The Noise Chronicles: IBM's Mini-Tower ServersThe Noise Chronicles: IBM's Mini-Tower Servers
In a small office you want the hardware to be quietï¿¼even servers. We've looked at acoustical noise specifications for small-office servers from Fujitsu, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun, and this time we'll look at certain models from IBM.
August 11, 2008
In a small office you want the hardware to be quietï¿¼even servers. We've looked at acoustical noise specifications for small-office servers from Fujitsu, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun, and this time we'll look at certain models from IBM.The technical specifications that IBM posts online for its servers typically say nothing about acoustical noiseï¿¼but (discoverable by Google) IBM does have a Web page titled Acoustical Noise Declarations for Selected IBM Products. Using a consistent format, IBM gives both the operating and idling noise levels for typical and maximum configurations, using both the L-WAd and the L-pAm readings. The latter gauges what a bystander would hear a meter away, weighted to the sensitivity of the human ear. Since L-pAm is what we've been using up to now, we'll stick with it.
Rather than cover every Big Blue model out there (the mind boggles) the site selectively covers one Blade Center Express model, one System i model, 12 System p models, 14 System x models, eight System z models, and 11 TotalStorage models. The mini-towers of the entry-level System x series (the x3200, x3400, and x3500) would seem comparable to the Fujitsu, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard mini-tower systems already covered, so we'll look at them for this installment. The x3200 came in at a mumble-quiet 30 decibels while idling, rising only to 36 decibels with the addition of a redundant power supply. When busy, it emits 38 decibels, regardless of the power supply. The x3400 idled at either 40 or 45 decibels, depending on the configuration, and operated at either 46 or 47 decibels. The x3500 gave readings similar to the x3400. Forty decibels is said to be the low range of urban background noise, so city dwellers should not be disturbed by either of these units. However, as a whole, they are hardly the quietest mini-towers we've looked at so far. (Next time we'll look at certain IBM entry-level rack-mount systems, and compare them with the entry-level Sun rack-mounted units we looked at previously.) Go to the bMighty Server How-To Center
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like