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Fujitsu Server Primergy TX1330 M4 Review

Small businesses looking for their first purpose-built tower server will find Fujitsu’s Server Primergy TX1330 M4 has a lot to offer. Targeting applications such as file and print, messaging, web and database services, its smart internal design and high expansion potential also makes it a great choice as a central repository for serving up large quantities of network storage.

This mono-socket tower has plenty of power on tap as it supports Intel’s latest Xeon E-2100 CPUs and fast DDR4 ECC memory. The server is available with all ten members the Xeon E-2100 family so you can tailor the system to your budget and its maximum 64GB of memory will be boosted hugely to 128GB with a future BIOS upgrade in the pipeline.

The server looks good value as the price we’ve shown gets you out of the starting blocks with a quad-core 3.3GHz Xeon E-2124 teamed up with a decent 16GB of memory. The only drawback is it doesn’t include any hard disks so you’ll need to factor these in when ordering your system.

Great storage capacity

Fujitsu’s System Monitor runs as a web service on the server and provides details on critical components

You’re spoilt for choice in the storage department. If maximum capacity is a key requirement you should choose the entry system that comes with a 4-bay LFF hot-swap cage as this can upgraded with two more cages to a maximum of 12 drives.

If you want more RAID options then select the model that starts with an 8-bay SFF hot-swap drive cage at the base of the front panel. You can add two more 8-bay cages with field-installable kits and these include a 24x SAS expander board.

The only thing you need to remember is base systems use the integrated RAID on the C246 chipset which only offers four SATA channels and support for mirrors and stripes. If you go beyond four drives, you’ll need to add a PCI-E RAID card to your shopping list with Fujitsu’s PRAID CP400i 8-port SATA/SAS3 model a good choice.

The TX1330 M4 beats NAS appliances for storage versatility as it supports four high-performance PCIe NVMe SSDs although these will need to be connected to Fujitsu’s optional PRAID EP540i or EP580i dual-function RAID controllers. There’s more as the motherboard also has a pair of embedded M.2 SSD slots with the first for SATA cards and the second also supporting M.2 NVMe cards.

Build quality and power

The chassis exhibits Fujitsu’s classy build quality and it provides good physical security. The upper and lower front panels can be key-locked shut which blocks access to the drives, peripheral bays plus power button and stops the side panel from being removed.

The embedded iRMC S5 chip offers a wealth of information on environmental values and thresholds

Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a well-designed interior where the CPU and memory are covered by a large plastic air shroud which is available with a single fan or dual fans for extra redundancy. Fujitsu’s Cool-safe design uses honeycomb grills throughout the chassis and is designed to keep noise levels to a minimum. It works very well as even though our system had the dual fan module, we measured sound levels of only 41.8dB from one metre in front.

Another bonus of the Cool-Safe design is the slower running fans means reduced power consumption. Our system had a single 450W hot-plug PSU and we measured an incredibly low 18W draw with the Windows Server 2019 OS in idle and only peaking at 120W with all CPU cores under extreme load.

A unique feature of Fujitsu’s SME servers is their support for Fujitsu’s battery backup unit (FJBU). This fits in the second PSU bay instead of the standard redundant supply and uses the bundled Windows management software to safely shut the system down in the event of a prolonged power outage.

Expansion and management

It’s dated but Fujitsu’s ServerView Suite can be used to remotely monitor multiple servers

Along with a wealth of storage options, there’s plenty of room to grow in other directions. The server comes with dual embedded Gigabit ports and offers four free PCI-E expansion slots so you can easily add a RAID controller and upgrade to 10-Gigabit speeds as well.

The server also has a dedicated Gigabit port for accessing the embedded iRMC S5 remote management controller which presents an informative web console with plenty of information about critical components plus everything you need to know about power consumption. A Standard license is included in the price but if you want features such as video redirection for OS remote control and virtual media services, you’ll need an iRMC Advanced license.

Fujitsu includes its ServerView Suite software with all Primergy servers but this is looking dated and well past its prime. It is due to be replaced by Fujitsu’s Infrastructure Manager (ISM) software but this is aimed at larger businesses and can’t be used to manage the TX1330 M4 as it is only compatible with Fujitsu’s next M5 generation of servers.

However, smaller businesses will find the System Monitor utility a useful monitoring ally as this provides a simple console with at-a-glance details on critical components and system alerts. It provides an overview of system health along with options to view the status of individual components, send email alerts and run scheduled BIOS and driver update downloads from Fujitsu’s support site.

Conclusion

Fujitsu’s Primergy servers have always had a sharp focus on energy efficiency and the TX1330 M4 is no exception as its power consumption is exceedingly low. Build quality and design are good, while its low noise levels make it a great silent partner for small offices.

Support for the latest Xeon E-2100 CPUs means there’s plenty of power on tap to run a wide range of business apps. Its highly flexible storage arrangement and upgrade potential also makes it a good fit for businesses focusing on providing network storage services.

8.3 Total Score

Fujitsu’s Primergy servers have always had a sharp focus on energy efficiency and the TX1330 M4 is no exception as its power consumption is exceedingly low. Build quality and design are good, while its low noise levels make it a great silent partner for small offices.

Performance
8.5
Features
8
Build quality
9
Usability
8
Value
8
PROS
  • Good value
  • Xeon E-2100 support
  • Impressive storage potential
  • Great build quality
  • Low power consumption
  • Smart internal UPS option
CONS
  • Basic server management tools
  • 8-bay models will require an extra RAID card
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