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Pros and cons for Windows 2003 server

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Does anyone know a website with a list of pros and cons for windows 2003 server?

or could tell me a list of pros and cons.

Thanks

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Pros and Cons i don't know, but i can tell you that i just finished reading a review in http://www.baboo.com.br/ that effectively compares XP Pro SP1 with Server 2003 Enterprise and Server 2003 wins in all benchmarks. Graphics, memory, HD, etc...

André Casal

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Didn't I hear that Server 2003 is more secure? I might be wrong....

Server 2003 is faster than XP, unless if you install DCPROMO, then it will take forever to load at the startup. And I use 2003 as a backup OS / Workstation, not a server. I use XP as my main OS.

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Yes, Server 2003 has a better kernel and new security features, thus making Server 2003 better than XP in everything. Of course that if we are going to compare them we must do it in raw installations, with no software installed at all, no modifications or regtweaks. Conclusio? Server 2003 is better :)

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Of course that if we are going to compare them we must do it in raw installations, with no software installed at all, no modifications or regtweaks. Conclusio? Server 2003 is better :)

:lol: that's obvious : with no modifications, Server 2003 doesn't uses themes.

Instead of comparing XP/2003 "out of the box", we should copy XP settings on 2003 and 2003 settings on XP... Then differences will be very small.

But that's not important : better kernel or not, 2003 and XP does'nt focuses on the same goals :rolleyes:

Edited by Delprat
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XP is a better OS for me. Doesn't need to much tweaking and can run more applications.

You can use themes in 2003, you need to enable them through the services, its been disabled by default.

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2003 has been better than XP in every aspect ive used it for, both as a server, workstation and desktop.

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2003 has been better than XP in every aspect ive used it for, both as a server, workstation and desktop.

Any problems running games? Direct3d or OpenGL?

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Server 2003 is faster than XP in everything, graphics, memory managment, HD, really everything. It has a better kernel and is made for speed - servers need speed :) Benchmarks don't lie :P

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Server 2003 is faster than XP in everything, graphics, memory managment, HD, really everything. It has a better kernel and is made for speed - servers need speed :) Benchmarks don't lie :P

But don't we slow it down when we follow the guide of converting it to a workstation? It would be interesting to see benchmarks of Server 2003 converted to "XP Like" workstation VS. Server 2003 untouched VS. Xp byitself.

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See things this way, Server 2003 is exacly Windows XP but more updated, more secure and with the workstation features turned off. By turning them on, you have a Windows XP Professional but with all the new and cool features from Server 2003 :)

If you search a bit you'll find that all that's needed to transform Server 2003 into a Workstation is registry tweaks, so we don't actually add software nor install files or anything. Just turn on the workstation features :P

But it would be nice to see a definitive benchmark comparing Server 2003 Workstation to XP.

Edited by andregcasal
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If you search a bit you'll find that all that's needed to transform Server 2003 into a Workstation is registry tweaks, so we don't actually add software nor install files or anything. Just turn on the workstation features :P

What I mean to say is that we slow down the machine by enabling the themes service, audio service, full video acceleration, etc. All those things use up more ram / resources.

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I encountered some problems playing games with 2003. Though i used the latest updates and drivers the problem still persisted. Oh well, 2003 is a server OS, not a gaming OS, so I wouldn't expect it to run games.

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Well... I have to say that I find some answers quite biased (and quite incomplete).

Pros:

Not a whole lot really (as a desktop OS - server wise? XP just doesn't nearly cut it; many small advantages otherwise too, but nothing that'll make a change for most home users - things like licensing for virtual machines; stuff that matters to real IT pros and devs)

Cons:

-Price (I have a hard time believing most people who use 2003 as a desktop OS actually paid for it, it's over 500$ for the cheapest edition! Most people are whining XP is too expensive. Sorry, but you're not fooling anyone...) Unless you're millionaire or not paying for this, this is a crucial point.

-Needs lots of tweaking to be remotely usable as a desktop OS (video acceleration is diabled, audio is disabled, tons of things like that)

-No it's not definitely always 100% guaranteed faster than XP (it's fairly easy to make benchmarks lie - just one single driver's version could suffice; tests are often rigged by eqpt mfgs nowadays). Especially if you use any of the things that make Win2003 worthwhile (like, server components) and that your XP is optimized (classic everything, disable animations, disable unecessary services, etc). No, it's not quite day-and-night, and no, it doesn't warrant a 400$+ price difference for a home user.

