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Dell Poweredge R730: Review with Specs, Price, and More

The Dell PowerEdge R730 was a game-changing server when it was released on January 1, 2015. As part of Dell‘s 13th generation of PowerEdge servers, the R730 delivered cutting-edge performance, impressive expandability, and rock-solid reliability that made it an instant hit with enterprise customers and data center operators. Even though it was discontinued in 2018, the R730 remains a popular and powerful choice on the secondhand market. Let‘s take a closer look at what makes this server so special.

At the heart of the PowerEdge R730 are two Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 or v4 processors. These CPUs can have up to 18 cores each in the v3 range or a whopping 22 cores each for the v4 models. With support for two CPUs, that means an R730 can have up to 44 physical cores and 88 threads for incredible processing power. Pair that with up to 3TB of DDR4 memory running at 2400MHz across 24 DIMM slots and you have a server ready to tackle the most demanding workloads.

One of the best things about the R730 is its flexibility, especially when it comes to storage and expansion. You can choose between 16 2.5" drive bays or 8 3.5" bays, with support for up to 64TB of internal storage using the latest high-capacity drives. If that‘s not enough, Dell also offers the R730xd model which expands the maximum drive bays to 24 2.5" or 12 3.5" drives for up to 100TB of storage. You also get a ton of expansion potential with 7 PCIe 3.0 slots, including two that can handle full-height, double-width 300W GPU accelerators. That makes the R730 very popular for virtualization and VDI workloads.

Even fully kitted out, the PowerEdge R730 is remarkably manageable for such a powerful 2U server. It comes with the Dell Remote Access Controller 8 (iDRAC8) which provides a dedicated management port and allows for remote deployment, updates, monitoring and maintenance. You can mount the server in a rack, cable it up, and then do the rest from the comfort of your desk instead of having to haul a crash cart over to the data center. The iDRAC8 can be accessed through any web browser or Dell‘s OpenManage Mobile app for secure remote management from anywhere.

Reliability and uptime are critical for any server deployed in enterprise or data center scenarios. The R730 has your back with fully redundant hot-plug power supplies and cooling fans. If any of those components fail, you can simply pull out the dead part and slot in a new one without missing a beat. The same goes for the hard drives, which can be configured in RAID arrays for data redundancy and protection against drive failures. All of these hot-swap components are tucked neatly behind a locking front bezel to prevent accidental or unauthorized removal.

Despite packing all of this power and functionality into a relatively compact 2U chassis, the PowerEdge R730 is remarkably energy efficient for its capabilities. Careful engineering of the internal layout ensures optimal airflow to keep the system running cool even under heavy loads. The server also supports low voltage DIMMs and has variable speed fans to keep power consumption and noise to a minimum. A titanium-rated power supply option can provide up to 96% efficiency to help lower operating costs, especially in large deployments.

As you would expect from a tier 1 manufacturer like Dell, the PowerEdge R730 is fully certified and supported for all major operating systems and hypervisors. It‘s an ideal platform for Windows Server and Hyper-V, Red Hat and SUSE Linux, Citrix XenServer, or VMWare vSphere. And with such a flexible and expandable architecture, an R730 can start out as a general-purpose workhorse for basic infrastructure duties, then grow capabilities over time to become an application, database, VDI, or analytics powerhouse in your data center.

Dell has a well-earned reputation for solid engineering and reliable products backed by world-class service and support options. The PowerEdge R730 exemplifies all of those qualities in a dense, powerful, and versatile 2U rack server that punches well above its weight class. New or used, this server should be on your short list if you‘re looking for a flexible and scalable platform to anchor your IT infrastructure.

Whether you‘re running a large enterprise deployment or a small business needing a powerful all-in-one solution, you owe it to yourself to consider the PowerEdge R730. It‘s the kind of server that can pay dividends over many years by growing and adapting with your organization‘s needs. Even with newer models on the market, a lightly used R730 can still provide the perfect mix of price, performance and potential. For many use cases, it will be the last server you need to buy this decade.