Dell PowerEdge R810 review

£14417
Price when reviewed

When Intel announces its latest server processors, Dell is usually never far behind. With the PowerEdge R810, Dell has outdone even itself this time. Barely have the Xeon 6500 and 7500 Nehalem-EX processors been launched and we have one here already for an exclusive review.

At first glance, the R810 and its 2U chassis doesn’t look that different to the PowerEdge R710 rack server, but take a peek inside and you’ll realise it’s something special. The server supports both 6500 and 7500 Xeons, giving you the choice of saving cash and opting for a two-socket system, or going for the full monty and loading it with up to four 7500s.

The R810 has a keen focus on businesses that don’t want the expense of 4P (that is, four-socket) servers but want their memory benefits. The server has 32 DIMM sockets and can support up to 512GB of memory, regardless of whether you use 6500s or 7500s.

Dell PowerEdge R810

Dell has achieved this by implementing its own FlexMemory Bridge technology. The R810 supports up to four processors, but if you populate two with 6500s, the spare sockets are fitted with special boards. These terminate the QPI links and extend the memory channels to the populated sockets.

The front panel is split into two sections, with one half providing unimpeded air flow through the chassis. Above it are six hot-swap SFF disk bays, alongside a LCD screen and control panel. This offers a keypad for setting network addresses, and you can view power consumption and temperatures.

Dell has done a fantastic design job internally, with the four processor sockets lined up across the centre of the chassis. Xeon X6550 modules sit in the middle two, while the outer sockets contain Dell’s FlexMemory boards. These eight-core processors have a 6.4GT/sec QPI speed, 18MB of shared L3 cache, and support for Intel’s Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technologies. Spread out in front of them is a feast of memory, with our review system equipped with 32 4GB DDR3 DIMMs. The front eight slots are underneath the hard disk bay, which can be unlocked and slid forward.

Dell was first to add a bootable SD memory card for virtualisation fans, and you now get two of them on the same board. And you can keep an onboard copy of the boot media in case it fails. Note that Dell still only supports VMware’s ESXi and not Hyper-V.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 2U

Processor

CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.00GHz
Processors supplied 2
CPU socket count 4

Memory

RAM capacity 512GB
Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 5 x 146GB Dell 15K SFF 6Gbits/sec SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 730
RAID module Dell PERC H700
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5, 6

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 4

Power supply

Power supply rating 1,100W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 392W
Peak power consumption 558W

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