Broadberry CyberServe XE3-RS100 review

£954
Price when reviewed

Asus may not have a particularly high profile in the world of business servers, but over the past year it has been quietly building up its portfolio to include some interesting alternatives to the main players. Supplied to us by Broadberry Data Systems as the CyberServe XE3-RS100, its latest 1U rack system set a new record in the lab by recording the lowest power draw we’ve seen for a standard server.

The reason for this is Intel’s latest low-power 2.2GHz Xeon E3-1220L processor, which boasts a remarkably low TDP of 20W. There are some compromises in this choice, though: it’s the only dual-core model in its family of 12 processors, and it has a modest 3MB cache as opposed to the 6MB and 8MB caches of the higher models.

The chassis is standard fare. It’s solidly constructed, and at only 38cm deep, it will fit easily in a small floor-standing or wall-mount data cabinet. Most of the Broadberry’s front panel is an open grille to aid air flow; a power switch is located to the right, along with status LEDs for power, network ports, temperature warnings and disk activity. The chassis also finds room for a low-profile DVD-RW drive on the left, along with a pair of USB ports.

Broadberry CyberServe XE3-RS100

The server’s lid is secured with a single screw and underneath you’ll find Asus’s new P8B-M microATX motherboard. The processor is located at the front of the board and fitted with a small heatsink, with cooling pipes that route straight through to a copper radiator matrix at the front edge of the chassis. Two cooling fans are positioned in front of the radiator to draw air over it. Overall, the Broadberry is quiet and well suited as a general-purpose file, print and messaging server for a small office.

There are four DIMM sockets on the motherboard, with a single 4GB DDR3 UDIMM included in the price above – up to 32GB is supported. The motherboard uses a C204 Chipset, which provides four 3Gbits/sec and two 6Gbits/sec colour-coded SATA ports. The chassis has enough room for two 3.5in hard disks, but Broadberry has chosen to reduce the power consumption by including a pair of 500GB Seagate Momentus SFF hard disks. That’s an unusual choice at this price.

One of those two hard disks is tucked neatly away underneath the optical drive at the front of the chassis, but unfortunately there isn’t room there for another. The second hard disk is located to the right of the cooling radiator, also at the front, so its power and interface cables have been routed awkwardly round the front of the cooling fans.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site NBD

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 1U

Processor

CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.20GHz
Processors supplied 1

Memory

RAM capacity 32GB
Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 2 x 500GB Seagate Momentus SFF hard disks
Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAID module embedded LSI SATA II
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5 (software)

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 2

Power supply

Power supply rating 220W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 24W
Peak power consumption 46W

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