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Fujitsu Server Primergy TX1330 M4 review: A smart server investment

A budget-priced and highly expandable Xeon E-2100 tower server that has everything a growing SMB needs

Price
£1,084
  • Great expansion options; Smart internal design; Detailed monitoring toolkit
  • Default RAID controller only supports four SATA drives

Fujitsu is known for its affordable single-socket servers, and the Server Primergy TX1330 M4 is its most powerful yet. Designed for growing businesses and branch offices, this modestly sized tower crams in a Xeon E-2100 CPU and offers plenty of room to expand as needed.

That starts with the RAM: our test system came with a six-core 3.3GHz Xeon E-2136 CPU and 16GB of DDR4 memory, but you can expand this to 64GB -- and a future BIOS upgrade will increase the limit to 128GB.

If storage capacity is a priority, the TX1330 M4 has you well covered here. Our starter system came with an eight-bay SFF drive cage, and you can add two further eight-bay cages with a field-installable kit that includes a 24x SAS expander board. Those using LFF drives can start with four bays and boost capacity to 12 - and if the available cage options don't quite suit your needs, you can contact Fujitsu's Made4you team and have a custom system specially created.

If you're going down this route, just be aware that the integrated RAID controller only supports four SATA drives. To use all eight SFF bays in our review system, we had to add Fujitsu's PRAID CP400i eight-port SATA/SAS3 controller, adding 108 to the cost.

Similarly, you can fit up to four high-performance NVMe SSDs, but you will need to specify a PRAID EP540i or EP580i dual-function RAID controller to control them. The motherboard itself offers dual M.2 SSD slots, of which one takes SATA modules and the other supports NVMe. Next to these, a microSD slot is used by the optional embedded Lifecycle Management (eLCM) tool to store OS images and server updates.

Around the back, you'll find four free PCIe slots, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a dedicated port for Fujitsu's iRMC S5 remote management controller. This isn't as slick as Dell EMC's iDRAC9, but it provides plenty of detail on critical components and power consumption, and adding an Advanced licence enables virtual media services and OS remote control.

In addition to this, you can access a useful toolbox of monitoring and management tools via Fujitsu's web-based System Monitor utility. This provides a simple homepage showing an overview of system health, from which you can drill down and see the status of individual components, configure email alerts, schedule update downloads from Fujitsu's support site and directly access the iRMC web console.

Physical security is good because the two front panel sections can be locked with a key to keep the drives, peripheral bays and power button safe from wandering fingers. The key also unlocks the side panel and, with this removed, a tidy interior awaits.

The motherboard is covered by a large plastic air shroud; Fujitsu offers both a single fan model and a larger version with 9cm fans fore and aft. The Cool-safe chassis design employs honeycomb grilles to improve airflow, allowing the fans to run slowly and quietly: even though our test system had the dual fan module, we measured noise levels of just 41.8dB from one metre in front.

The server is energy efficient, too. With Windows Server 2019 sitting idle, we recorded a tiny draw of 18W, rising to only 120W with the CPU under maximum load. The juice is provided by a 450W hotplug PSU, and a spare bay alongside it will accept either a second redundant PSU or Fujitsu's battery backup module. Costing 304, this comes with a Windows management tool that cleanly powers the server down if the power goes out for more than four minutes.

If you're in the market for a Xeon E-2100 server, the Fujitsu Server Primergy TX1330 M4 is a very persuasive proposition. It's compact, quiet and affordable, and it offers enormous upgrade potential, making it a smart investment for upwardly mobile businesses.

Verdict

SMBs that want Xeon E-2100 server power at a low price will love Fujitsu’s Primergy TX1330 M4. This compact and quiet tower is very well built while its upgrade potential and superb storage expansion capabilities make it a trusty long-term investment.

Tower chassis
3.3GHz 6-core Xeon E-2136
16GB 2,667MHz DDR4 ECC (max 64GB)
Intel C246
Supports RAID0, 1, 10 (4 SATA drives)
8 x hot-swap SSF bays
No HDDs included
DVD-RW
2 x M.2 SSD slots
4 x PCI-E 3
2 x Gigabit
450W hot-plug PSU (max 2)
Fujitsu iRMC S5 Standard with Gigabit
177 x 560 x 455mm (WDH)
1 year on-site NBD warranty
Power 18W idle, 120W peak

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