Are you thinking about investing in a rackmount server? There are plenty of good reasons to buy a Dell PowerEdge R630, especially if you’re running a business. If you deal with digital goods, technological services, and so forth, having an in-house server is just a smart idea. The Dell PowerEdge R630 might be a little long in the tooth at first glance, but it is well worth the cash.
Servers have much longer lifespans than their peers in laptops and desktops. You can potentially snag the Dell PowerEdge R630 for a song, provided you know where to look. This in-depth review is going to take a closer look at why an R630 is a smart purchase, despite first impressions.
What Is the Dell PowerEdge R630?
- Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors
- Up to 24 DIMMs of DDR4 memory
- As many as 24 1.8-inch SSDs (23TB)
- Up to 3 PCIe 3.0 expansion slots
- 4 Express Flash NVMe PCIe SSDs
The PowerEdge R630 was a top-of-the-line server upon release in 2014, and the last nine years have been rather kind to it as a whole. While it might not be quite as new these days, you’ve got plenty of power to keep in mind. The secondary market is filled with these servers and you could potentially fit a data center with some high-performance units for a killing.
The PowerEdge R630 is a 1U rackmount server, meaning you’re not eating up valuable rack space. You’ve got support for up to 44 cores of processing power, making this a potent machine even nine years after its initial release. It does still use the slower DDR4 RAM, but as you’ll see that isn’t as much of a hindrance as you might think.
The PowerEdge R630 is still a highly potent machine, and will likely remain so for the next few years. Servers generally have much longer lifespans than a consumer workstation or laptop, provided you engage in regular maintenance.
|Specs||Dell PowerEdge R630|
|Form Factor||1U Rack Server|
|Processor Support||Intel Xeon E5-2600 family|
|Memory Slots||24 DIMM Slots|
|Drive Bays||10 2.5-inch drive bays, up to 24 1.8-inch drive bays|
|Maximum Internal Storage||14 to 23 TB with hot-swap support|
Reasons to Buy a Dell PowerEdge R630 Server
If these specs sound good to you, take a look at our list of reasons why you should buy a Dell PowerEdge R630 Server today.
It Has Dual Processor Support
Having dual processor support is just a nice feature to have on servers. It means you have potential for a variety of different tasks. When you consider the various use cases of a rackmount server, this leads to the R630 being a powerful choice no matter the occasion. You’ve got space for a pair of Intel Xeon E5-2600 CPUs, with support for up to 44 separate processing cores.
This is plenty of power for a variety of situations, including running virtualized machines, or any processing-heavy work you might run on a server. Beyond just acting as file hosts and virtualization hubs, servers generally have more power than a workstation in terms of parallel processing.
While it lacks a GPU by default, you could readily slot one into the PCI-E slots and turn the R630 into a powerful render farm or AI model trainer for a fraction of the cost. These services when engaged by outside services can run for the same price monthly as a refurbished Dell PowerEdge R630.
You Can Slot in 10 SATA Hard Drives
This headline is a bit of a misnomer. You can slot in up to 10 2.5-inch SATA hard drives, this number shoots up quite a bit if you’re looking at other hard drive sizes. You also have the option of slotting in four NVMe SSDs, perfect for running any mission-critical programs or the server’s operating system.
You’ve got the option of slotting in up to 24 1.8-inch SSDs, giving up to 23 TBs of extremely fast storage. If you’re opting for mechanical storage, you can slot in up to 18 TB of hot-swap-ready SAS drives. This is plenty of storage to complement the hardware and software RAID controllers built into the server itself. To say this is ready for any task is an understatement.
It would be nice to see support for 3.5-inch drive caddies, you certainly won’t see many complaints from blazing-fast storage used in a NAS configuration or for running virtual machines across an entire network.
It Is Built for Customization
Most servers come equipped for a variety of tasks. However, you’ve got plenty of expansion options for the Dell PowerEdge R630 server. It has remote management support through IDRAC8, with the potential to upgrade to an enterprise-class module if you get an additional module.
Further, you’ve got 3 PCI-E lanes, which does limit additional components, but should work just fine if you’re looking to add additional storage or GPUs for certain workloads. Simply put, the Dell PowerEdge R630 is built to tailor to your needs, rather than adapting to what it is capable of doing.
This Is a Versatile Server
The Dell PowerEdge R630 server is a powerful and versatile machine, despite its overall age. Any network admin worth their salt could think of dozens of use cases in its default configuration. When you start factoring in upgrades and a second CPU, the potential skyrockets.
To put it succinctly, the Dell PowerEdge R630 server is going to fit a wide array of workloads. You might find it less-than-ideal for some scenarios like AI model training, but there’s nothing stopping you from slotting in an enterprise-grade NVIDIA GPU with CUDA cores and going to town.
This will host files, sites, databases, run virtual machines and so much more. Servers by their very nature have to be versatile computers, and the latent potential for the Dell PowerEdge R630 lends itself to these workloads ably.
The Vast Memory Support
You won’t be running out of memory when running the Dell PowerEdge R630 server. With support for up to 24 DIMM slots, you’ve got up to a terabyte of memory, which is astounding for its price point. You could readily get this server fully kitted out for a fraction of the price of a newer one, with plenty of memory and storage to do anything you need.
The PowerEdge R630 does support the older DDR4 standard, but that’s still plenty these days. In another ten years, that might be an issue, but nine years out from release, this is barely a consideration to keep in mind when looking at a server like this.
So, should you purchase a Dell PowerEdge R630 server? Honestly, it’s a smart purchase, despite most units you’ll find being on the secondary market. These older servers have plenty of life left in them for the future, and if you shop for the right components you should be well set for years to come. It might not be up to task for complicated AI work in its default state.
That is hardly a consideration to keep in mind, however, as you can simply just install the GPU of your choice to get CUDA support for processing AI workloads. When you consider these are on the secondary market readily for around $400, there’s little reason not to pick one up for your network closet or home lab.
Reasons to Buy a Dell PowerEdge R630 Summary
|1. The PowerEdge R630 can support a pair of processors, giving up to 44 cores for use.|
|2. You’ve got space for a minimum of 10 hard drives in the caddy, with the potential for 24 SSDs slotted in at the same time.|
|3. Dell’s PowerEdge R630 can be customized for any task thanks to the wide support for additional components.|
|4. The PowerEdge R630 is versatile, and can ably suit any task where you might deploy a server.|
|5. You’ve got up to 24 DIMM slots for over a terabyte of fast DDR4 RAM.|
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