Dell PowerEdge R720: Full Review with Specs, Price, and More

dell poweredge rack at a data center

Dell PowerEdge R720: Full Review with Specs, Price, and More

You may have heard of one of Dell’s most famous server computers: the Dell PowerEdge R720.

Servers like this have changed the world more than we can imagine. They power data centers, web hosting facilities, and some of the biggest companies in the world. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon make use of servers just like these to power the websites we all know and love.

Now that the Dell PowerEdge R720 is getting older and starting to come down in price, you may be tempted to buy one for your home or small business. If you don’t want to spend thousands on a current-generation server, the R720 may be a good option for you. If you want to set up a home lab or web hosting server to run PHP or Python applications, this server may be just what you need.

Additionally, it’s important to have the right information when picking out a server.

So, we are going to dive deep into the Dell PowerEdge R720 with a full review, including specs, hardware and software configurations, best prices, and more. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good idea if the R720 is the right server for your needs.

Dell PowerEdge R720: 5 Key Points and Must-Know Facts

  • The Dell PowerEdge R720 is the second lowest tier in the PowerEdge lineup, right above the R710.
  • The R720 is based on a 2U rack-mounted design.
  • The Dell PowerEdge R720 can handle between 8 and 16 hard drives.
  • This server can be used to host web applications and email servers.
  • The Dell R720 is compatible with multiple versions of Windows and Linux.

Dell PowerEdge R720: Specs

SpecsStandard Configuration
ProcessorIntel Xeon E5 2600
Max CPU Configuration2
Processor TDP (Each)80w
ChipsetIntel C602
Maximum Memory (per CPU)384GB
Memory TypeDDR3 SDRAM
Memory Slots24x DIMM
Memory Clock Speed1866MHz
Drive Bays8x 3.5” or 16 2.5”
Maximum Storage32TB

Dell PowerEdge R720: Where to Buy

Dell PowerEdge R720 Server 2X E5-2690 2.90Ghz 16-Core 192GB H710 (Renewed)
  • Dell PowerEdge R720 8 x 3.5" Chassis
  • 2x Intel Xeon E5-2697 V2 - 2.90Ghz 16 Core
  • 192 GB PC3-12800R DDR3 Registered Memory
  • Dell PCIe H710p RAID - 1Gbe Cache
  • 4x Enterprise 6TB 7.2K 3.5" SAS Hard Drives
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 01:55 pm GMT

The Dell PowerEdge R720 was first released in 2012, but it is still possible to buy it online. You can find this model new or used, but for the most reliable system, you’ll want to look into a new system. We scoured the internet to find the best deals on the R720, and you can easily find it on Amazon here with many options to choose from.

Dell poweredge r720
The Dell PowerEdge R720 is one of the most famous servers, responsible for everything from data centers to website hosting.

The History of Dell PowerEdge R720: What to Know?

Dell was founded in 1984, and they have been making servers for almost as long.

Dell’s laptops and desktop computers are some of the best in class, especially for business. With such a focus on business computers, it is no surprise that Dell makes a vast lineup of servers.

The Dell PowerEdge R720 is part of the 12th generation of PowerEdge servers. Additionally, Dell took an early lead from HP and IBM by being the first to introduce the new Xeon E5-2600 series processors in their lineup of servers. The R720 is designed to be a massive upgrade over the lower-tier R710. The new design also comes with significantly more powerful hardware.

If you are comparing the PowerEdge R720 to a standard desktop computer, one thing that stands out is the difference in physical design.

As opposed to being a traditional tower-based system, the R720 is a flat, elongated form factor, designed to be housed in a server rack. Because of this, it is slim but very long and heavy. If you try to lift the R720, you’ll notice that it weighs a ton. In fact, the R720 weighs in at an astounding 65 pounds when fully loaded. Although this is heavy in terms of typical desktops, this is a normal weight for a server.

Dell logo on the back of a professional black monitor

Dell PowerEdge 730 integrates a video graphics card.

Dell PowerEdge R720 Versions: Each Edition

There is basically one version of the R720 that comes in multiple configurations. Depending on your needs, you might want to look into a specific configuration as follows:

Single CPU Version

If you are looking to save money and don’t need advanced processing power, you can buy the R720 with only one processor. This is fine for most uses, and you can always add a second CPU at a later date.

Dual CPU Version

For those who need additional processing power, you’ll be able to buy the dual-CPU configuration. Additionally, a second CPU does not add that much to the cost and only requires a bit of additional power. 

2.5″ HDD Version

If you need more hard drive redundancy, the 2.5” configuration will better suit your needs. With the 2.5” model, you get up to sixteen hard drives. Additionally, 2.5” hard drives are offered in two speeds: 10K RPM or 15K RPM. If you need faster performance, the 15K RPM drives are ideal.