-Software compatibility. Lots of software (and I'm not talking about games, I'm sorry, but I can't imagine someone who'd actually pay for it then play games on it) will just NOT install. Sometimes tweaking the installer or using compatibility mode will work (only half the time or so). Often, it just WON'T work no matter what, even if you managed to install it... Server apps and the like are coded for and tested against Win 2000 server and Win2003. Desktop/consumer apps are coded for and tested against Win2000 Pro and XP (it only makes sense)

-More complicated/more options and other things like that (the actual "features" of win 2003) that most non-admin folks will likely not understand very well and perhaps screw something up. (like being qualified to drive a consumer car doesn't make you qualified to drive a freighter)

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Well, you got a point about the price. It's not worth while, so buyers, forget Server 2003. For the rest of you, listen:

Pros:

- Better overall hardware managment than XP

- All the benchmarks and threads i've seen point that Server 2003 is better than XP (everyone has the same opinion, just search), especialy in graphics (can they all be wrong?). Unfortunatly i've just managed to find Brasilian/Portuguese benchmarks, so you have to use an online translator to understand it. Here's one of them: http://www.forumpcs.com.br/viewtopic.php?t=98039

- Obviously it can serve as a Server (sorry about the redundancy :P) much better than XP

- More stable

Cons:

- Price. Server 2003 is expensive.

- Can EASILY be converted to a workstation: http://www.msfn.org/win2k3/ (although easily, doesn't mean isn't bad, so it stays in the Cons section)

First of all, crahak, I see you definetly stay with XP. But that's no reason for trying to bring Server 2003 down. Most of the things you sayed are exagerated. We aren't figthing to the death about which's faster, just discussing, comparing facts. Next time, please present us with normal-emocion writting.

You say it's easy to make benchmarks lie. That may be rigth (really don't know), but why would anyone in it's rigth mind do a thing like that? (Unless they wanna defend XP to the death, of course...) And most important of all, why so many?

About software compatibility, I don't see any reason why Server 2003 would be less software compatible than XP. Many games and software are written for XP, but bear in mind that Server 2003 have everything XP does, it just has some features turned off (and other on) for better working as a Server, thus making some workstation tweaks necessary.

About "More complicated/more options and other things like that". In first place, most people who even knows about Server 2003 knows his way around OS's. But that's not the case. Server 2003 once turned into a workstation it's about the same thing.

So please post facts, not beliefs, so we can consistently measure both performances.

Edited by andregcasal
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First of all, crahak, I see you definetly stay with XP.

Depends... Not really. I use both everyday. Right tool for the right job.

But that's no reason for trying to bring Server 2003 down.

I don't. It's a truly *GREAT* OS for its intended purposes (I'd even go as far as to say the absolute best), just not as a desktop.

Most of the things you sayed are exagerated. We aren't figthing to the death about which's faster, just discussing, comparing facts.

Yes, just discussing. Facts? I'd say there's a lot of opinion and bias in there (haven't seen many cold hard facts in the thread before)... Exageration goes both ways too.

Next time, please present us with normal-emocion writting.

Eh?

You say it's easy to make benchmarks lie. That may be rigth (really don't know), but why would anyone in it's rigth mind do a thing like that?

Tell that to video card manufacturers that optimize their drivers for benchmarks. And to intel to ensure their compilers only make use of advanced features of "GenuineIntel" CPUs, regardless of processor features, and of them "sponsoring" Intel-only optimizations (and limitations - skype anyone?), like we've seen in some benchmark apps that changed their tests, eliminating those that benefitted their competitors and the like... This is everyday reality. Many people have hidden agendas, or will tweak things, or lie using statistics as it does affect their bottom line/profits. This is more or less what marketing is all about... (Not mentionning how much benchmark's methodologies are fundamentally flawed or the like, either)

Unless they wanna defend XP to the death, of course...

If you say so... If anyone seemingly has a bias for an OS here it's you (2003 is better period no matter what, etc) - and consequently go out of his way to find benches that favor his preferences. I never said Win2003 was inferior at all (it isn't) - while used its intended purposes (it's not like you're making use of any of 2003's extra and useful features on the desktop, making it mostly pointless)

And most important of all, why so many?

Think I already answered that one... ($)

About software compatibility, I don't see any reason why Server 2003 would be less software compatible than XP. Many games and software are written for XP, but bear in mind that Server 2003 have everything XP does, it just has some features turned off (and other on) for better working as a Server, thus making some workstation tweaks necessary.

Well, it *IS* less compatible (talking about desktop apps here). No questions asked. And no, they're not that identical, it's just not THAT simple (some stuff like security models differ quite a bit). If you want names of apps that won't work on 2003, I can give you plenty... (AT&T Natural Voices, Avid Xpress, MS' new Vista Upgrade Advisor, etc - dozens and dozens of apps). And the other fact that many dozens more of installers check Windows' version before installing. Sometimes using compatibility mode to "fake" windows' version may work, but more and more you see apps that require XP SP2, and you can't "fake" the SP version (won't install on 2003 SP1, as it'll report as XP SP1 and not SP2). There is just no debate here...

