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.
- IDC: iPad intertia opens door for Windows tablets
- Office 365 goes social with "Oslo" news feed
- Windows XP: upgrading 30,000 PCs in 30 days
- LibreOffice: ignore Microsoft's "nonsense" on government's open source plans
- Intel Xeon E7 v2 servers support 6TB of RAM
- Microsoft promises video calls between Skype and Lync
- Office for iPad due before July
- Windows 7 on business PCs gets an extension
- Windows apps land on Chromebooks with VMware
- Office 365 gets two-factor authentication
- Move over Delia: IBM Watson is cooking tonight
- Eric Schmidt on the double-edged smartphone: friend and foe
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Nokia XL review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy S5 review: first look
- Nokia X review: first look
- 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
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs
- Invoices and VAT: how to set up your documents correctly
- Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: the best phone for avoiding screen burn
- How much is a social user worth?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Thunderbolt Bridge: a fast Mac migration tool
- Should you advertise on Twitter?
- How to track a lost smartphone
- Self-publishing success: the best way to sell your book
- 1.6TB SSD: why would you need one?