PowerEdge Hardware General

Last reply by 05-31-2022 Unsolved
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1 Copper
1 Copper

How do I determine what the specs on a server mean in simple english?

I am sometimes in a position where I need to sell off-lease servers. Unlike laptop and desktop specifications, server specifications are much more difficult for a non-IT person to understand.

Is there someone who can assist me with say 4 or 5 of the most import specifications I should look at to determine if a server if a high-end, middle or low-end model? 

We deal mainly in Dell products.


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Hello Adrian63,


Sounds like you may be looking for sales and marketing information. That is a little out of scope for this forum, but I can provide you some information.


Things you may want to highlight in specifications:

Form factor: Rack or Tower

Components: Processor(s), Storage, Memory


Good overview  PowerEdge Portfolio




For a specific server that you have the service tag you can view original configuration from the support page:

www.dell.com/support   input service tag.

Check Right column :

Quick links

View product specs



Other resources:  you can search for model number spec sheet

Example: spec sheet example for R740: https://i.dell.com/sites/csdocuments/Shared-Content_data-Sheets_Documents/en/poweredge-r740-spec-she...


Dell -Charles R
Social Media and Communities Professional
Dell Technologies | Enterprise Support Services

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7 Plutonium

Well, servers are one of those things, that if people don't understand the specs as written / given, they shouldn't be buying one. Desktops and laptops are different, but servers are not going to be bought by some person browsing the classifieds who thinks "hmm, that looks like a good deal, I could probably use one of those server things".

Non-IT people don't need to understand server specs - their IT people should do that for them. Whether that is a consultant, in-house tech, friend, etc. ... if they don't know, they have no business buying one.

That said, there are a few things that set a server apart from a regular computer (but if they don't even know computers, this stuff doesn't matter either and they doubly should not be buying one unless the purpose is to learn them).

RAID - instead of having one hard drive that stores the information on your machine, RAID allows you to have multiple drives in a machine acting like a single hard drive, but it has the ability to correct errors, stay up and running even if a drive fails, and it can improve performance.

PERC - Dell's brand of RAID controller

Multiple processors, typically Xeon and not the iCore CPU's they see in the store.

RAM - typically requires memory that is capable of correcting errors on the fly and holds a lot more than computers.

Redundant power supplies - one connected to house power and one to backup power, it keeps the system up in various types of power outage scenarios, including failure of one power supply.

Multiple network ports - can be linked together for moving more data faster or in case one fails, (or virtualization, but they won't know what that is).

Remote OFFLINE access to the system (iDRAC) - power on/off, check logs, and even control it remotely, even if Windows is not installed or working.

SAS drives - like SATA but designed specifically for high-performance business applications and reliability. They need to know they that server drives (SAS and SATA) are different - even if desktop / laptop drives fit, they should never be used in a server (they can't just use old drives they have laying around).

What else do you need? More specific? Like what?

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