"As good as Mac OS X is for desktops and laptops, one wonders if
the FreeBSD inside is not too restricted by the Apple jacket around
it to also make for an efficient, secure and fast server OS. Apple
is now busy convincing the world that Apples make also for
excellent server appliances in the handy U1 format, thanks to OS X.
That new product is called Apple Xserve. Many potential buyers are,
however, asking themselves if OS X--given its recent
introduction--is ready today to handle their critical apps.
"That's why I decided to take one of these sleek Xserve boxes
and test run it both under OS X and under Linux. I was loaned an
Xserve for a week by a geek friend of mine over at a very large
ISP. That machine came with Dual 1Ghz PowerPC G4 and 1 GB of Ram. I
installed OS X from scratch on it using the CDs that come along
with the product. The resulting OS after the install has version
10.1.5. The included AGP 4X card with 64 MB of dedicated graphics
RAM is a screamer. The dual CPUs in the system push out an
impressive 15Gflops floating point power. Alas, apart from High
Performance Clustering applications, relatively few people are
going to take full advantage of it. The integer and memory
bandwidth performance, however, is at least up to par with the
latest IA32-based U1 servers out there. Obviously, I was not going
to make use of the graphics card. I didn't bother trying to
configure it under Linux because, after all, I tested this machine
for server performance..."