Dell PowerEdge T20 review

More powerful and flexible than a NAS, this server is great value for small businesses that want to keep their options open

15 May 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Page 3 of 3Dell PowerEdge T20 review


3.1GHz Intel Xeon E3-1225, 4GB RAM, N/A display

We also ran the same tests on an iSCSI target that we created on the server and mounted on a remote client as though it was a local disk. While SMB directories can be shared by multiple users, an iSCSI target can only be mounted by a single PC. Performance here is more dependent on the client machine's processor power, which is an advantage if you're using an underpowered NAS, but in this instance produced a slower large file average of 104.2MB/s, and a small file average of 45.7MB/s. During a 5GB file transfer, we got a sustained write speed of 113MB/s, pushing the in-practice limits of our Gigabit Ethernet network's capabilities and saturating the server’s network port.

We've also introduced a multiple-access SMB transfer test, in which three client machines simultaneously perform read/write read operations on the server, and we measure the performance of one of them. In our large file tests, we got an average throughput of 39.8MB/s, while our small files wrote at 17.5MB/s and read at 23.43MB/s for an average of 20.47MB/s.

We also ran our standard application benchmarks, which primarily test the capabilities of the Xeon E3-1225 processor when it comes with single-threaded tasks. We got an overall score of 88, which indicates that this CPU is capable of far more processor-intensive tasks than simple storage. Add a bit of extra RAM, and it's well equipped for use as a database server, even if you're working with relatively large data sets.


Priced at just £444 excluding VAT, the PowerEdge T20 is compares well to the price of many business-oriented four-bay NAS devices. It's also far more versatile, scalable and powerful. You'll need to spend a bit longer configuring it than you would a NAS, but even if you just want to use it as a networked storage device, a small server like this is good value and destined to have a long lifespan. If you anticipate wanting a mail, database or telephony server in the future, then the ease of upgrading hardware and installing applications makes this small server an obvious Business Buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Xeon E3-1225
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x31
Processor clock speed 3.1GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 4
Memory type PC3-12800
Maximum memory 32GB
Motherboard Dell E93839
Motherboard chipset Intel C226


USB2 ports (front/rear) 4/6
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none

Internal Expansion

Case mini tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 2 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports 4
Free memory slots 3
Free 3.5in drive bays 2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Blue (WD10EZEX-75ZFA0) + Seagate Barracuda (ST1000DM003-1CH162)
Interface SATA3


Graphics card(s) Intel HD Graphics P3000
Graphics/video ports 2x DisplayPort, VGA


Sound Intel HD Audio
Sound outputs 2x 3.5mm stereo line out, headphone, mic
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) none


Screen model none
Native resolution N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Keyboard N/A
Mouse N/A


Operating system none
Operating system restore option N/A

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB (parts only)
Price £444

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