 3500 Series processors, and now those very chips have made their way over to the company's line of rack-mount servers. The long standing Xserve line has been updated today with "twice the performance" of prior models, bringing with them Intel's most powerful Xeon CPUs yet.

The 1U server is available with up to two 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon processors, and potentially more interesting is the availability of SSD drives for the first time ever in the Xserve line. In fact, even the new Mac Pro can't be ordered with an SSD within. Apple allows prospective buyers to select up to 3TB of internal storage, a 128GB primary SSD, between 3GB and 24GB of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, up to two Dual-channel Gigabit Ethernet / 4Gb Fibre Channel cards, single or dual 750-watt power supplies and Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard (unlimited client license).

Furthermore, Apple promises that by using high-efficiency power supplies and intelligent thermal management, the new Xserve delivers a 19 percent reduction in idle power use. For those paranoid about data security, there's also a bundled 72-hour backup battery. The base configuration ($2,999) is listed below along with a rundown of the mighty expensive build-to-order options.

The Xserve standard configuration, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:

  • a single 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Xeon 5500 series processor with 8MB of fully shared L3 cache;
  • 3GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC RAM;
  • a single 160GB 7200 rpm SATA Apple Drive Module;
  • dual Gigabit Ethernet on-board;
  • two PCI Express 2.0 x16 expansion slots;
  • Bonjour®-enabled Lights-Out Management processor and Server Monitor Software;
  • internal graphics with Mini DisplayPort output;
  • two FireWire® 800 and three USB 2.0 ports; and
  • an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 Leopard.

Build-to-order options and accessories for Xserve include: dual 2.26 GHz, 2.66 GHz or 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon processors; 160GB and 1TB 7200 rpm SATA Apple Drive Modules; 450GB 15,000 rpm SAS drives (third party option); internal Xserve RAID card; Gigabit Ethernet, 4Gb Fibre Channel cards and a 750W redundant power supply.