Dell PowerEdge T20 review

Price when reviewed

Dell’s PowerEdge T20 claims to be the perfect first server for small businesses and SoHos. This compact desktop system packs lots of potential into a tiny, affordable package, making it a rival to HP’s ProLiant MicroServer Gen8.

Unlike the beefier PowerEdge T110 II, Dell offers the T20 in three fixed processor configurations. For only £219, the entry-level model has a 3GHz Pentium G3220 CPU, 4GB of UDIMM memory and no hard disks. The next model costs £259 and adds a 500GB SATA hard disk. We reviewed the top model, which costs £389, and has a quad-core 3.2GHz E3-1225 v3 Xeon, 4GB of memory and a 1TB SATA hard disk.

Dell PowerEdge T20

Bear in mind that all these prices include only the most basic parts-only warranty. If you want to upgrade from the standard RTB, carry-in, or collect and return warranties, you can do so at the time of purchase. A three-year ProSupport on-site NBD warranty adds only £84 exc VAT to the overall cost.

You can also upgrade all three servers by adding various customer kits. Dell offers 4GB and 8GB memory kits and a choice of extra SATA LFF and SFF hard disks or SSDs. A DVD drive costs a further £35, but, rather stingily, doesn’t include a SATA cable.

Dell PowerEdge T20

As standard, the T20 comes with two internal drive cages, which each support a pair of LFF hard disks. The lower cage is easily accessed: the drives slide out at the side, and the upper cage can be released and removed through the front panel. All the power and SATA cables are ready for the addition of extra drives, and the cages have plastic carriers and mounting screws installed, too. If you don’t need an optical drive, you can repurpose the tray on the upper drive cage to fit two SFF SATA drives.

You can fit a maximum of four LFF and two SFF drives, but since the motherboard has only four SATA ports, you’ll need an additional controller card plus SATA and power extension cables. The two lower SATA ports run at 6Gbits/sec, the upper pair runs at 3Gbits/sec, and the Intel C226 chipset supports RAID mirrors and stripes.


Warranty 1yr Parts & Labour



Server formatDesktop
Server configurationDesktop chassis


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency3.20GHz
Processors supplied1


RAM capacity32GB
Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration1TB Dell 7.2K SATA cold-swap disk (max 6)
RAID levels supported0, 1


Gigabit LAN ports8


Conventional PCI slots total1

Noise and power

Idle power consumption30W
Peak power consumption42W

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