Dell PowerEdge T630 Tower Server Review

(Video Transcript – Updated May 26, 2017)

Versatile, efficient, and scaleable are just some of the adjectives used to describe Dell’s 13th generation PowerEdge T630 Tower Server. The Dell T630 is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses and remote offices. It has the flexibility to handle a wide variety of business functions including email, web, database hosting, server consolidation, VDI, and Big Data Analytics.

The T630 supports two Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 family multi-core processors, the C610 chipset, DDR4 memory, PCIe 3.0, and tiering to deliver peak performance.

You can start out with one processor and add another as your business grows. Choose from 19 server specific Xeon E5 v3 processors starting with a six core 1.65GHz E5 2603 processor. For ultra-performance the 2.3 GHz E5-2699 offers 45MB of L3 cache, 3.6MHz TurboBoost and features 18 cores. This translates to 36 virtual cores with Intel’s hyper-threading technology.

Since this video review was published the system now also supports Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors featuring a 2.5MB cache per core and options of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, and 22 cores. With 22 core processors that’s 44 virtual cores per processor.

image of T630 motherboard cpu sockets
Dell T630 CPU sockets on mohterboard.

Supported memory speeds are dependent on both the processor speed and the memory speed, defaulting to the slowest performer. In order to realize the maximum access speed of 2133MHz, supported by the E5 v3 processors and DDR4 memory, requires a higher-rated multi-core processor. On the plus side, the new v3 processors use significantly less power and the DDR4 memory modules use about 40-50% less energy than the DDR3 modules translating to lower operational costs with greater performance.

T630 server motherboard with CPU memory sockets indicated
PowerEdge T630 motherboard with memory channel indicated

The same holds true for DDR4 memory modules which are now supported on the Dell T630 and offer transfer speeds of up to 2400MT/s. This too is an update from when the system was released.

An integrated Matrox G200 with iDRAC8 is a standard feature but the system has room for up to four full-height, full-width 300W GPU processing accelerators. Two for each processor. The supported graphics card accelerators and coprocessors are used for virtual desktop Infrastructure (VDI) devices and virtualized graphics, local DVI/display connections are not supported.

24 memory module sockets are available and support both RDIMMs or LRDIMMs at transfer speeds of 1,600, 1,800, 2,133, and now 2400MHz using DDR4 memory modules. In a single processor configuration, half of the memory slots are available and will support a minimum of 2GB and a maximum of 768GB. With a two processor configuration, and all 24 slots filled with 64GB DIMM modules, up to 1.5 Terabytes of memory is available.

Depending on your storage needs the T630 offers two different chassis configurations featuring either SAS or SATA SSF or LFF drives. The LFF chassis supports three different configurations:

  • Eight LFF drives
  • eighteen LFF drives
  • And a combination of Eight LFF drives plus four optional PCIe SSDs in a front mounted flex bay

For performance applications the SFF-drive chassis offers four different storage options:

  • (16) 2.5-inch drives
  • (16) 2.5-inch drives plus (4) PCIe SSDs in a front mounted Flex Bay
  • (16) 2.5-inch drives plus an additional (16) SFF drives in the optional Flex Bay
  • Or up to (32) 2.5-inch SSD hard drives
PowerEdge T630 32-Bay 2.5-inch chassis
Dell T630 server with 32 2.5-inch drives installed

2.5-inch SFF drives offer superior performance when compared to the 3.5-inch LFF drives.  The T630 server supports only internal hot-swappable hard drives and you should consider your storage needs carefully before purchasing.

Several different RAID controllers are supported. The embedded entry-level PERC S130 features software managed RAID 0, 1, and 5 and can support up to eight hot-swap SATA drives. The PERC H730P RAID controller has eight internal ports, and delivers two PowerPC processor cores with 2GB non-volatile cache memory. The H730P PowerEdge RAID controller allows you to maximize the performance of SSD hard drives, and offers the full range of RAID configurations including RAID 5, 6, 50, 60, and NV cache. This controller also supports LSI CacheCade storage tiering technology for enhanced read/write performance with SSD devices for RAID, and support for SATA and SAS drives.

