Fujitsu Siemens Primergy TX300 S4 review
From the spec sheet, the first thing you might notice about Fujitsu Siemens’ latest pedestal server is its comprehensive range of fault-tolerant features. However, what you won’t notice – and this is an aspect of the Primergy TX300 servers we’ve always liked – is its extremely low operational noise level, making it highly suited to single office small businesses. We’ve seen a number of SMBs buy other vendors’ tower servers, find them too intrusive and then have to install an acoustic kit weeks later.
It’s no work of miniaturisation, though. The TX300 S4 is endowed with one of the largest chassis we’ve seen, stretching nearly 78cm from front to back. The front panel is hidden behind the trademark silver mesh panels with the lockable upper panel protecting the expansion bays. The lower bay incorporates a floppy drive and the ServerView LSD. Nothing to do with mind-enhancing drugs: the Local Server Display is a nifty little pop-out panel that provides an LCD display showing the system status, error messages and the IP addresses for each network interface.
Storage options are highly respectable. The review system came kitted out with two hot-swap cages each supporting up to six 2.5in SFF hard disks apiece and the price includes six 73GB SAS drives. The LSI-based PCI-e RAID card includes the enabler key and BBU allowing it to support all the usual RAID suspects plus the latest RAID6 arrays. One minor complaint: we found some of the drive carrier release levers difficult to move and quite painful on the fingers. HP’s push-button carrier release on its ProLiant servers is far more preferable.
The lower panel keeps the hard disks out of reach of wandering fingers, and this also has a separate intrusion detection switch. Chassis security is also good. Along with the lockable front panels, the side panel can be padlocked shut and it has its own intrusion detection switch. With the side panel out of the way you can see clearly why this server is so quiet, as the pair of quad-core Xeons are mounted by the largest heatsinks we’ve ever seen.
Each processor is covered by a metal plate with a matrix of copper pipes attached. These disappear into large heatsinks above them and the complete assembly rises some 14cm from the motherboard. Fujitsu Siemens includes four hot-swap fans with two looking after the upper parts of the heatsinks and two further back handling the memory and motherboard chipsets. All the fans are hot-swappable and a smart touch is the use of spring-loaded contacts rather than mating sockets for power and monitoring. If you want more cooling redundancy there are spare bays for two more fan modules.
The review system came with a pair of the latest 45nm quad-core Xeons running at 2.83GHz and the price also includes a generous 8GB of fully-buffered memory. Even here design veers from the norm as the memory is implemented on two separate horizontal daughterboards, each offering eight DIMM slots allowing memory to be expanded to 64GB. The complete assembly is covered by a clear plastic shroud ensuring air is directed where it’s needed most.
There are plenty of avenues for expansion as the motherboard sports six PCI-e slots and a single 133MHz PCI-X slot. Networking is handled by a pair of integrated Broadcom gigabit adapters, but these don’t incorporate a built in TOE as found in many of HP’s latest ProLiant servers. However, you do get Broadcom’s Control Suite software. This allows the ports to be teamed together for load-balanced or fault-tolerant links.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|Server configuration||Pedestal chassis|
|CPU family||Intel Xeon|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.83GHz|
|CPU socket count||2|
|Hard disk configuration||6 x Seagate Savvio 15k.1 2.5in SAS disks in hot-swap carriers|
|Total hard disk capacity||438|
|RAID module||LSI MegaRAID|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 10, 5, 50, 6, 60|
|Gigabit LAN ports||2|
|Conventional PCI slots total||1|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||2|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||4|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||0|
|Power supply rating||700W|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||233W|
|Peak power consumption||330W|