Fujitsu Primergy RX600 S6 review

Fujitsu’s new Primergy RX600 S6 is a highly scalable enterprise server designed for running critical applications and virtualisation. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell takes a closer look at this mighty Xeon E7 system and its 40 processor cores.

Noise levels may not be so important in a dedicated server room, but poorly calibrated fans can waste an awful lot of power. The fact that the RX600 S6's chassis design allows its fans to run more slowly will have a positive impact on overall consumption.

The RX600 S6's chassis design allows its fans to run more slowly, which will have a positive impact on overall power consumption.Our tests confirmed this too, and the system proved to be very frugal when up and running. Even with all four hot-plug 850W supplies included, we measured the server with Windows Server 2008 R2 in idle pulling 427W.

With the SiSoft Sandra benchmark pushing all 80 logical cores to near-full utilisation, power consumption peaked at 760W. This shows the Xeon E7 processors do deliver on their power promises a Dell PowerEdge R910 server equipped with four eight-core 2GHz Xeon X7550 CPUs drew a noticeably higher 539W in idle and 859W under heavy load.

Fujitsu Primergy RX600 S6

Fujitsu Primergy RX600 S6

The quartet of 10-core Xeon E7-4850 processors in the review system provide an impressive 80 logical cores.

The RX600 S6's storage options are not as good as the R910, though. Dell offers this particular server with four-bay or 16-bay SFF options, while the RX600 S6 only has room for up to eight hot-swap SFF drives. Fujitsu does at least offer offers a choice of SATA, 6Gbit/s SAS and SSD storage, though.

RAID options start with Fujitsu's basic card that supports SAS and SATA internal drives, and can also manage striped or mirrored arrays. The price given the system reviewed here includes the 512MB cache and battery backup upgrades, which also bring dual-drive redundant RAID-6 into play.

The RX600 S6's motherboard supports up to two optional UFMs (USB Flash modules) that plug into proprietary slots and can be used to boot the server into a hypervisor. However, Dell goes one better in this department and its R910 has a dual SD Card controller that automatically keeps a backup of the primary boot media.

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.