Dell PowerEdge R710 review
Physically, the R710 sees a substantial redesign over the PowerEdge 2950, with the front panel covered by the menacing new grey bezel. It also has a new LCD panel offering a keypad for setting the remote management network address along with views of power consumption and temperatures.
In terms of internal storage capacity, the R710 supports up to eight SFF hot-swap hard disks – the DL380 G6 beats this hands down, as it has room for a second eight-drive bay. Plenty of RAID options are on offer, with the review system including a PERC 6/i controller kitted out with 256MB of embedded cache and a battery backup unit.
Underneath the easily removable lid you’ll find a small board on top of the optical drive with an SD memory card slot and a 1GB card installed. This is Dell’s answer to virtualisation fans, since this bootable device is specifically for embedded hypervisors. It currently supports only VMware’s ESXi, but we’ve been advised that Hyper-V is on the way.
Cooling is handled by a row of five hot-swap fan modules arranged across the front of the motherboard. During testing, we found the R710 to be unobtrusive – not as quiet as the R610, but hardly noticeable nonetheless.
You have two choices for power, with the review system fitted with a pair of 570W Energy Smart supplies. If performance is a higher priority you can opt for high output 870W modules. We found the R710 efficient here, with our inline power meter recording only 16W in standby and only 150W with Windows Server 2003 R2 running in idle. With SiSoft Sandra punishing all 16 logical cores, this rose to a peak of only 270W.
For general expansion options the server has two riser cards at the back, each with a pair of PCI Express slots. For network connections, the server sports four embedded Gigabit ports and these are TOE ready with the optional iSCSI offload upgrade.
The R710 doesn’t have the same high storage potential of the ProLiant DL380 G6 and HP’s management package includes superior power monitoring features. However, it’s well designed and built, comes very close for quality and value, and has the unique Lifecycle Controller, which offers superior server deployment tools.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|CPU family||Intel Xeon|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.26GHz|
|Hard disk configuration||4 x 147GB Hitachi 10K SFF SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers|
|Total hard disk capacity||588|
|RAID module||Dell PERC 6/i|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 10, 5, 6|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|Conventional PCI slots total||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||2|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||2|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||0|
|Power supply rating||570W|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||150W|
|Peak power consumption||270W|