Sun Microsystems Sun Fire X4170 review

29 Sep 2009

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

Price when reviewed: 
5,801exc VAT
4

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £5,044

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Overall rating 4
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 3

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 1U desktop/rack chassis

Processor

CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.93GHz
Processors supplied 2
CPU socket count 2

Memory

RAM capacity 144GB
Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 4 x 146GB Seagate Savvio 10K.2 SFF SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 584
RAID module Adaptec PCI-E RAID controller
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, JBOD

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 4
ILO? yes

Motherboard

Conventional PCI slots total 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 1
PCI-E x8 slots total 2
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots total 0

Power supply

Power supply rating 760W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 182W
Peak power consumption 355W

Software

OS family None