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Introducing Dell’s range of performance pedestal servers, the latest PowerEdge 830 is aimed at a wide range of applications including remote offices and workgroups, or small businesses looking for their first server but with a bit more power on tap. It brings in support for Intel’s Pentium D processor which offers the bonus of dual-core processing but at a similar price to standard Pentium 4 based systems.
As we’ve come to expect from Dell the 830 is very well built. Its solid steel chassis looks up to the job of small office duties and physical security is better than most as the front panel can be key locked which also blocks access to the side panel thumbscrew. Removing the side panel reveals a reasonably tidy interior although it’s not as clean as Armari’s DC945G Server. The loose IDE and power cables do increase internal clutter but we found access to all key components was generally unimpeded.
The 3GHz Pentium D processor sits near the top of the Dell motherboard and is surmounted by one of the tallest passive heatsinks we’ve yet seen. This in turn is covered by an easily removable plastic shroud that directs air over the memory modules and processor heatsink. All cooling is handled by a large fan at the rear but the shroud makes sure that air is drawn through the front panel and over the hard disks first. Another advantage is that once the variable speed fan has settled down after initial power up, noise levels are low enough to allow this system to sit unobtrusively on the desktop.
For your money you get a pair of fast 512MB PC2-4200 memory modules and the motherboard supports up to 8GB. Expansion is further helped by a pair of 133MHz PCI-X and a single 32-bit PCI slot plus x1 and x8 PCI Express slots. Storage is well catered for with a triplet of 74GB Maxtor SATA/150 hard disks in residence, while the drive cage has room for one more. The motherboard does offer a quad of embedded SATA interfaces but RAID is on the menu in the shape of Dell’s CERC 1.5 six-channel PCI controller card and the three drives came configured as a RAID-5 fault tolerant array. A nice touch is that spare SATA and power cables are already in position and ready to receive the extra drive.