Broadberry CyberServe XE3-RS300 review
Many SMBs are happy to stick with the blue chips for their servers, but Asus has traditionally offered cost-effective alternatives. Its latest Xeon E3 rack servers aim to beat the big boys on value, but without compromising on features.
Supplied to us by Broadberry Data Systems as the CyberServe XE3-RS300, this 1U system is based on Asus’ new RS300-E7/PS4 server, a platform chosen for its good value, low power consumption and noise levels, plus plenty of expansion options.
The server is certainly quiet, noticeably so when put next to HP’s new ProLiant DL120 G7. To keep fan speeds down, Asus uses a cooling design where a system of copper heat pipes is routed from the processor heatsink to a radiator matrix in front.
Power consumption for the review system was impressively meagre, drawing 55W with Windows Server 2008 R2 in idle. With SiSoft Sandra pushing the 3.3GHz Intel Xeon E3-1240 processor to the limit, it peaked at 135W. It isn’t quite as impressive as the current record holder, Broadberry’s compact XE3-RS100, with its low-power Xeon E3-1220L, but it isn’t bad at all.
The CyberServe’s front panel is well designed. Along with the four hot-swap drive bays there’s a large air grille, a DVD-RW drive, two USB ports and plenty of status LEDs for power, drive activity, network ports and temperature warnings. There’s also a system ID button and LED; the power and reset buttons alongside should have been recessed, though, to avoid accidental contact.
Optional remote management is available via Asus’ ASMB5-iKVM controller, which costs only £65. Plugging this card into a slot on the motherboard activates a third port at the rear, so management can be kept on a dedicated network. The controller provides a web browser interface where you can view motherboard sensors for critical components. Full control over power allows the server to be remotely switched on and off, or reset.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|CPU family||Intel Xeon|
|CPU nominal frequency||3.30GHz|
|Hard disk configuration||2 x 500GB Seagate SATA II hard disks|
|Total hard disk capacity||1,000GB|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 5|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||55W|
|Peak power consumption||135W|