the Dell R510 and R710 can both hold regular configurations (e.g. X5650, 24 GB RAM, etc.) and these usually come out to about the same price.

Is there a particular reason why one would choose the R510 over the R710 or vice versa?

There really appears a lack of differentiating factors. The only 'major' factor I found, which doesn't apply to me though, is that the R510 can hold up to 12 3.5in HDDs while the R710 (which is slightly more expensive) can only hold up to 6 3.5in HDDs.

Maybe you guys have some input and bought either of these machines (or both) to shed some light on other differences and why someone should choose one over the other as the pricing is pretty much the same with my configuration.



The R510 is limited to 128GB of RAM as it has only 8 DIMM slots and only supports two out of three available memory channels on the CPU. The R710 supports up to 192GB (18 DIMM slots) and fully supports all three memory channels per CPU. Even if larger RAM configs are not an issue for you the R710 supports 50% more memory bandwidth because it uses that extra memory controller channel.

The R710 has four onboard Broadcom NICs, the R510 has two.

The R710 can support a PCIe x16 slot and a maximum of 4 PCIe devices, the R510 supports at most 3 and can't handle x16.

The R710 supports hot pluggable redundant PSU's, the R510 does not have hot pluggable PSU's. Edited to correct: Apparently this is no longer true, and may never have been. The 750W and 1100W PSU's options are hot pluggable.

The R710 supports a wider variety of rack types with standard Dell accessories.

I've used the R710 a lot - great system and of the differences outlined above the additional memory bandwidth, hot pluggable PSU option and number of onboard NICs were the main reasons why I'd select the R710 over the R510 for general purpose server situations, in my case these were almost all used as VMware ESXi hosts.

I've installed the R510 a couple of times but they were always nodes in clusters that needed lots of onboard storage and where individual node resilience and performance weren't especially important.

  • Accordind to tech spec: 4 hard drive configuration: Non-redundant 480W power supply 8 and 12 hard drive configruation: 750W redundant and non-redundant hot-plug power supply – Goran Peroš Mar 3 '11 at 9:29
  • @Goran - Yeah the 510 supports redundant PSU's which are only required for the higher disk counts but are always an option. What it does not support (that the 710 does) is hot pluggable PSU's. – Helvick Mar 3 '11 at 16:14
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    but 750W PSUs are speced as "hot-plug"? – Goran Peroš Mar 10 '11 at 7:11
  • Interesting - I'm looking at the specs again and you are right. The lack of hot-plug capability on the PSU's was initially listed by Dell as a difference between the two but it seems they have either changed their minds on that, or this was just an incorrect statement all along. Good catch, I've edited the answer to make this clear. – Helvick Mar 10 '11 at 17:33

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/per510/en/HOM/PDF/510en.pdf p114. It's a triple channel system. The part I'm still uncertain on is how they say channel 0 can have two modules while 1 and 2 can only have one. If all 4 per CPU are populated, I'm still not sure if it's a special dual channel mode (combining channels 1 and 2) or a special unbalanced triple (as channel 0 won't match 1 or 2).

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