Upgrading the Dell Poweredge 2900 and 2950 Servers

Upgrading the Dell Poweredge 2900 and 2950 Servers (www.dell.com)

2900: High performance in a rackable 2-socket tower, now with Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® processors.The PowerEdge 2900 is designed with next generation performance features,large memory capacity and exceptional expandability,availability and manageability to reliably drive your business applications.
2950: The dual-processor PowerEdge 2950 delivers next-generation performance combined with a balance of internal expandability and rack density. Perfect for network infrastructure applications, such as web, messaging, database and file/print consolidation, the PowerEdge 2950 delivers both the performance customers need with the drive capacity demanded for growing applications. It’s the perfect balance available in a rack-dense 2U form factor. (Continue reading at www.dell.com)

My Two Cents: The Dell Poweredge server has always been my favorite brand of enterprise servers. My all-time favorite has been the 2900/2950 9th generation server. If the new 11th generation servers from Dell are outside your budget this year, you can upgrade your existing 2900/2950 fleet of servers and save a lot of money. Investing a few hundred dollars in CPU and Ram upgrades can be a good investment in getting more life out of these servers, BUT you need to do your homework before upgrading. Dell made three generations of these servers. GENI, GENII, and GENIII. Here is the very important differences when is comes to CPU upgrades. GEN1 only supports the Intel Xeon 50xx, 51xx family. GENII supports the Intel Xeon 50xx, 51xx AND 53xx family. GENIII supports the Intel Xeon 50xx, 51xx 53xx, AND 54xx family. I have made numerous mistakes puttting a x54xx cpu in a GENII server, and then get the dreaded CPU not supported error. To prevent this from happening, the front of these servers will have a label with a circle with a II, or a III, next to the DELL label. If you do not see the circle label, the odds are the server is GEN1, if you do see one and it has a II, its a GENII server, a III a GENIII server. Of course it better to get the Service TAG off the server and go to the DELL support site and see the servers shipping configuration. Since the Dell Poweredge R910 is in the 30 Grand Range, a small investment in upgrades can save Millions of dollars over the long term, and the performance really isn’t that different between a low end R910 and a Maxed out GENIII 2900 or 2950.

4 thoughts on “Upgrading the Dell Poweredge 2900 and 2950 Servers

  1. I was wondering if I might be able to get some help with my sever. I’m not sure what generation i have so I don’t know how good of an xeon I can upgrade to. Here’s a picture of a label if it helps http://i812.photobucket.com/albums/zz50/jaxchecker/2012-08-13_07-47-57_427.jpg
    I didn’t get the silver cover that’s supposed to be on the front of the tower but maybe you could help me figure it out anyway? It’s a 2900 with 2 xeon 5050 processors.

    • Look for the Dell Service Tag number. It should be a small white sticker with black letters and numbers 7 charactors in length on the back of the server nears the fan exhaust. It is also on the front of the server on a small back sticker with white letters and numbers. Example is: 64JN6G1. Then you go to the dell web site, click on support, enter your service number and dell will tell you the server specs when it was shipped. The you can determine what generation the server is.

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