IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Dell EMC PowerEdge R740xd review

Dell EMC’s mighty PowerEdge R740xd debuts Intel’s core-heavy Skylake-SP Xeons

Price
£15,845
  • Massive CPU core count; Supremely versatile storage options; Top value; Quality design and build; Classy iDRAC9 management
  • OpenManage Enterprise still on the drawing board

Intel's Purley platform promises the biggest shakeup in the server world since the 'Nehalem' launch over eight years ago and in this exclusive review, we look at the first production server to show off Intel's new Skylake-SP Xeon Processor Scalable family.

On review we have Dell EMC's PowerEdge R740xd, which heralds in its 14th Generation PowerEdge series. It showcases a completely new architecture with even more storage options, enhanced system security and a radical revamp in the server management department.

Designed to support a wide range of business applications including VDI and software defined storage, the PowerEdge R740xd allows you to mix and match any type of drive in its chassis. With support for HDD, SSD, boot-optimized M.2 SSDs and up to 24 NVMe SSDs, it allows businesses to tailor storage precisely to their capacity and performance requirements.

Specs and hardware

The Xeon Processor Scalable family is enormous, with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum products targeting the performance, energy-optimized, 10-year extended life and Omni-Path Fabric sectors. You have two Bronze 31xx models, eight 41xx Silvers, six 51xx Golds, twenty-three 61xx Golds and twelve 81xx Platinums.

All use the same LGA-3647 Socket P - so you can forget all about Xeon DP, MP, E5, E7 and so on, as these have now been merged into one product line. Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum CPUs all support dual socket deployments, Gold and Platinum support 4P configurations while Platinum supports 8P.

Our review system came with dual 2.1GHz Intel Xeon Gold 6130 CPUs delivering an impressive 32 physical and 64 logical cores. A big bonus of the Socket P implementation is that the R740xd supports all models, right up to the massive 28-core 2.5GHz 8180 Platinum Xeon.

All have six DDR4 memory channels, but only the Gold 5122, 61xx and Platinum CPUs support the faster 2,667MHz variety. Our server came supplied with 192GB of 2,667MHz memory, and its 24 DIMMs slots allow this to be expanded to 3TB.

Cooling technology

Cooling for this 2U chassis has been completely redesigned, with the more open honeycombed front bezel improving air flow. The server is available with 12 LFF or 24 SFF hot-swap front bays and the carriers have also been redesigned for better air flow.

It's no wonder Dell EMC had to redesign cooling, as this server is jam-packed with internal features. Six hot-plug fans link up with a multi-vector cooling feature, which senses when certified PCI-Express cards are installed and automatically adjusts the air flow to them.

A removable full-width tray takes four NVMe SSDs. Underneath this are two CPU sockets, fitted with big passive heatsinks and flanked by 24 DIMM slots. If you plan of expanding to 3TB of memory you must specify M-designated Gold or Platinum CPUs, as only these support 1.5TB of memory per socket.

Featured Resources

2022 State of the multi-cloud report

What are the biggest multi-cloud motivations for decision-makers, and what are the leading challenges

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM robotic process automation

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by robotic process automation

Free Download

Multi-cloud data integration for data leaders

A holistic data-fabric approach to multi-cloud integration

Free Download

MLOps and trustworthy AI for data leaders

A data fabric approach to MLOps and trustworthy AI

Free Download

Recommended

Dell EMC PowerEdge R550 review: High on storage, low on price
Server & storage

Dell EMC PowerEdge R550 review: High on storage, low on price

7 Apr 2022
Dell EMC PowerEdge R750xs review: A pocket-friendly power plant
Server & storage

Dell EMC PowerEdge R750xs review: A pocket-friendly power plant

7 Feb 2022

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

15 Nov 2022
The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers
Security

The top 12 password-cracking techniques used by hackers

14 Nov 2022
Ex-Twitter tech lead says platform's infrastructure can sustain engineering layoffs
Infrastructure

Ex-Twitter tech lead says platform's infrastructure can sustain engineering layoffs

23 Nov 2022