Battle Of The Titans: HP's ProLiant DL380p Vs. Dell's PowerEdge R720

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

For about four days in late June, Hewlett-Packard's HP ProLiant DL380p eight-gen, 2U, two-socket server held the top spot on Geekbench, putting it in first place on the CRN Test Center's all-time list of the fastest production rack servers and pushing the Dell PowerEdge R720 into second place. Dell soon answered back, saying the processors it sent were running at a slower speed.

Ever happy to oblige, we returned Dell's server to be retrofitted with two Xeon E5-2690 2.9GHz processors, just as were in HP's system.

[Related: Review: HP ProLiant DL380p Rack Mount Server ]

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Both tested systems were equipped with 128 GB of 1,600MHz memory and Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise SP1. The HP ProLiant arrived preconfigured with an eight-drive array of 600 GB, 6 Gbps 10K (2.5-inch) SAS drives and controlled by HP's on-board P420i Smart Array. The Dell PowerEdge was set up with six 300-GB drives that were otherwise identical to those in the HP unit.

We set Windows properties for maximum performance, launched Geekbench 2.3 from Primate Labs and kicked off the 64-bit benchmark tests. The highest of the HP ProLiant DL380p's five scores was 36,295, which at that time was the highest score we had ever seen, but just barely. Only weeks before, Dell's R720 itself had set the bar at 30,923 with Xeon processors running at 2.6GHz.

But once the Test Center received a Dell R720 with 2.9GHz processors, the pumped-up PowerEdge turned in a peak Geekbench score of 40,250, putting it back in the top spot on CRN's all-time list.