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Lenovo ThinkServer TS130 review

Verdict

A low-cost first server for a small business, but it’s limited by its basic storage potential

Review Date: 11 Jun 2012

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £484 (£581 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

Features & Design
3 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
4 stars out of 6

Lenovo’s ThinkServer TS130 is designed to offer the smallest of businesses the perfect entry point into purpose-built servers. This little pedestal system aims to deliver top value with high reliability, and introduces an interesting new direction for Lenovo’s server management.

The system on review costs less than £500, for which you get a 3.1GHz Xeon E3-1225 processor and 4GB of DDR3 UDIMM memory. The chassis is solidly built and, along with the DVD drive, there’s room at the front for Lenovo’s optional USB RDX removable cartridge drive for essential server backup.

The TS130 may be slightly smaller than Dell’s PowerEdge T110 II, but Lenovo hasn’t made particularly efficient use of the space. Compared to the Dell’s support for four or six SATA or SAS hard disks, the TS130 is limited to two SATA drives.

Lenovo ThinkServer TS130

The price includes a 250GB SATA disk loaded in a cold-swap carrier in the upper bay, with another carrier located in the base for a second drive. The Intel C206 chipset offers two SATA II and two SATA III ports, but with only two drives available, RAID options are limited to stripes or mirrors.

The chassis has fans front and rear, and the processor is fitted with an active heatsink. Even with this movement of air, we found the server quiet in use, making it well suited to a small office.

Expansion potential isn’t great, however: the motherboard has pairs of PCI Express and 32-bit PCI slots, and the only upgrade on offer is an extra Gigabit card. The motherboard also has onboard audio, although we can’t see much use for this in a server – or the rear DisplayPort connector, for that matter.

Power comes via a fixed 264W supply, and the TS130 was the very model of frugality in our tests. With Windows Server 2008 R2 in idle, we measured a miniscule draw of 25W, peaking at only 83W under heavy load from the SiSoft Sandra benchmarking app.

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