Dell PowerEdge R510 review

Price when reviewed

Dell has spotted a gap in the rack server market and intends to fill it with its latest PowerEdge R510. Many small businesses need plenty of storage in their racks, but few can afford to invest in costly Fibre Channel SANs. Storage servers come into their own in these environments and the R510 offers some unique features.

Storage capacity is a key focus, but at only 24in deep, the R510’s chassis is much shorter than standard rack servers, making it an interesting alternative for space-restricted server rooms.

The front panel has room for up to eight hot-swap hard disks, with the metal carriers accepting 3.5in or 2.5in drives, while Dell’s optional RAID controllers support a mixture of SAS and SATA. You can keep initial costs down by opting for four bays, where the hard disks are cabled directly to the motherboard’s SATA interfaces.

Dell PowerEdge R510

Upgrading to eight bays requires a Dell PCI Express RAID card. We had the SAS 6/iR variant, which came with 256MB of cache. Dell also offers a 512MB cache version and an optional battery backup pack. There’s more on the horizon, as Dell plans to expand the R510 with even more drive bays, so it might be prudent to wait if you want more than eight drives.

You have three remote management options, with the base R510 offering an embedded IPMI 2 BMC. This shares the first network port and supports access via a command-line shell, from where you can reboot the server and control its power supply.

Next up is Dell’s iDRAC 6 Express card, which snaps into a proprietary socket on the motherboard and shares the first network port to provide web-browser access to the server. This brings Dell’s unique Lifecycle Controller into play, which adds the 1GB of NVRAM memory used to store drivers and other software for immediate access.

The iDRAC 6 Enterprise version is a different card that fits into a separate socket on the motherboard. It presents a dedicated network management port and an advanced feature set, which includes KVM-over-IP functions and an integral V-Flash media slot. When an SD card is inserted, it appears as a boot option and can be accessed from the host operating system.


Warranty3yr on-site next business day



Server formatRack
Server configuration2U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency2.26GHz
Processors supplied2
CPU socket count2


Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration4 x 146GB Seagate Savvio 10K.3 SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity584
RAID moduleDell SAS 6/iR
RAID levels supported0, 1, 10, 5, 6


Gigabit LAN ports2

Power supply

Power supply rating1,100W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption115W

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