Oct 122019
 

This post talks about how I reduced the power consumption on my Dell R720 by adjusting the configuration settings.

In this post:

  • Dell R720

Sources

I found Taming a 12th gen Dell PowerEdge when I was researching data cables for the SAS card I was going to use. For the record, the cables referred to in that post are wrong for what I used. I bought a pair of DELL POWEREDGE R520 R530 MINI SAS 20″ cables off eBay.

In that Taming post, I found references to “into the idrac under power” and “back into idrac”. I didn’t follow that, but once I got into the settings, I eventually found it. I will include the screen shots to help you find that.

I also found Advanced Thermal Control: Optimizing across Environments and Power Goals (pdf).

And I read Should i enable PFC on my DELL T620? which was short, but answered yes.

Temperature graphs

The interesting thing here about the graph is the long Off period. This unit was powered off for several months. You can see the data center was much cooler than my basement.

initial temperature graphs

initial temperature graphs

Yes, the hostname is in there. I’m not worried. That’s not in public DNS.

iDRAC settings

I booted into the iDRAC settings. If you are using the Virtual Console Client (accessed via the IPMI connection over https), you can click on Next Boot, and select BIOS Setup. If not, press the magic keys displayed on the screen during the boot process.

Once into the iDRAC settings, you have to scroll down to see Thermal.

iDrac Settings

iDrac Settings

I selected System BIOS settings performance per watt (OS).

iDRAC Settings - Thermal

iDRAC Settings – Thermal

And in there I chose System BIOS settings performance per watt (OS).

System BIOS settings performance per watt (OS)

System BIOS settings performance per watt (OS)

After the reboot

After the reboot, I went back into the iDRAC (IPMI) interface and checked out the data. For starters, the fans had slowed down and power consumption was at 224 watts. I did not check power consumption before making this change.

fans now at 70%

fans now at 70%

power consumption 224 watts

power consumption 224 watts

last day: System board exhaust temperature  39C/102F

last day: System board exhaust temperature 39C/102F

Thermal: last year

Thermal: last year

Look at how the power consumption dropped.

UPS power consumption

UPS power consumption

Run time went up, by at least a minute!

UPS run time remaining

UPS run time remaining

By my calculations, power consumption was reduced by at least 120W, or roughly 30%.

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