Dell X4012 Performance
Performance is what you would expect here. Frankly, if you want higher-performance networking, 25GbE is the way to go these days. On the other hand, for smaller colocation cabinet networks and remote branch office networks, this is a huge upgrade over 1GbE speed.
Dell X4012 Sound Levels
Normally at STH, we do not focus on sound levels for rackmount gear. The Dell Networking X4012 is designed both as a rackmount product as well as a desktop product. Our test unit came with rubber feet for desktop use so we took sound measurements.
We saw noise levels of around 45dba after boot. That is perfectly acceptable for the average office equipment closet. In a noisy environment like a retail location, if it is tucked away one is unlikely to hear the switch. It is still too loud for next-to-user desktop use.
Dell X4012 Power Consumption
At many edge locations and low-cost colocation facilities, power is a major factor. We did not know how the Dell X4012 would fare, so we hooked it up to our 120V Extech TrueRMS power meter in our embedded lab.
- 25.1W idle
- 32.7W fully linked
This is absolutely great power consumption. We think given this typical power draw Dell EMC has the opportunity to further optimize fan profiles for lower noise and better desktop use. A modern 33W 1U desktop PC is often nearly silent and under 30dba these days.
This is one of those products that with an absolutely minimal amount of tweaking could be spectacular. Having one set of rackmount ears, in the box for standard width racks would be a first step that would save users a few dollars and the hassle of getting a second package. Adding a 1GbE management port would make out of band management significantly easier for those who use 1GbE management networks. Changing fans/ speeds to make a 30dba or lower operation would turn this into a switch that can be put in a ceiling tile or under a desk.
With that being said, there is a lot to like about the switch. It is from Dell, not from a small outfit. The Dell brand alone carries a lot of weight. The cost of the units is extremely low, well under $100 per port. Performance is great for the intended application. Power consumption is great, making it an option even for low power density colocation partial racks. Likewise, the half-width standard size makes it possible to rack these 10GbE SFP+ switches two per U. If you are a novice networking administrator, having the WebGUI is going to be a lot easier to manage the switch than using a CLI.