Dell PowerEdge R310 review

Price when reviewed

Dell’s latest entry-level rack server claims to offer a good mix of features, value and performance, and in this exclusive review we see whether the PowerEdge R310 delivers on these promises. It targets small businesses and remote offices that are short of space, but also aims to offer good expansion potential.

This sector is unlikely to have a dedicated server room or even an enclosed rack cabinet, so noise levels are an important consideration. We weren’t overly impressed with Dell’s PowerEdge R210, which was big on value but even bigger on noise.

At more than 24in deep, the R310 has a much longer chassis than the R210. This gives it a far less restricted interior and helps make the R310 much quieter. There are five internal dual-rotor fans, with two looking after the power-supply bay and the rest handling the processor and memory. The resultant noise levels were much lower.

Dell PowerEdge R310

The server is built around Intel’s 3400 Xeons, which are aimed specifically at entry-level uniprocessor server platforms. The review system was supplied with a 2.66GHz X3450, which is in the middle of this family of six processors, offers a 95W TDP and supports Intel’s Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading.

Intel offers two chipsets for this processor family: the 3400 and the 3420. Whereas the 3400 chipset has no built-in RAID functions, the R310 features the higher-end 3420, which includes Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology. This provides integrated support for mirrors, stripes and RAID5 arrays.

This choice of storage permutations means you can keep costs down by plumping for cold-swap hard disks cabled directly to the embedded SATA ports. The basic Dell PERC S100 option presents the 3420 chipset RAID functions, but if you want hot-swap capabilities you’ll need to specify either a PERC H200 or H700 add-in RAID card.


Warranty 3yr on-site next business day



Server format Rack
Server configuration 1U


CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.66GHz
Processors supplied 1
CPU socket count 1


Memory type DDR3


Hard disk configuration 2 x 146GB Dell 10k SAS SFF hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 292
RAID module Dell PERC H200 PCI-E SAS 6Gbits/sec RAID card
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5


Gigabit LAN ports 2

Power supply

Power supply rating 400W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 78W
Peak power consumption 150W

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