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Sun Microsystems Sun Fire X4170 review


A rack server for the most demanding applications, the Sun Fire X4170 delivers a cracking specification

Review Date: 29 Sep 2009

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £5,044 (£5,801 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

5 stars out of 6

Sun Microsystems is now part of Oracle's empire, but it hasn't stopped its server division from delivering new products. We were impressed with the AMD-based Sun Fire X4140, and in this exclusive review we look at its latest X4170 1U rack, which comes equipped with a mighty specification.

The X4170 claims to deliver the same processing punch as competing 4U solutions, and to prove the point Sun equipped the review system with a pair of 2.93GHz Xeon X5570 processors. In Intel's 5500 series these are right at the top, only beaten on speed by the 3.2GHz W5580 variant.

The X5570 has a much lower TDP of 95W, but also supports Hyper-Threading and Turbo-Boost - technologies we looked at in our exclusive coverage of the 5500 Xeons. The processors also support memory speeds up to 1,333MHz and have the highest speed QPI of 6.4GT/sec.
Sun Microsystems Sun Fire X4170 internal
The X4170 is well endowed in the storage department, supporting up to eight 2.5in SFF hard disks. Sun offers SAS and SATA variants and, if you can afford them, SSDs. The hot-swap bays are arranged neatly across the front panel and leave enough room for a SATA DVD drive, a pair of USB ports and plenty of operational status indicators.

This storage potential puts the X4170 on a par with HP's ProLiant DL360 G6, but is better than the A-Listed Dell PowerEdge R610, which has room for six. Naturally, RAID is on the menu with a controller mounted in one of three PCI Express slots.

The card is based on Adaptec's RAID 5805 adapter, which has its pair of four-channel internal SAS/SATA ports both wired to the drive backplane. It offers top performance with a 1.2GHz dual-core ROC (RAID on Chip), supported by 256MB of DDR2 cache memory. Plenty of array options are on offer, including RAID6 and 60, and you also get the battery backup pack included.

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User comments


The first paragraph change AMD-based to Intel-based.

By carlos on 30 Sep 2009

Intel base Server

Please note this is an Intel based server not AMD. Please change this in the article.

By sarag on 30 Sep 2009

SUN's ILOM is for Free

If you compare the standard ILOM of the DELL and SUN rackservers then the SUN has better offerings. Most ILOM's don't offer viewing the whole bootproces over ILOM, nor do they offer GUI transfers.

By Sun_doe on 19 Oct 2009

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