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Evesham brushes all-comers aside in the processor department as the SilverEDGE 1050AL is the only system on review that came equipped with Intel's brand spanking new quad core server chip. Codenamed Clovertown, the latest 5300 series of processors is designed for dual-socket systems and incorporates a pair of 5100 series Woodcrest cores.

To keep under our price ceiling, Evesham was only able to stretch to a single 1.86GHz 5320 processor but you get a hefty 8MB of on-die L2 cache per processor module which is achieved by each physical 5100 core delivering 4MB of L2 cache. With a spare processor socket up for grabs, the 1050AL has plenty of room to grow with demand and it also offers a very tempting storage proposition. The front panel is home to no less than eight 2.5in hot-swap drive bays which accept SAS or SATA hard disks and the system came with a quartet of 73GB SAS drives.

Internal design looks nice and tidy with all cabling kept to a minimum and tucked up out of the air flow. The motherboard actually has an embedded SATA controller but the drive bays are serviced by a separate midplane board. This provides the SAS services and uses a bridge board to connect to a proprietary socket on the motherboard. It also comes with an embedded RAID controller, a mini-DIMM socket for cache memory and support for RAID-5 and -50 and well as stripes and mirrors.

Cooling is dealt with by a bank of five dual rotor fans and noise levels are reasonably low although adding a second processor may cause an increase in volume. The price includes 2GB of fully buffered memory whilst expansion card options are handled by a vertical riser card with PCI-e 4X slots on each side. Fault tolerance extends to power and the system came with both hot-swap supplies.

Intel has been working on its server management tools and now bundles its Active System Console and LANDesk System Manager utility. The former provides a smartly designed web interface with easy access to areas such as temperatures, voltages, fan speeds, hard disk space and CPU status. Remote management gets a boost as the 1050AL also includes the optional RMM add-on module which provides a dedicated network port allowing the server to be remotely controlled via a secure web browser session irrespective of its condition. The 1050AL is offering a very tempting proposition as it delivers the best mix of hardware and support for up to eight hard disks provides the best storage expansion options on all the systems on review.


A superb package with an excellent specification for the price which includes the latest quad-core Xeon DP processor, the highest storage density and plenty of memory.

Motherboard - Intel Server Board S5000PAL

CPU - 1 x 1.86GHz Intel Xeon 5320

Chipset - Intel 5000P

Memory - 2GB 533MHz FB-DIMMs expandable to 32GB

Storage controller - Intel ESB2

Disk interface - SAS/SATA

Disk drives - 4 x 73.5GB Fujitsu 2.5in 10K SAS hard disks

RAID controller - Intel SAS18E RAID controller with 128MB cache

Expansion slots - 2 x PCI-e 4X

Network ports - 2 x Intel Gigabit

Power - 2 x 650W hot-plug

Management software - Intel System Management software

Other - Intel RMM

Warranty - Three yrs on-site NBD response

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.