Server vs. Desktop

By PaulHefron ·
I was told recently that the two biggest differences between a "server" and a "desktop" are that servers are rated to run 60,000+ consecutive hours, desktops 10,000, and that server architecture is designed for Server OS, desktops for Win XP, Vista, 7, etc. Are these tidbits true?

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I would say

by jfuller05 In reply to Server vs. Desktop

it's true to a degree. Server systems,the build of a server computer (not the OS) is made for high-end work; so yes they do last longer. You can run Win XP or desktop OSs on servers, but you won't be able to manage your network with that OS. The Windows ServerXXXX series, Novell Netware, Linux Server, etc. are all made to use a server for it's full potential in managing networks.
On the other hand, you can run server OSs on lower-end computers too. In college,for our lab assignments, we installed Server 2003 on regular desktop machines. The managing of a network is in the Server OS, but the build of a server computer probably does last longer than a normal home/business tower computer.

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servers usually have redundancies

by Slayer_ In reply to I would say

Most desktops don't have RAID arrays, multiple power supplies high temperature RAM.

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by jfuller05 In reply to servers usually have redu ...

I've seen one desktop/tower have mirroring RAID, but RAID5 would be in a server.

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by NexS In reply to True

A friend of mine set up a striping raid on his home PC... but got sick of it haha

but in relation to the original post, there are alot of things that differ between a server and a workstation computer. I mean sure, you could use a workstation running WINXP as a server, but by no means would it satisfy the job title for domain controlling for a network of 100+ PCs and multiple switches and routers to WANs etc.

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Depends on who builds the individual units here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Server vs. Desktop

If you are asking about System Makers Prebuilt Systems then that is more or less right the System Makers charge a Premium Price for the Server Hardware because it is better than a Desktop.

But if this is a Custom Build then you can use decent M'Boards, RAM and so on and it could suit either a Workstation or Server depending on how it is configured.

My current preferred M'Boards support RAID 5 and below can carry more RAM that most Windows System can use and just plain and simple last longer and better than many workstations around.

In the past I have used M'Boards rated as Server Boards for Workstations without a issue and up until very recently I was running a Dual Processor 450 P3 as my workstation which was faster than most of the Late P4 and early Duo Cores all with 1 GIG of RAM.

A very nice system and I was gutted when the M'Board finally died.

I'm now using a i7 CPU on a Gigabyte M'Board with 16 GIG of RAM and while it is faster it's just not quite as good as that old P3 unit. Though I can run a 64 Bit OS on it and not have a care in the world.

As for the OS's that you load onto these Different M'Boards not much difference in the way that they work this is all down to the Chip Set that the M'Board is made with and how well it works. Though the cheap M'Boards Chip Sets are no where near as good as the High End M'Boards so if you are using decent hardware to begin with there is very little difference between the two.

However if you are sticking tot he Low End Cheap stuff you'll see a massive difference. I was looking at a new HP Server that a Doctors Surgery has just installed and compared to a decent system it's a complete joke. Of course the HP Crap on it doesn't help but the real Killer is that all their support comes from India and that is the biggest problem with it.

Naturally it hasn't worked right since it was installed so I not only question the hardware itself but those who are responsible for installing it.


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by jfuller05 In reply to Depends on who builds the ...

I really don't care for HP either as far as computers go. Plus, the help & support is in India. No offense to India, I just can't understand them that well.

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More specifics

by PaulHefron In reply to Depends on who builds the ...

To clarify a little: I own a POS company that resells an SQL based software application, and the hardware that goes with it. I have used RAID extensively in the past, but never felt truly comfortable with it, as I saw a 50% failure rate when the primary drive failed. My strategy is do do mandatory, daily offsite backups, and deploy from there when needed. The terminals will run in stand alone mode should the server fail. I also want to make sure all equipment is standardized, so that service doesn't become a nightmare. I don't cheap out on machines, just need to know what the best overall solution for my customers is.
Thanks to everyone for their help and replies!

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Well I like to build my own

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to More specifics

With Gigabyte M'Boards, Intel CPU's because business here demands these, Corsair RAM, Antec Power Supplies/Cases, and Seagate HDD's.

Most of the issues that I have run into are software conflicts where new software is installed after the machine is delivered. I still have systems built on this Base that are running untouched after 6 years. Not good for Service Work years latter but it certainly saves a lot of messing around trying to fix broken things.


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like trucks vs cars

by Realvdude In reply to Server vs. Desktop

Both will get you where you want to go, but depending on your needs, one is better suited than the other. Think of hauling cargo in a car or the comfort of ride from a pickup on a vacation. With computers, your probably not going to need multi-channel sound or high end graphics on your server, nor are you going to need RAID-5 on your desktop. If this is not true, then you probably need a workstation class computer.

Also remember that there is a range of computers in both these classes, from budget to high end. It's likely the budget end of servers will compare to high end desktops.

I'm currently running a budget Dell as a Windows server and a budget Dell desktop as a web server from the same era, and the desktop gives me much less trouble. The server has had a new power supply and memory (started getting uncorrectable ECC errors what became a weekly issue). Both of these computers are 5+ years old. My point is experience may vary from ratings. Buy what you need, rather than worry about the ratings; and buy quality rather than worrying about the class of the computer.

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by PaulHefron In reply to like trucks vs cars

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