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Broadberry CyberServe XE5-R1304 review

Verdict

Broadberry delivers an all-Intel Xeon E5 rack package with plenty of storage options, low power consumption and at top value, too

Review Date: 12 Apr 2012

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £3,160 (£3,792 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

It’s been a long time coming, but Intel’s Xeon E5 series looks to have been worth the wait, with Intel announcing a huge range of new server platforms and motherboards to partner the CPUs. The family offers an extensive choice of rack and pedestal systems, and will give the likes of Supermicro sleepless nights.

In this exclusive review, we look at Broadberry’s CyberServe XE5-R1304, which showcases Intel’s new Server System R1000GZ platform. Codenamed Buffalo Peak, this 1U rack server is one of Intel’s premium platforms, and is equipped with Intel’s “Grizzly Pass” S2600GZ motherboard, supporting up to 768GB of DDR3 memory.

The server was supplied with a pair of 2.2GHz Xeon E5-2660 processors, which offer eight physical cores each and have a large 20MB L3 cache. Any of Intel’s E5-2600 family can be used, apart from one model: the board supports a maximum 135W TDP, so you can’t use the high-end 3.1GHz Xeon E5-2687W, which has a 150W TDP.

Broadberry CyberServe XE5-R1304

The memory slots sit in a line across the board with the processor sockets in between. With 24 DIMM sockets up for grabs, a maximum of 768GB can be installed, making this server ideal for virtualisation duties.

Cooling is handled by a bank of six dual-rotor fans spread across the chassis, but these aren’t hot-swappable. A clear plastic shroud covers all the processor and memory sockets to direct air across them, and we found the server to be as quiet as Dell’s PowerEdge R620.

There are plenty of storage options: the chassis is available with four LFF hot-swap bays or eight SFF bays. Two embedded four-port connectors are provided, and can handle either SAS or SATA drives, but not both.

The server’s RAID options start with stripes and mirrors, and the optional RKSAS8R5 upgrade brings RAID5 and 6. This is a RAID-on-Chip (RoC) hardware key, which fits in a proprietary slot on the motherboard and links with the storage controller. A pair of SATA interfaces is also provided, and towards the back is a USB header. This accepts a bootable USB SSD, a SATA DOM or a standard USB storage device.

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