Gateway GR380 F1 review
Businesses looking for a balanced combination of processing power, storage capacity and expansion potential will generally go for 2U rack servers. Our top choice for these duties is the PC Pro A-Listed HP ProLiant DL380 G7, but the new Gateway GR380 F1 aims to offer a better value proposition and an equally good specification.
Gateway unleashed a big family of rack, pedestal and blade servers on the world at the beginning of the year and has HP firmly in its sights. In this exclusive review, we put the GR380 F1 through its paces in the lab and see whether it can stand up to HP’s best-selling rack server.
The GR380 matches HP for storage capacity since it also has room in its front panel for up to 16 SFF hard disks in hot-swap carriers. The system on review is a base model with one eight-drive bay but, unlike HP, adding a second drive bay doesn’t lose you the optical drive, as Gateway has adopted vertical mounts that take up less space.
For drive connection you start with the embedded Intel SATA controller, which offers six ports. With a DVD drive taking one port, this leaves only five for the hard disks, so if you want to use all eight bays you’ll need to specify an extra RAID expansion card.
HP’s DL380 G7 starts with superior RAID prospects, as it has an embedded P410i Smart Array controller that supports up to eight SAS/SATA drives and offers RAID6 as well. Further storage expansion procedures are the same for Gateway and HP, as you need to add the second drive bay plus an extra RAID card to manage it.
General expansion for the GR380 is very good: its L-shaped motherboard accepts Gateway’s Flex I/O cards. This special slot is located at the bottom of the central riser flush with the motherboard, so adding a Flex I/O card won’t obstruct the PCI Express expansion slots above.
Gateway offers an eight-port SAS RAID Flex I/O card that costs around £480 and comes with 256MB of embedded cache. Clearly, to use all 16 drive bays you’ll need an extra PCI Express RAID card, but the server has plenty of room for more as the riser card has three spare PCI Express slots above the Flex I/O slot, and these can handle full-length cards.
General internal design is neat and tidy, with four hot-swap cooling fans arranged across the front of the motherboard and a large, transparent shroud covering most of it to help direct airflow. The system came with a single 720W hot-plug supply and you can add second for power redundancy.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|CPU family||Intel Xeon|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.13GHz|
|Hard disk configuration||2 x 150GB WD Enterprise 10K SFF SATA hard disks in hot-swap carriers|
|Total hard disk capacity||300|
|RAID module||embedded 6-port SATA controller|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 10, 5|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|Power supply rating||720W|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||86W|
|Peak power consumption||141W|