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What's more, the Lenovo ThinkServer RD240 is a dream to work on. A single captive thumbscrew is all that holds the top cover in place, and once removed reveals a flip-up cooling shroud that streams air across its two large heat sinks and eight DIMM slots. Built around a Tyan Tank B7002LNV motherboard, the system can handle as many as 12 processor cores and 64 GB of ECC memory.
The system's three PCI Express x8 slots are delivered via a riser card, which can sometimes be tricky to work with, particularly in the cramped quarters of a server room that are often poorly lit. But a clever design allows the riser card and its assembly to be removed with a pair of captive thumbscrews. Option cards can be installed and affixed to the assembly in the comfort of anywhere that's not the server room and then re-installed into the server.
One of the slots in the tested system was occupied by an optional LSI MegaRAID SAS 8708ELP controller card, which was controlling the system's three 500-GB SATA drives as a single 1.5-TB RAID 0 array. That board offers battery-backed up cache, and is capable of RAID 0/1/5/6/50 and 60; while the on-board RAID controller logic is limited to RAID 0/1 and 1E. There's room for a total of eight 3.5-inch hard SAS or SATA drives with a maximum supported storage capacity of 16 TB. Space in the hot-swap bays is quite tight; drives don't slide in and out as easily as on most other systems we've seen.
For a street price starting at around $900 with a one-year on-site warranty, the ThinkServer RD240 comes standard with dual Gigabit Ethernet, DVD-RW drive, six external USB 2.0 ports (two front, four rear plus one internal), serial and VGA ports and a 750 watt power supply (plus an optional second hot-swappable unit). Operating system options encompass Linux, VMware and Windows Server, and processor options include numerous Xeon E5500 and E, X and L 5600 models. Average power consumption was about 246 watts when highly active; 138 watts when mostly idle and 26 watts when powered down.
For the small office with a small budget, the Lenovo ThinkServer RD240 an excellent choice for its solid performance, expandability and ease of service. It's a recommended product by the CRN Test Center.
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