Authored by Bruce Wagner, Solutions Performance Analysis

Did you know that the 2U, four-socket PowerEdge R820 server delivers superior power efficiency over its direct competitor, the IBM System x3750 M4?

The Dell Solutions Performance Analysis team configured both systems just how many datacenter customers might order them. We used the identical
Intel Xeon processors, and similar memory, network interfaces and storage RAID controllers. The IBM eXFlash storage option was pitted against Dell’s industry
standard 2.5” SSD storage with its similar power consumption specifications and in order to highlight any advantage IBM’s proprietary storage held.

In summary, our testing showed that the PowerEdge R820 has 15% better overall power efficiency than the System x3750 M4.  The x3750 M4 consumed significantly more input power at all workload levels. There was no measurable benefit from IBM’s eXFlash storage option since the SPECpower_ssj2008 server efficiency benchmark principally exercises the processor and memory subsystems.

See the full whitepaper for the detailed test configuration, methodology and findings.

Customers frequently plan for a system utilization level of 70% in order to accommodate any spikes in workload demand.  At that level, the R820 drew 69 fewer watts than the System x3750 M4.

In even a small to medium-sized datacenter, that 69 watts of server power plus the associated extra cooling really adds up in energy cost. This power and cooling double benefit is one reason why Dell continually invests in power efficient server design.

Simply comparing each system’s online store advertised pricing shows the R820’s cost is 18% less than the x3750 M4.  Combining that with its higher power efficiency, the Dell PowerEdge R820 is a 22% lower total cost of ownership solution compared to the IBM System x3750 M4.

Required SPEC disclosure information: R820 scores: (2,853,822 ssj_ops and 568 W) @ 100% target load and 4617 overall ssj_ops/watt vs. x3750 M4: (2,906,948 ssj_ops and 604W) @ 100% and 4009 overall ssj_ops/watt.  Comparison based on results by Dell Labs Feb 2013.  SPEC® and the benchmark name SPECpower_ssj® are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.  For more information about SPECpower, see