Dell PowerEdge R510 review

Dell has found a gap in the rack server market and aims to be the first to fill it. Is its latest PowerEdge R510 a good fit? We investigate in this review.

Internally, everything looks neat and tidy with easy access to all major components. The two processor sockets are staggered down the motherboard for improved cooling and each are partnered by six DIMM sockets. These are covered by a large plastic air shroud, and cooling is handled by a row of five cold-swap fans, which we found generated very low noise levels.

You have two choices for power with the review system fitted with a single 1,100W hot-plug supply and this can be augmented with a second for redundancy. With the four drive model you can cut costs and go for a single 480W cold-swap supply.


You can automate Altiris agent installation for selected systems from the Dell Management Console.

The R510 on review was equipped with a pair of 2.26GHz L5520 Xeons offering a low TDP of 60W. These delivered good results in our power consumption tests. With the server in standby our in-line meter recorded 11W and with Server 2008 running in idle this rose to 115W.

With SiSoft Sandra thrashing all 16 logical cores to the max we saw this peak at only 225W. To put this in perspective in our review of a similarly specified Dell PowerEdge R710 we clocked power consumption peaking under full CPU load at 270W.

The R510 packs in a lot of features and looks a good choice for businesses requiring a high local storage capacity in their rack. Strong competition comes from HP's ProLiant DL360 G6 but the R510 is more compact and the forthcoming model with extra drive bays will be able to match it closely for capacity.


The new PowerEdge R510 is an interesting alternative to standard rack mount storage servers and its compact 24in deep chassis doesn’t compromise on features. It offers plenty of remote management options and low power consumption, although if you want even more storage choices we’d recommend waiting for Dell to launch the R510 version with the higher drive bay count.

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 2 x 2.26GHz L5520 Xeon Memory: 8GB 1066MHz UDIMM DDR3 Storage: 4 x 146GB Seagate Savvio 10K.3 SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers RAID: Dell SAS 6/iR with 256MB cache Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6 Expansion: 4 x PCI-e slots Network: 2 x Gigabit Power: 1 x 1100W hot-plug supply Management: Embedded IPMI 2.0 BMC Software: Dell Management Console Warranty: 3yrs on-site NBD

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.