3.5″ HDD Version

Dell also offered the R720 in a 3.5” hard drive configuration. The only benefit is that these drives can be found in larger capacities. However, the 3.5” configuration only allows you up to eight drives.

Dell PowerEdge R720: Processing Power

With a high-performance server like the Dell PowerEdge R720, you get a significantly more powerful CPU than a standard desktop. Additionally, server-grade processors are capable of handling more advanced input and output configurations.

Packed inside the default configuration of the Dell R720 is an Intel Xeon E5 2600 processor. Based on Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture, the Xeon E5 2600 processor is offered in 4-core, 6-core, and 8-core configurations. Furthermore, the energy efficiency of these CPUs is debatable. On the base model 4-core Xeon CPU, you will draw 80 watts. The 8-core Xeon draws up to 130 watts.

Besides that, the best part of the R720’s processor configuration is that you can run two processors simultaneously. This can come in handy if you are running resource-intensive applications that demand a lot of processing power.

Dell PowerEdge R720: Memory Configuration

If you are comparing the R720 to a standard desktop computer, the memory capacity might surprise you. With a maximum of 768GB of RAM, the Dell PowerEdge R720 is capable of handling massive workloads. Even if you don’t max out the RAM, the upgradeability is fantastic on this system.

Dell PowerEdge R720: Storage Configuration

Probably the most vital part of a server is the storage. If you are hosting dozens of websites or massive libraries, or running popular web applications, you’ll need a lot of storage space. More importantly, you will need redundant storage space. This means that if one hard drive fails, you should have a backup immediately ready to take its place.

The Dell PowerEdge R720 has an outstanding storage capacity with a maximum of 32TB in the highest configuration. Additionally, you can choose to purchase this model with 2.5” hard drives or 3.5” hard drives. Both models support high-speed 15K RPM disks, which spin much faster than standard desktop drives.

Furthermore, all of the hard drive bays support hot-swappable drives. This means that if a drive needs replacement, you don’t need to power down the system to do the work. When you are running a mission-critical application, having the ability to replace drives without rebooting is a massive advantage.

Dell PowerEdge R720: Energy Efficiency and Power Requirements

Power and energy efficiency might not be your main concern when running a server. After all, hopefully, you are running a business with your server and making enough profit to cover the electricity costs. If you are looking to use a server such as the R720 at home, however, the power usage might shock you.

What makes the Dell PowerEdge R720 stand out from lower-tier servers is the ability to run two simultaneous power supplies. This provides additional redundancy in the event of failure. For example, if one of your power supplies was to fail, you can quickly swap it out without needing to reboot the system.

Additionally, power supplies are offered in several configurations for the R720. The lowest model is the Platinum-efficiency 495-watt model, but you can also upgrade to a 750-watt or even 1,100-watt power supply. 

Dell PowerEdge R720: Software and Management

The Dell PowerEdge R720 supports several different flavors of operating systems.

Additionally, built-in management software allows you to fully automate the process of installation. The most popular operating systems include Windows Server 2008 and 2012, but you can also run Linux distributions like Red Hat Enterprise or Open Suse.

server room data center web hosting

Web hosting companies make it possible for websites to run and be available for use to users like you.

Dell PowerEdge R720: What Was the Public Response?

It is difficult to gauge the public response primarily because the general public was never aware of the role this server played.

Even if no one noticed, the Dell PowerEdge R720 had an impact on everyone’s lives. By powering data centers for some of the world’s largest companies, the R720 played a key part in the infrastructure of the internet.

If you’ve been on the internet anytime within the last ten years, you have probably unknowingly interacted with a Dell PowerEdge R720. By accessing websites hosted on these servers, you formed an anonymous relationship with the R720, much like thousands of other internet users.

Today, the R720 is still in use around the world, and will most likely continue for many years until the last ones are finally decommissioned.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Dell PowerEdge R720?

The Dell PowerEdge R720 is part of Dell’s 12th generation of high-performance Intel Xeon-based rack-mounted servers. It is special due to its extensive upgradeability and efficiency.

How old is the Dell PowerEdge R720?

Although the Dell PowerEdge R720 is over ten years old, with a release date of 2012, it is still useful for tons of different modern applications due to its massive power.

What is the Dell PowerEdge R720 used for?

The Dell PowerEdge R720 is best used for mission-critical business applications, including web-hosting, application hosting, and active directory servers. You can also use it at home if you plan to make your own home lab or server farm.

How much does it cost to buy a Dell PowerEdge R720 today?

You can purchase the Dell PowerEdge R720 today for between $500 and $2,000. There are many purchase options, particularly on Amazon, like this one or this one.

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