Dell Poweredge R640 suitable for home lab use?

jmannik

New Member
Jun 15, 2021
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Hi guys,

I have the opportunity to acquire a pair of Dell Poweredge R640 servers with the following specs:
2x Xeon Gold 6134
6x 32GB 2666 RDIMM
8x standard fans

I was wondering if these would be suitable for a home lab install, does anyone have any feedback on how loud or quiet these servers are?
I have been searching for a while now without success.

The servers would also come with a SCv3020 as well for storage.
It is a very good price so im hoping it will be usable for my use case (esxi lab running various game servers etc.)
 

jmannik

New Member
Jun 15, 2021
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That's a hell of a home lab starter pack. The 1U servers could be a little whiny (small fans that have to spin hard to move air) but I'd still do it and figure out a way to deal with the noise if needed.
Hahaha yeah I have spent the morning looking at sound proofing materials and sound proofed racks.

I know 1U servers have got much better over the years, I was hoping someone would have one that I could get a good idea of how much sound proofing ill actually need
 

jmannik

New Member
Jun 15, 2021
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so... I pulled the trigger on my offer and it was accepted.
I pick up my new servers on Sunday :D

- 2x Poweredge R640:
2 Xeon Gold 6134
6 32GB 2666 RDIMM
2 16gb SD cards
2 240GB Mix Use Sata SSD

- 1x Poweredge R740XD
2 Xeon Silver 4110
2 32GB 2666 RDIMM
5 8TB NLSAS

- 1x SCv3020
12 1.8TB SAS
8 480GB RI SSD SAS

all associated rails and cables and for less $ than the going price of one R640 on its own...
Needless to say the "Accepted" response was not what I was expecting when I made my offer lol

Edit:
So I will update this thread once I have them on hand and get a chance to do some testing so if anyone else has the same questions ill be able to answer them.
 
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jmannik

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Jun 15, 2021
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Ok, so initial impressions:

The early results are not what I expected, I was really worried about the 1u servers being too loud to use at home, it is actually the SCV3020 and R740 that are the loudest. I have been tweaking and testing a bit with the R740xd but cannot get it to be quiet, it might be the 10gbit ethernet or some other factor im not aware of, I am still investigating.
The SCv3020 is a unique beast, it doesn't seem to work like any other san's ive used, It too does not seem to want to run quietly, I am not sure I like it but ive still got a lot of testing to do on it, but it will be waiting on some sound proofing materials for my server room and a new rack.

If anyone has any tips for making the R740xd quiet I would be very interested.
 

sboesch

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Aug 3, 2012
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In the IDRAC, you should be able to enable Sound Cap. Go to Configuration, System Settings, Fan Configuration, Automatic Fan Speed Calculation, and choose Sound Cap.
 

jmannik

New Member
Jun 15, 2021
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In the IDRAC, you should be able to enable Sound Cap. Go to Configuration, System Settings, Fan Configuration, Automatic Fan Speed Calculation, and choose Sound Cap.
This was the first thing I did, unfortunately it does not seem to have much impact on the volume.
A little digging through forums last night I found mentioned that certain hardware configuration make the idrac ramp the fans up higher.

edit: Just had a look, it lists the minimum fan speed as 28% and current speed as 36% which is about
7600rpm

Config is as follows:
2x Xeon Silver 4110
2x 32GB 2666 RDIMM
BOSS controller card with 2x 240gb nvme drives
H740P RAID controller
2x SAS HBA 12Gbps external controllers (currently removed, which did lower noise a bit)
Broadcom 57412 2 port 10Gb SFP+ and 5720 2 port 1Gb Base-T
 
Last edited:

sboesch

Active Member
Aug 3, 2012
467
94
28
Columbus, OH
This was the first thing I did, unfortunately it does not seem to have much impact on the volume.
A little digging through forums last night I found mentioned that certain hardware configuration make the idrac ramp the fans up higher.

edit: Just had a look, it lists the minimum fan speed as 28% and current speed as 36% which is about
7600rpm

Config is as follows:
2x Xeon Silver 4110
2x 32GB 2666 RDIMM
BOSS controller card with 2x 240gb nvme drives
H740P RAID controller
2x SAS HBA 12Gbps external controllers (currently removed, which did lower noise a bit)
Broadcom 57412 2 port 10Gb SFP+ and 5720 2 port 1Gb Base-T
If this is not a production box as of yet, I would be curious to see how loud it is if you take the HBA's out. Something is generating some heat, it's likely those.
 

jmannik

New Member
Jun 15, 2021
19
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If this is not a production box as of yet, I would be curious to see how loud it is if you take the HBA's out. Something is generating some heat, it's likely those.
Ahh sorry, forgot to say but the fan speeds are with the two HBA's removed already.
These are all for my home lab, its a little overkill but I do get to try things I cant with my clients at work, so in theory I can do anything with these servers
 

jmannik

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Jun 15, 2021
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Oh, I forgot to mention how much I paid...
AU$2000 for the 2xr640 1xr740 1xscv3020 and an old ps4000 as well
 
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jmannik

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Jun 15, 2021
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This project is currently on hold while I arrange a rack.
My server room is under my staircase so I have limited height to work with (around 1.3 meters) so ive been hunting a suitable 22-24RU rack that is 1000mm deep at the right price (surely I can find one that someone just wants to get rid of lol)
 

jmannik

New Member
Jun 15, 2021
19
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StarTech 4POSTRACK25?
Wasn't really in the budget unfortunately, however I have modified my existing rack which will do for now until I save up enough to get a sound proofed rack (servers are located underneath my stairs, access to the space is via a door in the master bedroom lol