Apple Releases Xserve G5

Apple Computer on Tuesday said that was shipping its first Xserve G5 server. A dual-processor version will ship in April.

Apple Computer said Tuesday that it had begun shipping its Xserve G5 server, after almost a months delay. A dual-processor version will ship in April.

The updated Xserve will be offered in three base configurations, including single- and dual-processor models as well as one optimized for clustered computing. Available now is a $2,999 single-processor version, offering a 2GHz PowerPC G5 processor with 512MB of PC3200 ECC RAM and an unlimited client license of Mac OS X Server.

In April, Apple will ship an Xserve G5 with dual 2GHz processors, 1GB of RAM and an unlimited Mac OS Server client license for $3,999. A cluster-optimized dual-processor machine with 512MB of memory and a 10-client license of Mac OS X Server will start at $2,999, with $2,999 per cluster node, the company said.

All of the Xserves ship with a single 80GB hard drive module, and ports for Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections.

The Xserve was originally scheduled to ship in February, but was delayed for undisclosed reasons. Now, the 2GHz PowerPC-based machines are available from its authorized resellers and from its online store, Apple said.

Meanwhile, Apple also said that the company had released its Apple Workgroup Cluster for Bioinformatics, a portable, turnkey cluster designed specifically for the biosciences community. The system can support up to 32 processors and starts at $27,999.

The company said Princeton University chose a 64-node cluster for its Center for the Study of the Brain, Mind, and Behavior, and the company has targeted the package at universities and research institutions.

Apple has scored several successes in its early moves into clustered computing space, notably with the 1,100-node cluster Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universitys Terascale Computing Facility. Initially constucted with Apples Power Macintosh G5 desktop machines, the group recently said it would move the cluster to Xserve G5 machines. The cluster was ranked as the worlds third fastest supercomputer at the fall Super Computer Conference in Phoenix.

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