Dell PowerEdge R620 review
Dell's latest is the classiest 1U rack server on the planet - and it's top value too
Review Date: 6 Mar 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £5,852 (£7,022 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
When Dell launched its PowerEdge R610, we rated it as the best-designed 1U rack server. In this exclusive review, we look at the 12th-generation PowerEdge R620, which crams even more processing power and features into the smallest of rack spaces.
The R620 is aimed firmly at virtualisation, but also has a sharp focus on HPC and workgroup applications. Along with support for the entire Xeon E5-2600 family of CPUs, it offers a high memory capacity, making it well suited to any of these tasks.
Virtualisation gets another boost with Dell’s optional dual SD memory card controller. It’s been redesigned, and fits into a slot at the back, where it keeps an onboard copy of the primary boot media in case of failure.
The base system supports four, six or eight hot-swap SFF hard disks and there’s a choice of SAS 2, SATA III, nearline SAS and SSDs. The ten-bay model has a deeper chassis of 756mm, and uses a small LED diagnostics panel on one side to make room for two extra bays. A third chassis offers four SSF drive bays and two hotplug PCI Express Flash SSDs. These are available in 175GB and 350GB capacities, and use a full-length PCI Express bridge card for connection to the server.
The RAID options start with an embedded PERC S110 controller. This low-cost option supports software-managed stripes, mirrors and RAID5 arrays in Windows for up to four SATA II drives. The review system came with the new PERC H710P Mini card. This snaps into a dedicated slot, has 512MB of cache and an integral battery backup pack, and supports up to RAID6 for 6Gbits/sec SAS and SATA drives.
Removing the lid reveals a cunning design, with not one iota of space wasted. The drive backplane is cabled directly to an eight-port SAS connector, tucked in next to the H710P RAID card. The processor sockets are fitted with small heatsinks, allowing Dell to include a total of 24 DIMM slots. Cooling is handled by a bank of seven compact hot-swap fan modules. Despite the packed interior, we found the server quiet.
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