Dell PowerEdge R715 review

Price when reviewed

Since their launch in early 2010, AMD’s Opteron 6100 series of processors have garnered much interest from the blue chips. In this review, we take a closer look at Dell’s first dual-socket Opteron 6100 rack server, the PowerEdge R715, and see how it measures up to HP’s A-Listed ProLiant DL385 G7.

AMD claims the Opteron 6100 removes the artificial price barrier to 4P computing. In our review of Dell’s quad-socket PowerEdge R815 we agreed, since this 2U rack server was far more cost-effective than a four-socket Xeon 7500 server.

Move down to 2P platforms and the advantages aren’t so clear-cut, as the Opterons face stiff competition from Intel’s 5500 and 5600 Xeons. AMD scores higher for physical cores; the R715 comes with a pair of 12-core Opteron 6174 modules. The six-core 5600 Xeons can match this, but only with Intel’s Hyper-Threading producing 24 logical cores.

Dell PowerEdge R715

The R715 shares the same chassis with the R815 and the R810, where the front panel is split into two sections. The lower half provides unimpeded airflow through the chassis, while in the top half you have a hot-swap hard disk bay, an optical drive and Dell’s nifty LCD panel, which provides clear visual warnings of faults.

Dell is promoting the R715 as a general-purpose server, but for storage duties it doesn’t come close to the DL385 G7. The front-panel design only has room for up to six SFF hard disks, whereas the DL385 offers a maximum of 16 hot-swap bays.

Drive options are extensive, with Dell offering 2.5in SAS, SATA, SSD and the latest 500GB near-line SAS drives. Unlike the DL385, there’s no embedded RAID controller, but you can pick from a PERC H200 or H700, with the latter supporting RAID5 plus 512MB or 1GB cache and battery backup options.

The R715 scores highly as a virtualisation platform, however. First is its memory capacity: the server supports up to 256GB running at 1,333MHz, although a full set of 16GB RDIMMs will cost more than £13,000.


Warranty 3yr on-site next business day



Server format Rack
Server configuration 2U


CPU family AMD Opteron
CPU nominal frequency 2.20GHz
Processors supplied 2
CPU socket count 2


RAM capacity 256GB
Memory type DDR3


Hard disk configuration 2 x 146GB Dell 15K.2 SFF 6Gbits/sec SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 292GB
RAID module Dell PERC H700 RAID card with 512MB cache and BBU
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5, 6


Gigabit LAN ports 4

Power supply

Power supply rating 750W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 145W
Peak power consumption 344W

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