Dell PowerEdge R420 review
Dell's PowerEdge R420 delivers high-quality hardware with a sharp focus on storage capacity - for a price
Review Date: 2 Nov 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £4,533 (£5,440 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
With Intel’s new Xeon E5-2600 processors hogging the limelight, it’s easy to forget that there’s a lower-cost alternative. Showcasing the capabilities of Intel’s more affordable Xeon E5-2400 CPUs, Dell’s PowerEdge R420 is aimed at SMBs looking for a powerful entry-level rack server with plenty of expansion potential. It’s primed for virtualisation, workgroup collaboration, email, web and file serving – but also as a low-profile compute node for data centres.
Physically, the R420 isn’t as deep as Dell’s flagship R620 1U rack server, but it crams a decent specification and plenty of storage capacity into a well-designed 1U rack chassis. The front panel includes an optical drive, two USB ports and Dell’s nifty LCD panel and control pad. This displays the server’s status and can be used to set the remote management network address and view power consumption and system temperatures.
Inside, the twin CPU sockets house a pair of 2.1GHz E5-2450 processors. These eight- core CPUs have an 8GT/sec QPI, a 20MB L3 cache and support for RDIMM memory speeds of up to 1,600MHz. The key differences between these CPUs and the E5-2600 Xeons are that they use the Socket-B2 (LGA1356) package, which reduces costs with a single inter-socket QPI link. They have three DDR3 memory channels and support six DIMMs for each occupied processor socket, which limits the maximum memory to 192GB.
Six dual-rotor fans behind the drive backplane keep the server cool. Unlike the R620’s, they’re not hot-swappable, but they’re quiet, making the R420 a good choice for a small office.
Storage is well catered for. There’s room for eight hot-swap SATA or SAS SFF hard disks, and the price includes a pair of 300GB SAS 2 drives. Of course, you can always cut storage costs by opting for a base system with four LFF drives cabled directly to the motherboard’s SATA port. In this instance, RAID is provided by an embedded PERC S110, which supports software-managed stripes, mirrors and RAID5 arrays.
- Cisco: 100% of companies hosting malware
- Microsoft supercharges PowerPoint with Office Mix
- Microsoft and Nokia deal tweaked ahead of completion
- Microsoft slashes custom XP support price
- Ubuntu LTS Server 14.04 extends cloud support
- Intel: PC sales are "encouraging"
- Google to rank encrypted pages higher
- Heartbleed: the race to reissue security certificates
- Dropbox boosts app line-up with Carousel and Mailbox for Android
- BlackBerry CEO says not selling off phones "any time soon"
- 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
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- Can Microsoft survive? The future of Office
- A real-world guide to business VoIP
- Sack your PA: how to stay on top of your work life
- Power lies with the internet giants, not the governments
- 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