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Dell PowerEdge R815

Dell is the first blue chip to deliver a quad socket server using AMD’s new Bulldozer architecture. It looks like good value, so read Dave Mitchell’s review to see if it moves the earth.

Price
£8,781
Recommended awardDell PowerEdge R815

Along with virtualisation, Dell is aiming the R815 at businesses looking to consolidate their existing servers into fewer, more energy efficient, systems. For a 2U server, the R815 packs a heck of lot into a compact chassis. The review system came equipped with four 2.1GHz 16-core Opteron 6272 processors and the listed price includes a healthy 128GB of low-voltage RDIMM memory, too.

Dell supports the entire Opteron 6200 range, which offers a real mixed bag of core counts: one 4-core, two 8-core, two 12-core and five 16-core models. The 6272 modules in the review system have a 115W rating, but other 16-core options range from the 85W 1.6GHz 6262HE to the power-hungry 140W 2.6GHz 6282SE.

Along with virtualisation, Dell is aiming the R815 at businesses looking to consolidate their existing servers into fewer, more energy efficient, systems. It certainly scores highly in the latter department, as our power tests show it to be easy on the utility supply. Our R815 had two hot-pluggable redundant 1100W power supplies and our in-line meter recorded a draw of 297W with Windows Server 2008 R2 idling.

Using the SiSoft Sandra benchmarking app, we saw peak power usage climb to around 660W. To put this in perspective, a Dell PowerEdge R810 with a pair of 2GHz Intel X6550 Xeons and the same amount of memory pulled 392W in idle and 558W under peak load. Considering the R810 server had 16 physical cores, as opposed to 64 in the R815, the energy consumption benefits of the Opteron 6200 are quite clear.

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