Test Report: Power Efficiency Comparison of Dell and Cisco High Memory Capacity Blade Servers

Dell recently published a new whitepaper that compares the performance and power efficiency of four of the Dell PowerEdge M710HD and M620 blades vs. four of the Cisco B250 M2 blade servers.  Here is a summary of the key findings:

Performance / watt

The higher performance and lower power draw of the four-blade Dell solutions compared to the UCS B250 M2 blade solution led to the PowerEdge M710HD solution’s 76% higher performance per watt score and the PowerEdge M620 solution’s 108% higher performance per watt score.

Power at Idle

Even with all blades configured with the same amount of system memory, the four-blade PowerEdge M710HD solution consumed 58% as much power at idle as the four-blade UCS B250 M2 solution with its extra DIMMs and supporting circuitry. Similarly, the four-blade PowerEdge M620 blade solution drew just 55% as much power at idle as the Cisco blade solution.

Power at 100% Load

Both of the four-blade PowerEdge solutions, again with the same amount of system memory installed per blade, drew 64% to 67% as much power as the four-blade Cisco UCS B250 M2 blade solution with all blades running at 100% load.


With the same processor models and the same memory capacity installed in each blade, the four-blade solution based on PowerEdge M710HD blades provided up to 11% higher performance than the four-blade solution based on UCS B250 M2 blades, and the four-blade solution based on PowerEdge M620 blades provided up to 25% higher performance than the UCS blade solution.

Rack density

When the 10U M1000e Modular Blade Enclosure is equipped with its maximum of sixteen M710HD or M620 servers, the solution can fit 1.6 servers per rack unit of space, 2.4 times as dense as the solution with Cisco UCS B250 M2 blades.


In the configuration tested, the Cisco UCS B250 M2 blade solution costs $112,591.02[1], while the similarly configured Dell PowerEdge M710HD solution costs 34% less at $73,820.00, and the PowerEdge M620 solution costs 33% less at $75,372.00.


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Kevin Houston is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BladesMadeSimple.com.  He has over 15 years of experience in the x86 server marketplace.  Since 1997 Kevin has worked at several resellers in the Atlanta area, and has a vast array of competitive x86 server knowledge and certifications as well as an in-depth understanding of VMware and Citrix virtualization.  Kevin works for Dell as a Server Specialist covering the Global 500 East market.