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ASUS RS300-E8-RS4 Intel Xeon 22nm Server Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 2:04 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: ASUS





The RD340 has a wide range of storage options and plenty of LAN ports for connectivity. Optional Raid adapters can greatly increase storage performance. The RD340 can also use an impressive 192GB of RAM.







Here we are looking at the top of the RS300-E8-RS4 server. On the fan bar, you can see a single 40mm x 28mm system fan at the top that will move air into the PCIe area. Down below that you will find the other 3x 40mm x 28mm system fans, which direct air into the CPU heat pipe radiator.


The capacity of the four system fans to provide good airflow seems somewhat limiting, but after running this server on very high loads we found no heating issues and the system maintained normal operating temperatures with ease.


The silver box just to the right of the top system fan is the SSD bay if you decided to use this server with up to two SSD's installed in the area.




Looking at the front of the server, we find the four hard drive bays at the top, with a DVD drive at the lower left side of the server. The lower right side has system status LED's, USB, and power buttons.




The back of the server has plenty of airflow access, which helps to keep this server cool. At the top center and far left you can see two spring loaded thumb screws that are used to hold the lid in place. No extra screws are needed to hold the lid in place. Simply unscrew the two thumbscrews and pull back on the lid to gain access to the inside components.




Taking a closer look at the front left side of the server we can see status LED's followed by the power button, Locate Switch and Reset button. Next are two USB 3.0 ports, followed by another front VGA port.


Status LED's are: LAN4, LAN3, LAN2, LAN1, Message LED, HDD Access LED.




The hard drive cages unlock and slide out with ease. There is not much to these, simple cages stamped out of sheet metal, but they are strong and do not flex around. The front has 2X status lights on the right; these have a clear plastic light bar that travels the length of the cage to LEDs in the back plane.




To remove each of the 450 watt redundant PSU's, push in on the orange lever and pull on the black handle to remove a PSU. Remember to unplug the PSU first.




At the back of the server I/O area, we find a PS2 keyboard/mouse connector with two USB 2.0 ports below. The next stack has the remote management LAN port with two USB 3.0 ports below. This is followed a VGA output port and four more LAN connections. Above that are the two PCIe expansion ports.




All four of the 40mm x 28mm system fans can be replaced by simply lifting up on the fan and pulling it out.




Now looking at the I/O area of the motherboard we can see at the top the PIKE slot for storage enhancement. The server can run with onboard storage controllers or for added performance, you can use optional PIKE storage cards:


- ASUS PIKE 2008 RAID card (90-S00CS0130T)

- ASUS PIKE 2008/IMR RAID card (90-S00CS0140T)

- ASUS PIKE 2108-32PD H/W RAID card (90-S00CS0150T)


Just to the left of the PIKE slot we can see 8x SATA PIKE serial attached SCSI (PSAS) connectors that support both serial attached SCSI (SAS) and serial ATA (SATA).


Down below these we see the front USB 3.0 connector and then two SATA2 (black) and four SATA3 (blue) connectors. The four SATA3 (blue) connectors connect to the front hard drives in this unit. The two SATA2 (black) connectors do not connect to anything; these connect to the SSD bay on the left.


Below the top row of blue SATA ports is an Internal A Type USB Port.


The middle bar which has a Blue PCIe slot under also has a riser card attached so a half height or full height expansion card can be installed.







Here we are getting ready to install the CPU and RAM. This is a simple installment, remove the socket-protecting cap, lift the socket retention clamp and flip back the CPU hold down clamp. Insert the CPU, flip back the hold down clamp, and lock back in place the retention lever.


To install the RAM, insert each RAM stick into its socket and lock in place with the retention clamp.


To install the CPU heat sink, place it on the CPU so that the radiator is facing towards the front of the server and screw in place.




Here we have the CPU heat sink and RAM installed. You can see the three system fans at the top of the picture, these fans blow through the heat sink radiator which then follows down to the RAM and out the back of the server.


Directly behind the CPU heat sink you can see the four ASUS Beat Thermal Chokes which are also used in ASOS ROG line of motherboards - this technology helps lower operating temperatures and ensure low energy loss.


Let us move on to getting the RS300-E8-RS4 racked up and then start our testing.




Each rail has a label for left and right side of the cabinet. As you can see in the picture, you simply insert the rail into the grooves and then screw in the retaining screw to attach the rail to the cabinet. Then repeat this step at the back of the server cabinet.


It may not be completely tool-less as you do need to screw in the retaining screw, but that is all there is to it.




The last step is to attach the fixing latch to the server case. Position the latch so the "T" is facing the front of the server and then use to the two screws to attach it to the server case.




To slide the server into the rack just place it on the rail guide and push the server into the rack. You will feel the fixing latch on both sides of the server lock the server into place.


That is all there is to racking the RS300-E8-RS4 up into a cabinet. Four steps and install the server.




Here you can see the RS300-E8-RS4 installed into our test rack. This was about the fastest server install we have done yet. This took a total of about 10 minutes to install this server with no fuss or problem lining everything up. It just worked well.




We also wanted to add that if you wish for your server to use remote management by IPMI/iKVM you will need to get Out of Band Remote Management: Optional ASMB7-iKVM for KVM-over-IP. This is an optional item.

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