Dell PowerEdge R820: Specs and Rack Compatibility

The Dell PowerEdge R820 is a rack server that takes up 2 units of space and is intended for use with scalable database workloads and dense virtualization. This server has memory and input/output (I/O) capabilities that are extremely scalable. 

This rack server is perfect for corporate resource planning, data storage, e-commerce, platform virtualization, infrastructural facilities, databases, and data processing with excellent performance for users who require a compute-intensive performance platform (HPC).


The computer can accommodate as much as 3 terabytes of RAM and up to four Intel Xeon E5-4600 or E5-4600 v2 processors. It can store as much as 16 terabytes of data. This server is an ideal addition to both medium-sized and large-sized businesses that require strong processing for e-Commerce, data warehousing, virtual infrastructures (VDI), and enterprise resource planning. It is designed for advanced performance and heavy workloads, and it is intended to handle a lot of work at once (ERP).


There is room for up to four Intel Xeon E5-4600 or E5-4600 v2 processors on the C602 chipset provided by Intel. With a cache of 2.5 megabytes per core, each processor in a four-processor configuration can deliver anywhere from four to twelve processing threads, for a total of up to 48 threads. The main system board provides support for CPUs 1 and 2 and can accommodate a total of 24 dimm slots. In order to support processors three and four, in addition to the 24 additional memory module slots, a processor expansion module, also known as a PEM, is stacked on top of the system board and is connected to it via a QPI connector. Other performance-enhancing features include support for up to 48 DIMM slots, optional front PCIe technology for solid-state drives (SSDs); support for internal GPU accelerators, and seven PCIe Gen3 expansion slots. All of these features can be found in motherboards that support up to 48 DIMM slots. 

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The DDR3 unbuffered DIMMs (UDIMMs), registered DIMMs (RDIMMs), and load-reduced DIMMs are all supported by this server, but you cannot mix and match the different types. The PowerEdge R820 server is capable of supporting an impressive 3 terabytes of memory when configured with four processors and using 64 GB LR-DIMMs in each of its 48 DIMM slots. It also supports data transfer rates of up to 1866 megatransfers per second (MT/s), although this varies depending on the processor, DIMM type, and system profile setting. Each CPU has the capacity to accommodate a total of 12 memory slots, which are partitioned into four channels with a total of three sockets each. Installing LRDIMMs is something we suggest doing in order to get maximum performance.


There is support for as many as sixteen hot-plug SAS, SATA, nearline SAS, or solid-state drives with a 2.5-inch form factor. The storage capacity of this server may reach up to 16 terabytes, and it can accommodate up to sixteen 2.5-inch SAS, SATA, nearline SAS, or solid-state drive (SSD) hard drives. Despite this, the introduction of solid-state drives with capacities of 2 terabytes has enabled a storage capacity of 32 terabytes. Additionally, four more express flash devices are supported in the form of PCIe solid-state drives. Due to the presence of dual internal RAID controllers, administrators have alternatives for the security and dependability of their data thanks to the presence of dual internal RAID controllers. The PERC H310, H710, and H710P are some of the various internal RAID controllers that are available for administrators to select from. Additionally, the system enables the use of an external HBA PERC H810 RAID controller for direct-attached storage. The optional PCIe solid-state drives (SSDs) that can be accessed from the front provide storage tiering for performance applications. This reduces I/O latency and makes access very fast.


This server provides support for a wide range of external devices via the use of its seven available PCIe Gen 3.0 expansion slots. PCIe Gen 3.0 PCIe technology is twice as fast as PCIe Gen 2 technology and provides multiple methods to update and transport data, which makes GPU processing, networking, and energy management more efficient. Gen 3.0 PCIe technology also offers several options to upgrade.


The 12th generation of servers produced by Dell delivers network and administrative features that are beneficial to the expansion of your company. The modular Select Network Adapter from Dell is a NIC solution that is compatible with either Intel or Broadcom technology. It has network speeds of either GBE or 10GBE and enables administrators to flexibly grow in response to changes in demand. Utilizing Dell's Virtual Integrated System, administrators may make changes to virtualization protocols with only a few clicks. Additionally, administrators can enhance uptime by using Dell's failsafe hypervisors, which are duplicated on two SD cards. OpenManage and iDRAC7 with Lifecycle Controller are two of Dell's embedded management tools that give administrators access to virtual, remote, and local network environments. These tools can run out-of-band and can do so even in the absence of an operating system. An extra administration feature is an interactive LCD that comes equipped with a Dell vFlash media SD card. This card is used for imaging, auto-configuration, and scripting. OpenManage's tools can work together with tools from other companies, giving you a single point of control that will save you both time and money.

