Dell’s R710 in 2021
The Dell R710 is an older and rather cheap and widely available 2U rack server. It offers a way to get into high power compute and virtulization for the home with a flexible footprint, expandable HBA controller options, remote iDrac Management tools, and IPMI controllable (tameable) fans.
Cheap Upgrades Galore
The Dell R710 has some offerings for processors that range from anemic to very good, and best of all is the price to get that top end. A pair of X5675’s will set you back a cheap dinner for 2 ppl. The X5680 eaks out a great top end performance for a few bucks more. Rails are cheap for this server and always in stock also. With 18 ram slots, the R710 does a good job of allowing you to get to or past 128GB. Many offerings come with gobs of RAM (never too much) so keep an eye for that as well.
DDR3 by the handful? Sure! That’s how mine came.
The 2.5″ x 8 format even gives you an extra bay for sticking **** something into. Give google images a roll with r710 mod and prepare to be wowzed. If you want to “easily” run a GPU, a 1030 is pretty much the upper bound on the 25w pcie lanes the R710 offers. Not to say others have not made it work, but easily…
The R710 does a pretty decent job as a plotter for Chia also, especially with madmax. Getting 44 min plots with a full ramdisk is pretty suprising.
The Future of the R710
You have to look at the price and ram heavily in a R710 package, as they are starting to show their age for certain tasks like Desktop Virtulization, workstation roles, due to limitations on the GPU capabilities with easy fixes only considered. The processors were the last before the major stepping stone upgrade that was Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge that propelled Intel forward in a major stride.
A 12th generation Dell, like an R720 or T620 can fill any modern role very capably still and will be able to for the forseable future… yeah yeah Windows 11 TPM 2.0 but thats going to be a non-thing for most users.
Dell R710ii in 2.5″ format
Dell 11th generation 2.5″ Sleds
Dell R710 Rails
Intel X5680 Processors
128GB DDR3 RAM
R710 PCI-E x16 Riser Card Board GP347 (for full 16 pcie slots) or check before you buy to make sure that server has the second bays riser board.
Notes, Tips and Tricks
You cannot run the latest version of ESXi “Officially” on an R710
Consider your Electical Rates. 11th generation Intel Dells do not idle down well. If you pay a high price/kw this is not your server.