Apple’s first servers would use Intel’s Nehalem-series Xeon processors. What data centers can get now are Xserve models based on the new 2.26 GHz Intel Xeon E5520. But the performance and power-saving tests Apple cites are focused on the 2.93 GHz X5570. A basic, 1P E5520-based system starts at about $3,000. Granted, Xserve comes with unlimited client access licenses for Mac OS X, but since you need Macs to run them on, that “un-limitation” may be almost comical. Still, when we matched configurations as closely as possible between a new Xserve and a Xeon E5520-based Dell PowerEdge R710 (with 3-year licenses for Red Hat Enterprise Linux), the Dell price tag came up to $5,781, while the Apple stayed down there at $3,149. Take out the Linux licenses, and the Dell server still commands a $4,682 price tag.