Fujitsu Primergy TX2540 M1

The specification is basic, but the Primergy offers plenty of room to expand and is good value too

Price
£1,949
  • Power efficient; Good upgrade options;
  • Limited to lower maximum ambient temperature than others; Not quite silent

If you're looking for a good value, general-purpose tower, Fujitsu's Primergy TX2540 M1 hits the mark. Support for Intel's lower-cost E5-2400 v2 Xeons keeps the price down while still providing enough horsepower to cope with a wide range of IT services.

Our review system was fitted with a single 2.2GHz E5-2420 v2 CPU, offering six physical cores and a 2.7GHz turbo mode. Its low 80W TDP makes for a power-efficient system: we measured a draw of 67W in idle, and only 107W under extreme load.

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As your demands grow you can add a second CPU and while there isn't as much headroom for memory as offered by the latest E5-2600 v3 servers, RAM can be pushed to 192GB. Fujitsu offers plenty of power choices: alongside the dual 450W Platinum supplies in our system, there are 800W Platinum and Titanium options.

Standing tall at 456mm, this well-built tower offers space for eight LFF or 24 SFF drives. You can start small with a quad LFF drive cage, which uses the onboard RAID controller; our system had an eight bay SFF cage at its base, wired up to a D3116C PCI Express SAS RAID card.

This can handle up to eight SAS/SATA drives, has 1GB of cache, and supports all the usual RAID suspects including 6 and 60 but if that doesn't suit, Fujitsu offers a range of alternatives.

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Along with the requisite drive cages, upgrade kits include a SAS expander card that extends support for all 24 SFF drives to the existing RAID card. We like the option of increasing storage without having to invest in an additional controller.

Internal cooling is supplied by four hot-swap fans, and as part of Fujitsu's Cool-Safe concept, honeycomb air grilles are used throughout the server to improve airflow. Fujitsu claims this server is silent; although it wasn't noisy, we were distinctly able to hear the hum of airflow at close range.

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It's also worth noting that the TX2540 M1 lacks Fujitsu's Advanced Thermal Design features, and so is limited to a maximum ambient temperature of 35C, rather than the 40C of more upmarket servers.

Fujitsu's ServerView Suite provides centralised monitoring and management for all Primergy servers. It lists all hardware components and their status, plus performance tables and power-usage graphs. Hardware inventory is gathered, errors or failures can be linked with alerts, and the RAID Manager utility provides direct access to the array controller.

To install an OS we had to boot the server from Fujitsu's ServerView disk; the setup process was smooth enough for us to get Windows Server 2012 R2 loaded in less than an hour.

The server also features Fujitsu's embedded iRMC S4 controller, with a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet port for remote monitoring. A tidy web UI provides plenty of information about critical components, along with a handy set of graphs showing power consumption over periods ranging from one hour to a year.

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Not all SMBs need the power of Intel's high-end Xeon CPUs; for many, the expandable, affordable Primergy TX2540 M1 will be a good fit.

This review first appeared in PC Pro magazine issue 250

Verdict

Good expansion options and a tempting entry price makes this capable server a great option for new or growing businesses.

Chassis: tower 

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Xeon E5-2420 v2 (max 2) 

Memory: 16GB 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM (max 192GB) 

Storage: 3 x 1TB SFF NL-SAS drives (max 24) 

Raid: Fujitsu RAID SAS 6Gbits/sec/1GB (supports RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6, 50, 60) 

Expansion: 5 x PCI-E 3 (with 2 CPUs) 

Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet 

Management: Fujitsu iRMC S4 Standard with Gigabit 

Power: 2 x 450W hotplug PSUs 

Dimensions: 177 x 651 x 456mm (WDH) 

Warranty: 3yr on-site NBD warranty 

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