Alternatives to Hardware

The R820 has the capability of housing up to four processors and is currently offered with a choice of eight distinct processors from the Intel Xeon E5-4600 family. These processors can have up to eight cores each, depending on the model, and the R820 is currently available with one of these processors. The Intel Xeon E5-4650 is what we make use of. In addition, the R820 may make use of up to two actively-cooled 75W NVIDIA Quadro 2000GPUs, each of which can provide up to 1GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. This GPU accelerator support is lower than that offered by the PowerEdge R720. With support for up to seven PCIe cards, you have more ways to customize and upgrade your computer.

The R820 and the PowerEdge R720s in the lab are both part of the 12th generation of PowerEdge servers that are monitored by Dell's OpenManage platform. This technology allows for agent-based as well as agent-free administration of the servers. The Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller 7 (iDRAC7) with Lifecycle Controller serves as the core component of the OpenManage integration offered by this platform. OpenManage Server Administration (OMSA) offers one-to-one system administration via either a command line interface (CLI) or a browser-based Java graphical user interface (GUI). This facilitates integration with agent-based solutions.

Power and potential that are concentrated

Increase the capacity of data center applications by extending your virtual environment with the help of the PowerEdgeTM R820, which has a big memory footprint, a variety of I/O (input/output) options, processing power, and flexible fabric choice options.

Maximum server performance

Take advantage of the advanced computing capabilities of the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-4600 and E5-4600 v2 product lines, as well as the high-density 48-DIMM memory.The Intel Xeon processor is intended for super-fast performance for compute-intensive activities. It is constructed utilizing technology using a 22-nanometer process, and it may have up to twelve cores in a single unit.

Advanced input/output technology and virtualization

The PowerEdgeTM R820 supports balanced and scalable I/O (input and output), as well as integrated expansion slots with PCIe Gen3 connectivity.These features may help boost the performance of your data center.

Networking that is both flexible and scalable

Adjust the throughput of your network so that it corresponds with the requirements of your application by using features such as switch independent partitioning. This will enable you to make the most of the increased I/O performance you have.

Unrestricted manufacturing and production

With the PowerEdge R820 rack server, you can run even the most demanding virtualization and scalable database applications. It works well and is easy to manage.

Effective administration of complex systems

With smart hardware-driven system administration, strong power management, and other cutting-edge management features, you can enjoy simple lifetime manageability.

A rise in the productive capacity of operations

With next-generation reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) capabilities integrated into the R820's architecture, you can help assure high levels of productivity, data center security, and data center maintenance. 

Adaptability in terms of storage capacity and performance

With the PowerEdge R820 rack server's different I/O (input/output) and storage solutions, like Express Flash PCIe technology, you can keep up with the exponential growth of data and manage your assets well. 


One of the greatest mixes of storage, performance, and expandability at a reasonable price is offered by the 4-socket, 2U PowerEdge R820 rack server from Dell. This server is ideal for enterprises ranging in size from medium to big. It is a very powerful platform that is great for advanced diploma computing tasks, corporate resource planning, e-commerce, virtual architectures, and mission-critical applications.


When utilized in combination with front-mounted, hot-swappable Express Flash PCIe storage, the R820, much like Dell's PowerEdge R720, has a storage performance advantage over other servers. This advantage allows it to outperform other servers. The R820's additional features include an astounding maximum of 48 DIMMs, which enables it to support up to 1.5 terabytes of DDR3 memory. These characteristics are in addition to the hyper-speed storage backplane choices. The ability to store large datasets in memory speeds up operations that use a lot of computing power. This is a benefit that goes along with the faster access to storage that CacheCade provides.

The design of the PowerEdge chassis for the 12th generation has shown that it is a versatile physical platform that offers a variety of mounting and serviceability choices, and the components that are most commonly accessible are simple to access for maintenance. An astonishing selection of potential configurations enables users to create a system that is tailored to the requirements of their particular application, and the inclusion of seven PCIe slots provides enough capacity for flexibility and expansion. Putting the R820 into operation is made very simple by the iDRAC7 software since it streamlines the deployment and administration processes.

Although the majority of server use cases do not call for the horsepower and density that the R820 delivers, there are several situations in which it makes sense to utilize it. When several PCIe storage devices are installed, which may benefit from the more cores, the additional CPUs help out a great deal from the storage standpoint and are a big help. It is possible for FPGAs and other storage controllers to truly shine in the R820 if they are able to exploit the additional computing power to really stretch their performance even further. The StorageReview lab wants to demonstrate the platform in precisely this manner over the course of the next few months using performance-centric application tests that exhibit some of the finest storage options available in this dense 2U powerhouse.

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