About a week after the launch of the new 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids launch, Dell is now releasing its newest servers. Some of them we got a preview of at SC22. Others, we will be reviewing shortly. Dell sells a ton of servers, so any new PowerEdge generation is exciting. What is more, we no longer have Dell EMC PowerEdge and are back to Dell PowerEdge.
New Dell PowerEdge Servers with 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids Launched
Dell has a number of new models spanning various segments. It has a renewed focus on providing AI and ML platforms now that those platforms have been standard from other vendors for years. It also has mainstream servers, edge servers, and a new cloud server series.
The core servers are very interesting. This is the “6” generation for PowerEdge so we get the Dell PowerEdge R760 as the mainstream 2U server, the R660 as the 1U variant, and the R760xa as the 2U accelerated computing platform as an update to the Dell EMC PowerEdge R750xa we reviewed.
The Dell PowerEdge R760 is going to be the first server we are going to review of this generation. Something notable here is that our test system has a “Dell EMC” bezel while the photos above all have “Dell” bezels. Likely our review unit has the older bezel that got placed into the box.
The PowerEdge R960 and R860 are the 4U and 2U 4-socket servers. Dell skipped the Cooper Lake generation, so its customers remained on the 2017-era Skylake/ Cascade Lake platforms until now. 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Cooper Lake was a relatively minor refresh, but with Sapphire Rapids being delayed, skipping that generation extended the timeline of the PowerEdge R950 and R850. Still, that is a long time between refreshes.
The Dell PowerEdge R760xs and PowerEdge R660xs are the 2U and 1U offerings designed for lower price points. Generally, the “xs” line depopulates some features to lower costs. When we show you inside the PowerEdge R760, it will become apparent why Dell needs a lower-cost option as well.
The Dell PowerEdge C6220 is the company’s 2U 4-node offering. We have had many Dell C6000 series chassis over the years. Our original tiny STH hosting colocation from a decade ago, many years ago, used Dell C6100 chassis retired from companies like Twitter. This line will always hold a special place at STH.
In this generation, Dell also has a new line. These are called the Dell HS5610 (1U) and HS5620 (2U.) With features like OpenBMC, Dell saw the cloud provider market move away from proprietary solutions like iDRAC and iLO and into more industry-standard BMCs. As a result, both Dell and HPE are looking at filling that gap with different management options. These are not “hypescale” servers to run Meta, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu, Tencent, or Alibaba’s hosting. Instead, these are for smaller-scale deployments. The white box/ OEM market has become so big to address hyperscale that Dell needs a refreshed story in this space.
One of the big pushes for this generation is that Dell is finally putting a focus on accelerated computing. The Dell PowerEdge XE9680 is the company’s flavor of the NVIDIA DGX H100 (build on the HGX H100 platform.) This is finally big iron GPU compute for Dell. Previously customers who have wanted to get high-end GPU compute needed to go to another vendor like a Supermicro or directly to NVIDIA creating a mismatch in management. The XE9640 uses the Intel Data Center Max GPU with four OAM GPUs in 2U. The PowerEdge XE8640 is the company’s update to the Dell EMC PowerEdge XE8545 we reviewed but is based on Intel Xeon, not AMD EPYC, for the NVIDIA H100 generation.
Our regular readers will remember our Dell PowerEdge XE9680 shots from SC22. This is a large machine that continues Dell’s tradition of using different depth chassis segments for the main server PCB and the NVIDIA GPUs.
What is also interesting here is that Dell is offering accelerated computing platforms using modern hardware, but with many of the design goals we saw of GPU servers a few years ago. These days, most vendors are designing flexible SXM and OAM platforms, for example, to support not just NVIDIA GPUs but also AMD and Intel GPUs. Still, NVIDIA has most of the market, and Dell now has legitimate PowerEdge offerings in the space, which is very exciting for Dell shops.
Overall, that is a lot of new servers. There were a few platforms like the PowerEdge T560 tower server that Dell did not cover during its pre-briefing. If you are wondering, we will have the Dell PowerEdge R760 review in about a week and a half. We wanted to space it out a bit from the overall line’s launch. We will have several servers reviewed between now and then, so stay tuned.
If you want a quick overview of the new features of Intel’s platform, we have that too. STH did a quick video for Intel and Supermicro showing the new features of the Sapphire Rapids platforms outside of Intel’s headquarters for this launch:
If you want to learn more about the new 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids we have this video: