Evesham SilverEDGE 1000SL review

£4299
Price when reviewed

Evesham’s SilverEDGE 1000SL is one of the first pedestal servers to be equipped with Intel’s latest Series 5300 quad-core processors. Plus, it sports a tasty all-round specification, with value and performance high on the agenda.

Evesham has traditionally been a big fan of Intel, so it comes as no surprise to see the 1000SL delivered as an all-Intel package, comprising its SC5400 chassis and S5000PSL motherboard. The chassis is a mighty beast and well built, with a solid steel shell and good overall design. The front panel is home to three 5.25in bays, with one occupied by a DVD writer. Down below, the review system was fitted with a six-drive hot-swap cage, and there’s also room for another four-drive hot-swap cage above, making the 1000SL a good platform for storage-hungry applications.

The chassis is the SC5400LX variant, which comes with four hot-swap fans arranged in two groups behind the drive enclosures. The top pair look after the processors and memory, and a large plastic duct directs air over these components and shunts it out the rear. The lower fans are provided for hard disk cooling, and we were pleasantly surprised at the low noise levels. During power-up they go into a hurricane phase, but over a minute they gradually wind down to a low level. Usefully, the BIOS has an option where you can allow memory performance to be throttled back, rather than boosting fan speeds if thermal thresholds have been breached.

For your money, you’re getting a top specification, with a pair of 5355 Xeons as the main course. Running at 2.66GHz, these are the fastest quad cores currently available, although at 120W they’re more power-hungry than their slower stablemates, which all have a TDP of 80W. The 5300 series processors comprise a pair of 5100 cores and use the same pin package, so are supported by the standard 5000 chipsets. All quad-core modules come with 8MB of on-die Level 2 cache, which is achieved by each physical 5100 die delivering 4MB of Level 2 cache. A generous side dish of memory makes the 1000SL look even better value, as the price includes 8GB made up of four 2GB Fully Buffered DIMM modules.

Storage options abound, as the embedded SATA 3Gb/sec controller offers six ports along the motherboard’s base. It supports mirrors and stripes as standard, and also RAID5 when the optional activation key is provided. However, on the review system, Evesham has plumped for high-performance SAS storage and fitted an eight-port LSI Logic MegaRAID PCI-E card. This has a pair of four-port SFF connectors, one of which is linked through to the hard disk cage backplane, where it serves the quartet of 73GB Fujitsu 15K SAS drives. These are configured as a RAID5 array with hot-standby. The drive cage backplane handily uses SAS port expander technology, so the RAID card can manage all six bays with one SFF cable. The card’s second port can be linked to the optional four-bay enclosure, allowing it to look after all ten bays if required.

Management features don’t disappoint either, as the server comes with Intel’s RMM (remote management module) fitted on the motherboard and is teamed up with a header that provides a dedicated network port. Management is via a secure web browser session. This provides a tidy interface, offering access to functions such as sensor monitoring and power control, where you can switch the server off, cycle power or reboot it. Full remote control is available, and you can designate a floppy or CD-ROM on the management system to become a virtual device on the managed server.

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