Dell PowerEdge R820 review

Dell’s PowerEdge R820 is the first Xeon E5-4600 production server to market. We take a look at this compact four-socket server, which can be used to manage heavy duty databases, virtualisation, HPC and VDI hosting.

Price
£12,563

Dell consistently beats its rivals to market with new server technology, so it's no surprise the PowerEdge R820 sports Intel's latest Xeon E5-4600 processors.

When Intel launched its Xeon E5-2600 CPUs in March, their vital statistics were known well in advance, but not so with the E5-4600 family. This group consists of eight models ranging in speeds from 2GHz up to 2.9GHz with 4, 6 or 8 cores and 10MB, 12MB, 15MB, 16MB or 20MB L3 caches.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The R820 was equipped with a quartet of 6-core 2.2GHz E5-4607 Xeons which had a 12MB L3 cache, a 6.4GT/sec QPI and a low 95W TDP. These models support memory speeds up to 1066MHz and Intel's HyperThreading, but not Turbo Boost.

The E5-4600 family is designed for scalable dual and glue-less quad-socket platforms. As with the E5-2600s, they have two QPI links per socket supporting speeds up to 8GT/sec and in a 4P system will connect with adjacent sockets in a ring architecture.

Dell PowerEdge R820

In a 4P configuration the T820 uses a mezzanine card which sits on top of the main motherboard

Memory and storage aplenty

A key feature is memory capacity. The 4P system supports 48 DIMM sockets and can scale up to 1.5TB using 32GB LR-DIMMs. You may think this puts it in direct competition with the Xeon E7 but Intel has positioned the E5-4600 as a better choice where a balance of cost, performance, power consumption and memory capacity is required.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The R820 uses a similar chassis to the PowerEdge R720 and so has a good range of storage options. It supports 16 SFF hard disks and there's also an option with eight standard SSF bays and four hot-plug PCI-e Express Flash SSDs.

RAID options start with the basic PERC H310 entry-level adapter but review price includes the top dog PERC H710P PCI-e card which supports RAID-6 and has a 1GB NVRAM cache so doesn't need a battery backup. It uses an LSI chip and you can enable its optional CacheCade feature which optimises read activity from an SSD based cache.

Dell PowerEdge R820

Dell's new iDRAC7 management controller provides comprehensive power monitoring tools

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?
operating systems

How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?

3 Aug 2020