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Mac Pro and XPEnology


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Hello there from Finland,


I'm re-purposing an old Mac Pro to a lab server at home and just installed Linux Mint on it (thanks Apple for dropping the support for still quite capable HW). I have some appliances at home that I will be logging via Windows VMs + I could really use some some NAS capability as well. I've had couple of QNAPs in the past, but getting some decent level HW on those would be way over my budget so I'm having quite a big interest to install XPEnology in a VM and enjoy some NAS love.


Hope you all are doing good with your projects! Thanks for the great resource and sharing your experiences.



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That is very much true - if you compare Mac Pro vs. ARM based NAS. However, it's a bit more complicated case: NAS is only one service I'm looging to get out from that rig. It's also a host for VMs + I'm using it a a desktop as well in the lab. Ryzen based NAS would be nice, but those are € 2k+ in Finland.


From environmental perspective it's complicated as well:


- Re-purposing old HW means there's less new HW that needs to be produced --> consumes less resources.

- What comes to the heat: since we live up in North we need heating even the insulation on the house is in a high level (relatively new house an in Finland we have quite high requirements what comes to the energy efficiency). I have a heatpump in the house which takes care of the heating and warm water supply + heat recollection system in the ventilation unit that improves the efficency. All the electricity I buy is carbon neutral --> overall in my case I would say this is not that bad for the environment. Producing all the heat with the heatpump would be most efficient of course, but it's getting a bit academic. 


In general I agree with you - if I wouldn't have the old Mac Pro I would definitely consider other CPUs than dual CloverTown Xeons.

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Oh, I agree with your arrangement after reading the conditions.

However, just in my own opinion, it is also not appropriate to use Ryzen to build servers. A Xeon E3 or E5 from the obsolete servers in data centers will be just enough. These CPUS are generally not outdated nevertheless. (Since data centers often update their HW in 3 or 4 years. They are also in good conditions since CPUS hardly damage. The price of them is also very nice because of the huge number of them.

For instance, I just searched in a online shopping website. There sellers sell E5 2680v2 (10C20T TDP 125W)for roughly $150 and sell E3 1275L v3 (TDP 45W 4C8T) for $100. (It's another form of recycle, it isn't?😜)Brandnew motherboards from reputable manufacturers are not much higher, too.

I'm considering about build another NAS with them, after passing the National College Entrance Exam in June this year.

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On 15.2.2018 at 2:33 PM, kychn said:

However, just in my own opinion, it is also not appropriate to use Ryzen to build servers. A Xeon E3 or E5 from the obsolete servers in data centers will be just enough.


Ryzen was brought up in a context of a "big brand" ready made NAS box e.g. QNAP TS-x77 series. Although I could consider Ryzen in a jack-of-all-trades box (like I need in my lab). Old Xeons seems to have some disadvantages (limited amount of compatible mobos, heatsinks etc.). I'm curious to see how those dual-Xeons my Mac Pro has performs. Maybe the box after that one will be rocking E5 Xeons as well. :-)

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On 17.2.2018 at 10:52 AM, IG-88 said:

i remember one case about trying it on a mac pro but it was not discussed / tried to the end

in theory the hardware should work, main problem seemed to boot from usb


Mac Pro has defenitely some issues what comes to support booting into a different OS Apple has wanted. I had a hack on it that made installing newer OS X versions possible. However, I wasn't satisfied how it performed (time to time it wasn't that smooth as I expected). However, now that I got rid of OS X and boot directly to Linux on a SSD it's silky smooth. Running XPEnology in a VM (4 cores and 4GB RAM) + Win 10 x64 (3 cores and 4GB RAM) on the same time is very smooth.


I understand though, that your comment is related to boot directly to XPEnology --> haven't tried that out. My usecase is such that that kind of setup wouldn't make sense for me. I would guess the main components have been built in the Hackintosh community already, but it would require somebody with required skills to parse them in the XPEnology package.


Now I'm trying to figure out how I could give XPEnology a full access to 3x1,5TB HDDs I have in those internal SATA ports. Haven't cracked that yet even I have searched this forum. If anybody have good pointers I would appreciate those.

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