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sever or destop

Posted on 2004-04-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
What is the main differrence between destop computer and sever , can i use nor mal destop computer as a sever to run
accounting soft ware that use for 5 clients
Question by:teera
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Assisted Solution

weguardyou earned 200 total points
ID: 10792041
The main difference between a typical server and a desktop is that usually a server does not have the typical components a desktop would. It may vary, but a true server might not have an AGP slot, onboard audio, or other non-essential components. Other servers, called rack servers, have a case that is flat and long and meant to be stored on a rack.

Some servers, such as Dells 400sc is basically a full computer but rebranded a 'server' even though it has AGP, Audio, etc all built-in.

You can use almost any machine you want as a 'server' and have clients attach to it. As long as it is networkable, you should be fine.

Good luck,
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 10792048

What is the Operating system you have got on that desktop ?

depending on the OS installed and the configuration of the machine , you should be able to connect many clients to that server and server them all ..


Assisted Solution

Alexngo earned 400 total points
ID: 10792473
Hi teera,

The difference between a desktop computer and a server in layman terms are:-

A desktop computer is a normal computer we are normally using eg. P3, 800Mhz, 128Mb RAM

A server is a computer that is more powerful in term of
- speed (Higher RAM speed than normal computer eg. 1Ghz)
- storage (Higher HardDisk Storage eg. 100Ghz)
- performance (Using SCSI technology instead of IDE)
- security (OS Administrative functions eg. Any Server OS)

Well, you can use a normal computer to act as a server to run
accounting software for 5 clients but do remember that since the 5 clients are using the resources on the server pc, the server pc must be able to cater the clients in term of speed, storage and performance. Well, you wouldn't want the clients to access a pc which had only 128/256Mb RAM as it would slow down the performance.

Best Regards


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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

kiranghag earned 600 total points
ID: 10795543
well i found following diffs in desktop and server in addition/accordance to Alexngo's comments

1. multiple cpus (SMP) - this allows the operating system to distribute work load effectively rather than queuing up onto single cpu, as in desktop. multiple operations can take place actually (multithreading on single cpu is a virtual thing). thus giving speed benefit

2. large cache on cpu - this allows the cpus to cache the data locally and thus keep system buses free for other usage

3. error correcting ram (ECC) - this allows the short errors to be automatically corrected, desktop cpus hardly utilise this for cost factors.

4. faster bus speeds - allowing the data transfer within subsystems to take place more faster.

5. faster expansion bus (PCI66) - desktop systems utilise the 33 mhz version of the pci system. servers have 66 mhz pci bus.

6. more io channels - servers normally have more than one pci controllers. thus they have more than 6 io slots...

7. integrated motherboard and io system. - servers have tighlty integrated cpu/ram/io and motherboard systems. custom software components can be used to tightly monitor the system status for healthy configuration. many even provide physical lights to indicate system health. parameters like temerature of cpu, various parts of cabinet, system fans (most of these are temerature controlled tooo) and so

8. watchdogs.. many servers contain some watcdog timers to continuisly monitor above system parameters as well as OS state to detect hung OS and take necessary action

9. hot-swapable hard disks and io slots - you can safely remove and/or add disks/expansion cards (with due care in software) while the machine is on thus need to disturb the normal operation.

10. remote management - some systems contain extra boards which allow you to take control of the machine remotely right from the bootup screen. this makes easy if the system is non-operation (should power on at minimum) and you are not near to it.

11. warenty - servers are offered much better service since they are expensive and used in corporate environments..

the list can be extended....

but in short, servers have their various subsystems configured at optimum levels.
which one to choose depends upon your needs and budget..

Assisted Solution

blacksteel earned 200 total points
ID: 10797018
I just have to make this simple for you to understand. Any desktop PC can be a server, it depends on the type of applications, CPU load, and how often it's used. The higher end servers have all the extra hardware, software, and higher hardware specs than most desktops. You might be surprised that some of the large server hosting companies just take normal single or dual CPU desktops and use them as servers if they have the extra space. The reason why they do this is because of cost and easier to replace bad parts that are more common. The more serious servers are rackmount or blade servers that use special hardware that are costly to replace. You can kind of see why it's just easier to use desktops because of cost.

  I can talk all day about the server hardware and software, but basically a server is any computer that shares resources. I could take a 486 with 8MB of memory and use that as a server if I want. It just depends on exactly what your going to do with the server. I hosted CounterStrike server from my home with a 450Mhz CPU and it worked fairly well. I was just limited by bandwidth.


Assisted Solution

CraDanKaSoft earned 200 total points
ID: 10800072
I agree with blacksteel, however I would like to add something.

With your accounting software, if all you need is to run software from it, you can use a Peer to Peer network which you could designate one Desktop PC to act as almost a FileServer (FileServer is just as it states).

Really, it is not necessary to have a server, unless you have tons of computers (and I mean more than 20+)

Servers are basically a computer that doesn't get used. So, they usually have lots of HDD's or CD's and fast processors and lots of network ports. (Some these days are controlled remotely because they have no Monitor!!!)

A Desktop certainly would function perfectly as a server (and not to mension cheaper!).

Hope this helps.

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