Dell PowerEdge R210 II review

Price when reviewed

Dell’s PowerEdge R210 II is the company’s first rack server to use Intel’s Xeon E3 processor. It’s aimed at a wide range of environments, from SMBs to enterprises and remote offices, but one thing they’ll all approve of is its ultra-compact chassis. It has the smallest footprint of all PowerEdge rack servers: the chassis measures barely 400mm deep. It can fit easily into floor and wall-mounted data cabinets, as well as standard rack systems.

Dell offers a wide choice of processors, starting with a low-cost 3.1GHz Core i3, and also including seven Xeon E3 options. For this review Dell has focused on performance, opting for a 3.5GHz Xeon E3-1280. You’ll pay for the privilege, though, since this module costs a hefty £390. SMBs may want to consider the 3.3GHz E3-1240, which will shave at least £260 off the price.

The server is solidly built, with most of the front panel acting as a grille to improve airflow. Dell’s four-pack LED diagnostics panel is fitted as standard, but the LCD control panel that’s on the higher-end PowerEdge servers isn’t an option. Despite its compact size, internal design is tidy, with easy access to key components.

Dell PowerEdge R210 II

And we were pleased to see (but not hear) acoustic improvements. In our review of the original R210, we observed that it was the noisiest low-profile rack server we’d had in the Labs. The R210 II has four fans handling the power supply, processor and expansion bay, but they run more slowly and are quieter too.

Storage options have been improved: along with support for two 3.5in SAS or SATA drives, you can order the server with four 2.5in SFF drive bays instead. The base system uses the Intel C202 chipset’s embedded SATA controller and provides five 3Gbits/sec SATA ports.

RAID options start with Dell’s embedded PERC S100, which comes as standard. To use four SFF drives you’ll need a PERC S300 PCI Express card, which supports 3Gbits/sec SAS/SATA drives and RAID5. Dell also offers 6Gbits/sec SAS drives and SSDs, for which you’ll need the PERC H200 card – although, oddly, this doesn’t support RAID5.

Along with the pair of Gigabit ports, there’s also an eSATA port. This can be used for expansion via external storage, but if it isn’t needed you can disable it from the server’s BIOS.


Warranty1yr on-site next business day



Server formatRack
Server configuration1U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency3.50GHz
Processors supplied1
CPU socket count1


RAM capacity32GB
Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration2 x 250GB Dell SATA 3Gbits/sec hard disks in cold-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity500GB
RAID moduleDell PERC S100 RAID
RAID levels supported0, 1, 10


Gigabit LAN ports2

Power supply

Power supply rating250W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption44W
Peak power consumption130W

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