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schoondoggy

Dell T20

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jsox

Wait... PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports? How long ago was this designed?

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ikon

I know heh? What's up with that? But, I too have seen recent gear with PS/2 ports, although my observation is that it seems to pretty much all be server or enterprise gear.

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schoondoggy

It also has a 9 pin serial port!

It is a new design, Intel C226 chipset.

I am guessing the PS2 and serial ports are a requirement for one of the customers.

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Narf23

I found the PS/2 and Serial Ports ports useful - installed in an old cabinet which has PS/2 rack mounted keyboard and trackball (yep trackball :P) and the an old on-line UPS also only has a Serial Port for monitoring.

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ikon

Actually, the serial port makes a lot of sense for industry. There are many applications (e.g. security & surveillance) where RS232 or RS422 are required in order to communicate with control panels and the like. I've had to buy & install auxillary serial cards in a number of systems simply because they didn't have an onboard serial port. We've tried USB-to-serial adapters, of various makes, but they do not work for these applications.

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mdss

Hello everyone,

 

Great community! This is my first post.

 

This is actually one of the few threads about the T20 out there. I hope this thread will grow and more opinions and real world reviews of the Dell's reply to the HP MS will follow. I'll try my best on commenting here my further experience with this machine.

 

I plan to get 4 or 5 of these (Pentium and Xeon). As I had great experience with Dell products for the last several years the T20 looked like the next upgrade for me (I do have two G7 Microservers in use today which I plan replacing with two of the G3220 T20s). So I got a G3220 T20 to try it out and I must say I'm impressed.

 

The Pentium is fast and suitable for many of the tasks a storage server needs. I tested it with an LSI 9211-8i HBA and an Intel i350-T4 network card with great results so far. The HBA needs additional cooling and after you fit all the SATA cables, the only available space for an additional fan is on top of the card (which fits into the PCIe x16 slot).

 

I only got to test it with just two 1TB WD Red LFF drives and a small Intel SSD boot drive. Like someone said, it boots pretty fast, even with the two HDDs attached to the LSI HBA (after erasing the LSI x86 BIOS and flashed it to the IT firmware).

 

I tested the machine with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Pro. I'm using Storage Spaces for storage pooling. The only thing that limits the Pentium T20 so far in my tests is using Bitlocker encryption on the Storage Spaces volume. With a simple (RAID 0 like) space of two drives encrypted with Bitlocker, the CPU sits at ~85% for large transfers. So my plan of using 6x 1TB drives (4x LFF & 2x SFF) in an encrypted two-way mirror would require the Xeon version of the T20.

 

Drive-wise I plan to configure a Xeon version like this:

 

On a HBA:

- 4x 1TB WD Red LFF (storage space)

- 2x 1TB WD Red SFF (same storage space)

- 2x 20GB Intel 313 or 64GB Intel X25-E or 80GB Intel S3500 SSDs (same storage space - for write-back cache)

 

On motherboard's SATA 6Gbps:

- 1x 100GB Intel S3700 SSD (boot + apps)

- 1x 600GB Intel S3500 SSD (VM VHDs)

 

On motherboard's SATA 3Gbps:

- both ports connected to a 2-port eSATA 3Gbps adapter mounted where the PCI slot

 

What do you think about this setup? Would this push the PSU off limits? I think the drives alone would be fine, but considering the rest of the components I'm not 100% sure. The add-in cards would be:

 

- 1x LSI 9211-8i HBA (PCIe x16 slot)

- 1x Intel i350-T4 quad port NIC (PCIe x4)

- 1x AMD/ATI FireMV 2260 (PCIe x1 slot) as I need 5 FullHD monitors

 

Also accounting for a 60mm Noctua fan and 4x 8GB DDR3L modules.

 

The PSU is 290W 80+ but I know Dell rates the PSUs for continuous operation instead of peak wattage.

 

Any advice is appreciated and I'll make sure I get back with more information while I progress with the setups.

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LoneWolf

Interesting.  From SD's pic, I'm pretty sure that Dell's Optiplex tower line shares the same case as the T20, just with a different front bezel.  I have a Vostro 260 tower here and again (aside from the bezel, which is different than the Optiplex or the T20) the internal chassis is also quite similar.  The Optiplex and the T20 use the lift-up latch on the side panel though, whereas the Vostro (now discontinued) does not, probably due to cost savings.


It also has a 9 pin serial port!

It is a new design, Intel C226 chipset.

I am guessing the PS2 and serial ports are a requirement for one of the customers.

 

They often are.  At my last place, we needed serial ports for specific types of hardware that have always been RS-232.  CNC machines and other industrial equipment are also common uses for a serial port, or any networking equipment with a console port (switch, router, firewall, etc.).

 

For all of USB's plug-and-play, PS2 ports often work better --and who doesn't want to use their IBM Model M keyboard? :D

(Not kidding, still have one on my desktop and love it)

Edited by LoneWolf
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Taffeys

mdss, any updates on your T20 build? I'm particularly interested in seeing how and where you put all those drives. I would like to put at least six or seven LFF HDDs and three SSDs in a T20 :unsure:

 

schoondoggy, it's been three weeks since you got yours... where are your pictures of your built-out T20 ;)

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egardiner

I picked up this system when it was $200, and I'm enjoying it so far.  I've got a couple of questions for other T20 owners:

 

1. I've noticed that the PSU has a faint hum when the machine is turned off (but AC power cord is plugged in).  Does anyone else have this issue?  I know this can be normal, but it's louder than I'd expect.

2. I'd like to upgrade the RAM.  Any recommendations?  Was thinking about this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239364

 

Thanks,

Eric

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schoondoggy

mdss, any updates on your T20 build? I'm particularly interested in seeing how and where you put all those drives. I would like to put at least six or seven LFF HDDs and three SSDs in a T20 :unsure:

 

schoondoggy, it's been three weeks since you got yours... where are your pictures of your built-out T20 ;)

This thing called work has consumed my free time. Hope to play next week.

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