Fujitsu Primergy RX300 S5 review

Price when reviewed

Fujitsu Siemens has been making a habit lately of early delivery of new server technology to market, and it does it yet again as it was first in our lab with a system equipped with the new Intel 5500-series Nehalem processors. The latest Primergy RX300 S5 on review is a 2U rack server and was supplied with a pair of Xeon E5506 processors.

Fujitsu Siemens hasn’t just added a new motherboard to its older S4 server chassis, as the RX300 S5 delivers a number of significant design enhancements. Naturally, virtualisation is high on its agenda, but the chassis exhibits a new honeycomb design and the manufacturer’s Cool-safe airflow channels for improved cooling.

Storage options look very good, as you have room for 12 SFF hard disks at the front, and the system came with a dozen 73GB SAS drives in hot-swap carriers that also use the honeycomb design. You have three USB ports at the front and four more at the rear, and a handy feature is the ability to disable or enable either group from the BIOS.

RAID is handled by an LSI SAS PCI Express card, and its pair of internal four-port connectors have been neatly cabled through to the hard disk backplane. The use of a SAS expander allows the card to handle all 12 drives, and it delivers support for dual drive redundant RAID6 and also comes with 512MB of cache memory and battery backup pack.

There’s plenty of room for further expansion, as the motherboard offers a total of seven PCI Express slots that all accept half-height cards. Power redundancy is also covered, as the system was supplied with both 800W hot-plug supplies and these are 89% efficiency models.

The server presents an extremely tidy interior, as cabling has been reduced with nothing to impede airflow. The pair of 2.13GHz E5506 Xeons is located near the front of the motherboard and mounted with chunky passive heatsinks incorporating a cooling pipe array. They’re also each flanked by banks of eight DIMM sockets with the price including 8GB of DDR3 memory.

Note that the E5506 processors are third in a group of four entry-level models that don’t support Intel’s Hyper-Threading or Turbo Boost technologies. They also have the slowest QPI speed of 4.8GT/sec, only have 4MB of shared L3 cache, and support memory speeds up to 800MHz.

Memory redundancy is available, as the chipset supports memory sparing and mirroring. The former reserves one set of memory modules and will use it to replace a set that’s encountered too many correctable errors. Memory mirroring splits available system memory in two and duplicates data across each half.

Cooling is handled efficiently by a bank of ten cooling fans that are all hot-swappable, and the whole processor and memory assembly area is covered in a transparent plastic shroud to direct the airflow. The server impressed us with its extremely low operational noise levels, and considering the server had a full complement of hard disks we found power consumption to be commendably low. We measured 24W in standby, 230W with the OS in idle and a 302W peak with the processors all pushed to the limit by SiSoft Sandra.

Remote server management sees more improvements, as the server has an integrated iRMC2 chip and we were supplied with the very latest ServerView suite of tools. The controller offers a dedicated Fast Ethernet management port and delivers a smart web interface from where you can view the status of critical components and keep an eye on environmental values.

You also have power management and budgeting options, where you can choose between the best performance, minimum power settings or power capping. The latter can turn off the server or initiate a graceful shutdown if it draws more than its allotted power. The browser interface allows you to remotely monitor the BIOS screen during boot up but, as with HP’s ProLiant servers, full remote control including that of the operating system is only offered as an option.


Warranty3yr on-site



Server formatRack
Server configuration2U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency2.13GHz
Processors supplied2
CPU socket count2


Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration12 x 73GB Fujitsu SAS SFF disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity876
RAID moduleLSI PCI-E SAS controller, 512MB cache, battery backup
RAID levels supported0, 1, 10, 5, 6, JBOD


Gigabit LAN ports2


Conventional PCI slots total0
PCI-E x16 slots total0
PCI-E x8 slots total7
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total0

Power supply

Power supply rating800W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption230W
Peak power consumption302W


OS familyNone

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