The PowerEdge T630 has seven PCIe slots total with two full-height, full-length 3.0 slots dedicated to each processor. Two PCIe 2.0 slots are also available to support legacy cards. Up to four express flash PCIe SSD’s can also be installed for performance I/O requirements but you need the H730P controller. Optional dual redundant SD card modules can also be used for virtualization.

PCIe slots on the t630 motherboard
PCIe slots on the PowerEdge T630 motherboard.

The Dell T630 comes with an embedded Intel 1GBE LAN on motherboard network interface controller (NIC). Several different HBA /network cards can also be installed in the PCI express slots to provide I/O processing, and a physical connection between the host system, server, storage, and network devices. A host Bus Adapter can improve the performance of your system by removing dependence on the host microprocessors for both data retrieval and storage tasks. Several different NICs, Fibre Channel HBAs, and SAS HBAs are available depending on your application and configuration.

Redundant power is a standard feature on this system. Depending on your configuration, choose between Platinum rated 495W, 750W, 1100W or 1600W power supplies if you plan on maximizing the storage and PCIe slots. For Data Center applications a Gold-rated 1100W DC power supply is available.

Power supply for Dell T630
PSU for Dell T630 tower server

Redundant fans are recommended if you plan on loading this system with multiple Graphics cards, PCIe SSDs or if you have 18 LFF drives. The 4 redundant fans will slide in just behind the storage. This system also uses a plastic baffle to direct air over the processor heat sinks and memory modules. Two big fans located at the back of the unit help to pull cool air through the chassis.

Managing the Dell T630 is made easy through Dell’s innovative OpenManage suite of management tools which delivers full support for the most popular Operating Systems and hypervisors. OpenManage, along with, Auto Configuration, the OpenManage Essentials console, and iDRAC 8 make deployment, updates, and ongoing administration easy and less time consuming for administrators. Although, you will have to purchase the optional license to remotely connect to the virtual console using Dell’s Open Manage Mobile Android application. Open manage Essentials is freely available for download and allows Administrators to manage, and view multiple Dell servers.

Management options for the Dell T630
Dell offers several integrated management options for the T630.

Depending on your configuration the front of the T630 features:

  • An SD vFlash card slot
  • Power ON button
  • NMI Button (for trouble shooting)
  • System Identification button
  • LCD Menu Button
  • Information Tag
  • LCD Panel
  • USB 2.0 management Port / IDRAC Direct port
  • VGA Connector
  • USB 3.0 Connector
  • Optical drive or tape drive bay
  • Physical drives
  • A Flex Bay, which supports up to four PCIe SSDs or up to sixteen 2.5-inch hard drives.
front of dell poweredge t630 server
Dell T630 front of system

The VGA connector is only available in the rack-mounted version.

On the back of the system you’ll find,

  • Three PCIe expansion card slots on top for processor 1
  • Two integrated 10/100/1000 Milli bits per second NIC connectors
  • System identification connector
  • System Identification button
  • iDRAK Enterprise dedicated management port
  • Dual PSUs
  • 4 USB 2.0 connectors
  • 2 USB 3.0 connectors
  • A video connector
  • Serial connector
  • And four PCIe full height expansion slots for use with a second processor.
dell t630 image of back of system
Dell PowerEdge T630 back of system

The T630 is a 5U system that can also be rack mounted using an optional rail kit. It measures 17 and one-half inches in height, 8.5 inches in width and about 28-inches in depth.

Supported operating systems include:

  • Microsoft® Windows Server
  • SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server
  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux
  • And VMware®

The Dell PowerEdge T630 tower server is highly customizable to adapt to a wide variety of demanding workloads and is a great addition to any small to medium sized business that don’t have the space for a dedicated server room. As your business grows T630 can grow with you, offers loads of storage, and is 5U rack mountable.

This system is highly customizable to adapt to a wide variety of demanding workloads and is a great addition to any small to medium sized business without the space for a dedicated server room. As your business grows this system can grow with you, offers loads of storage, and is 5U rack mountable. If you have any questions give us a call or leave a comment below.

For pricing on The Dell PowerEdge T630 Tower Server visit IT Creations.

Leave a Reply