Fujitsu Primergy TX100 S3p review
The Primergy TX100 S3p combines all-round quality with an unbeatable price, making it a top choice as a small business server
Review Date: 15 Oct 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £769 (£923 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Fujitsu’s latest addition to its pedestal server line-up, the Primergy TX100 S3p, is targeted at budget-conscious SMBs that don’t want to skimp on quality. The appeal is obvious: with Fujitsu’s insistence on pushing every one of its servers through 5,000 boot-cycle torture tests, reliability goes hand in hand with one of Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge Xeon processors.
That isn’t all, though: Fujitsu is also keen to push the Primergy’s green credentials. The new Ivy Bridge-class Xeons do their bit for the environment, with the die shrink to 22nm lowering power consumption. While our review sample featured a 250W 84%-efficient power supply, it’s also possible to upgrade to a 94%-efficient model. The latter supports Fujitsu’s optional 0-Watt feature that allows the server to be placed in a zero-draw standby mode.
Our review system came with a 3.1GHz Xeon E3-1220V2 module, which has a TDP of 69W. Since the older Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz Xeon E3 32nm model has a higher TDP of 80W, the new generation should deliver significant power savings when the server is under load; the review system pulled only 30W in idle and 70W with the four logical cores pushed to the max.
Efficiency is married with excellent build quality. The solid-steel chassis feels set to last a lifetime, and the side panel is easily removable. Internally, the neat design provides easy access to all components, with all cabling tied out of the way. Physical security features are minimal: the Kensington lock at the back is the only security measure. It’s there to stop the side panel being removed or the entire unit being stolen.
The storage arrangement is unusual: two LFF drive bays are located at the bottom of the chassis, with two more at the front. Coined Easy Change by Fujitsu, the drives are held in plastic slides and can be unplugged and removed only when the server is powered down. The price for the review system includes a pair of 500GB Seagate SATA II drives, so there’s plenty of room to grow. Fujitsu offers 500GB, 1TB and 2TB enterprise SATA drives, and the power cables are already in place to receive them.
The embedded Intel C202 chipset provides six SATA ports on the motherboard, and supports stripes and mirrors. If you want RAID5 or 6 then you’ll need Fujitsu’s D2616 SAS/SATA RAID card, which costs around £200. Unfortunately, the chassis isn’t designed to support SAS drives.
Cooling is handled by an active CPU heatsink, a 120mm fan at the front and another 120mm fan below, which looks after the lower drive bays. The huge fans are a great choice, keeping noise down while still moving enough air to keep components cool.
The TX100 S3p slips up when it comes to remote management features, however. Despite being aimed at remote or branch office duties, Fujitsu hasn’t equipped the Primergy with its embedded iRMC controller. You get its ServerView Suite software, but since this provides only limited remote monitoring of critical components, it simply isn’t in the same class as some of its rivals.
Ultimately, the TX100 S3p comes up short against the competition. Pitted against the A-Listed HP ProLiant ML110 G7 and the Dell PowerEdge T110 II, the Primergy struggles to compete when it comes to storage options: the ML110 G7’s optional bay can accommodate eight hot-swap SFF drives, while the T110 II can be ordered with a cold-swap six-bay SFF cage. Of those two rivals, the HP’s flexible remote management and diagnostic features see it justify its place on our A-List.
Clearly, the ProLiant ML110 G7 is better if you want higher storage capacity and full remote management – but there’s a catch. HP hasn’t yet updated this server in readiness for the Ivy Bridge-class processors, so it doesn’t support Intel’s Xeon E3 v2 CPUs.
If you’re unwilling to settle for anything less than the latest Ivy Bridge CPUs, the choice is Fujitsu or Dell. In the final reckoning, Fujitsu takes a convincing win, trouncing the Dell for value for money. With the same specification and a five-year, on-site warranty for £280 less, the TX100 S3p is our top choice as a small business pedestal server.
Author: Dave Mitchell
E-1220v2 Processor does not have 8 logical cores
Great review as I was looking to purchase one. However the Intel E-1220V2 processor only has 4 cores and 4 Threads and does not have hyperthreading. Therefore the 8 logical cores you mention for the review is incorrect.
Can you confirm what processor your review model had if not the E1220v2
By capthedge on 1 Dec 2012
Thanks for spotting that - it's now been corrected.
By DaveMitchell on 3 Dec 2012
- Google creates Maps time machine
- Facebook scores with mobile advertising
- Cook: Microsoft should have released Office for iPad sooner
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Universal wireless charging gets a boost from Microsoft
- Amazon Phone: release date, features and 3D display
- Apple offers sneak peak at OS X via Beta Seed
- American grip on web loosens ahead of key net meeting
- Apple fixes security flaw, fingerprint scanner with iOS 7.1.1
- Heartbleed: LibreSSL scrubs "irresponsible" OpenSSL code
- Hello Cortana, it's nice to meet you
- Windows 8.1 Update: an abject surrender
- The insane economics of Sky Now TV
- No such thing as a free app... so pay up if you want quality
- Time to outlaw crapware-laden installers
- Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on
- Office for iPad: key information
- Why every PC buyer owes Richard Durkin a debt of gratitude
- HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014's big-hitters compared
- Windows XP end of life: key information
- How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu
- The great iPhone ripoff and how it works
- Heartbleed: what you need to know and do
- Data recovery: inside the clean room
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2014
- How much RAM do you really need?
- News of the weird: the strangest ever tech stories
- Five hyped technologies: disruptive or not?
- Piracy's dying: why we're all going straight
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?
- The best Android antivirus apps for 2014
- Headings vs headers: how to use both in Word