Home Forums AFP548 Community Open Mike How loud is the XServe really?

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    I have all of my lab computers are in the basement racked and I’ve been using a PowerMac G4/Tiger Server as the hub of my home network. I’d like to expand my PowerMac’s storage. The machine has been working well but I’ve noticed the prices on used XServe’s have dropped to an amount I’m more comfortable with. I already have quite a bit of server grade hardware I use for playing around with, like a Compaq DL320, some DL380’s and a few 1850r’s or at work I’ve had exposure to some Dell PE 2300, 2650 and 1850 to name a few. They are definately not boxes you want in the same room with you for any extended amount to time. Can anyone compare it to something like that. I’m thinking it would be find in the basement but I’m concerned it might be too loud. When the house is dead silent in the middle of the night. A lot of the comments I’ve read by people feel like they are one’s who never had any exposure to the noise of a normal server grade machine.

    thanks in advance,


    Remembre the Quadra 950 ? It’s even worst than that.

    When the fans runs full speed, it’s really noisy. It’s like a 747…

    You definitely don’t want it in the same room as you.


    No my mac roots don’t go back quite that far. I started right at the PowerPC phase. The x100 family. I’ve heard it being comparable to say a PowerMac MDD when the fans go on high. Which if that is really close then I have a good idea what I’m getting into. I’ve also read posts stating it’s so loud that you can’t even talk to someone standing next to you to you need earplugs and I’ve seen other state it’s loud but comparied to other rack servers it’s only slight higher than what would be par for the course. So I don’t know what to believe since I’ve never worked with on. Thanks for the input.



    I’ve recently aquired one of the original XServe G4’s and figured I’d respond to my own question in case anyone else might be curious how loud they are. If you are not used to working in a datacenter with server grade hardware then they would definitely seem ridiculously loud. Compared to other servers I would say it’s a bit louder but it’s a different noise. When powering up a Hewlett-Compaqard DL320 G2 the fans go full speed. There are many little fans and they make a bit of a high pitched whine when they are on. The XServe doesn’t have the high pitched whine about it more of the sound of moving a large volume of air. The fans,er blowers, never spin up or down in any noticeable amount so it just appears constant. I’ve heard that the subsequent generations have the abillity to spin the blowers down to reasonable speeds if the machine is idle.

    On a side note it’s super quick compared to the first gen PowerMac G4 it’s replacing.


    I have recently purchased a dual G5 Xserve and placed it in my laundry room. I find the sounds of the fans not at all intrusive even though you can hear it around the house.


    I’m sure the XServe G5 is not too bad.

    I eventually sold my original XServe and side-graded to a 2nd gen XServe Dual 1.33GHz (which I’m still using). There was a night and day difference between the two. The main difference was the 2nd gen machine had the ability to control the speed of the blowers (which I’m sure the G5 and Intel’s continue to do). The first gen’s blowers go full speed all the time making it so loud.


    Noise level depends on fans speed. That depends of the server’s temperature. If it is in a cool room (around 20 C) and it’s not under constant heavy load, the main fans should go around 5000-6000 rpm.

    Hold yourself when fans go near 16000 RPM! That’s very noisy.



    Robintosh, this thread is from 2007

    However my 2cents:
    xserve Serverblases are meant to be placed in a Serverroom.
    Noone would be seriously OK with sitting close to those things.

    Hey, i switched from a G4 Powermac to a MacMini and this silence in my Office is…


    Man I didn’t realize this thread is that old already.

    I’ll add an anecdote about XServe fan speeds.

    The first gen XServe G4 (Tray load) blowers ran full tilt at just under 5000RPMS which is the max that shows up the Server Monitor gauge. Like I had mentioned there was no speed up slow down. It was one constant speed. The second gen XServe G4 (Slot load) blowers are controlled by variable speed controllers. Looking at Server Monitor right now the CPU fan is running is 3648rpms while the PCI blower is running at 1687rpms. I recently got a G5 (2005) model I haven’t done a comparison on the speeds yet but it’s not any louder than the Slot Load G4.

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