So please post facts, not beliefs, so we can consistently measure both performances.

You'd better tell yourself that...

Better overall hardware managment than XP (and I dare say performance is only a very small part of the pro/con comparison - XP does perform quite decently for a desktop regardless of any benchmarks).

All the benchmarks and threads i've seen point that Server 2003 is better than XP

faster != better

(everyone has the same opinion, just search)

opinion != fact

everyone as in "anybody on a public forum that can be some 12yo kid" or straight facts from authoritative enterprise profesionnals knowledgeable on the subject, from 3rd party unbiased lab tests/benchmarks? Yeah, that's what I tought...

Unfortunatly i've just managed to find Brasilian/Portuguese benchmarks

So "All the benchmarks and threads i've seen " = "only one"? And from a foreign language site (with less exposure)? I wouldn't really base much beliefs on those results alone... (and you make it sound like those things are easy to find - "just search")

so you have to use an online translator to understand it.

Google's language tools or babelfish won't translate it... Quite a pain to go read a bench from a small low-traffic site by unknown people, to read up on poorly-translated text article, only to find out it's likely flawed in many ways (even well known large sites nowadays have biased stuff, i.e. more or less "paid reviews", or "don't review our stuff in a bad way or you won't get preview samples from us ever again and your ads revenue will drop" and the like). I've never seen such things from reputable sites either.

Obviously it can serve as a Server (sorry about the redundancy tongue.gif) much better than XP

That's the ONLY real and big advantage over XP, too bad it's TOTALLY unrelevant to this scenario (we're talking "as a desktop", not "as a server" here). That doesn't make it better as a desktop OS than XP in any way. There is NO logic behind this (or extremely flawed logic). That's like saying [while talking about a freightliner used to go get weekly groceries]: Obviously it can serve as a freightliner (...) much better than a car. Ignoring the high purchase cost, dimensions, gas expenses and everything else.

More stable

XP is quite stable. Unless you've got defective hardware or crappy drivers, it shouldn't almost ever crash. I haven't seen a windows install (without broken hardware or very bad drivers) really give bad problems. Win2003 is definitely more stable in a server environment, being on server-class hardware, running with all the potentially problematic stuff disabled (video acceleration and such), not having tons of crappy desktop shareware apps installed on it. As a desktop OS? Hardly any difference. I doubt you could back up that claim (again, not "in a server scenario" studies - which XP isn't made for either).

Can EASILY be converted to a workstation.

Yes it can be easily done, doesn't mean it isn't tiem consuming or a PITA (for something pointless).

And again, you've pretty much ignored the main point from your first sentence: "It's not worth while, so buyers, forget Server 2003. For the rest of you". As in, for people who don't buy it? Hmm.... Okie.

I've NEVER seen any benchmarks that backed up any of your claims (which I would really call "opinions"). And it doesn't really have anything to offer for normal desktop users for the extra few hundreds of $.

I do use Win2003 (R2). I even have a LEGIT, as in, PURCHASED version of it (imagine that eh). You can't do things like load-testing server middleware on XP as IIS (a server component) is too limited on it (since it isn't a server). Because the apps i develop will run on IIS7 which has a new and different security model (and a bunch of different stuff underlying). Because some server apps won't install on XP. Because with 2003 you're allowed to run 4 instances of it in VMs which is extremely useful for my work. Things like that. NOT because some unknown person [who likely didn't even buy it nor has much insight/knowledge on the subject] said on his foreign language blog that he gets more frames in Counter-Strike on a 2000$ server OS.

As a desktop OS, good ol' 150$ XP is good enough - as in stable and fast enough, and quite afforadable (especially if it comes with a new system). Even XP Home is plenty for most home end-users (they don't typically need IIS or have to join domains or such things).

Flame away...

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Currently I'm using Server 2003 SP1. 2003 is faster than XP in most areas, but I find two problems with it.

1. I/O multi tasking sucks!

i.e. for example if i extract a huge rar file to the hard disk, explorer will go virtually unresponsive. mouse moves, but when i double click on a folder, it wouldn't open until the file operation is over. this is also the case when i'm moving huge files (between partitions/drives)

2. Even with less services running (started) in background in server 2003 Enterprise Edition, compared to default XP SP2 services, server utilizes more RAM.

However, the I/O operations are about 20% faster than XP. I got 4196 PCMark05 HDD score in XP and 4800+ in 2003.

XP is very unbelievably stable with all the updates. 2003's explorer.exe crashes once a week or so, with all the updates.

In games, i didn't see any difference.

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