Hardware Requirements for Running Lion Server - dummies

Hardware Requirements for Running Lion Server

By John Rizzo

When writing the specifications for your Lion Server hardware, start with minimum requirements and then add on based on the number of users, type of use, and other specifications specific to your implementation. Here are the minimum requirements for running Lion Server:

  • Computer: A Mac. Although you can hack non-Apple hardware to run the Mac OS X operating system, it violates the user license agreement.

  • Processor: A 64-bit Intel processor. The oldest 64-bit processor found in Macs that support Lion is a Core 2 Duo. Lion won’t run on Macs with an Intel Core Sole or a Core Duo, which was the first generations of Intel processors that Apple used. (Older PowerPC Macs are also not supported.)

  • RAM: 2GB RAM base. If you’re running Podcast Producer, you need an additional 512MB of RAM for each processor core. For example, if your Mac has two dual-core processors, you need 3GB minimum.

  • Hard drive space: 8GB of free hard drive space.

The processor is, for the most part, determined by the Mac model you use. Macs with a dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo are slower than Macs with a dual-core Intel Core i3. Quad-core processors, such as the Intel Core i7, are faster yet.

The Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors offered in the Mac Pro are faster than the Core i7. (Core i5s come in dual-core and quad-core models.) The Mac Pro has the option for a six-core processor. (Logic and Latin would dictate that this is a “sex-core,” but the tech industry is wise enough to stay away from that one.)

The gigahertz (GHz) rating is less important than processor model and number of cores. It has meaning only when you compare two processors of the same model and same number of cores. So a 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3 is faster than a 3.06 GHz Intel Core i3.

As a general rule, use more RAM in a computer than the minimum amount of RAM required by the operating system. Some Macs can hold several dozen gigabytes of memory, which is more than most people need.

For hard drive storage, you need as big a drive, or drives, as you have data to store. Hard drive storage is relatively inexpensive.