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Dell R310 - Upgrade from 6/iR to H700 using 6/iR slot?

#1

I’m building a ESXi Lab with a stack of Dell R310’s, and I’m looking to do some upgrades to some of the servers.

I just came across these RAID H700 cards, and am wondering, being as they use the same slot, if I can use them as direct replacements for the current PERC 6/iR cards in the R310’s I have now. The reason I’m asking here is because these PERC H700 cards w/ integrated memory are supposedly from a different series server, and I’m not sure if they’ll be compatible in the BIOS. This way I don’t have to get new full size cards and cables, and I can use some of the stuff already built into these servers and change as little as possible (just swap cards, and reconfigured the drives).

If anyone has upgraded one of these, or came across an environment where these PERC H700’s were in use on these Dell R310’s, that would be great!

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#2

Short answer: No.

Long answer: The card you have pictured for the H700 is actually a H700 Mini and was originally only fitted to the M series blade systems.
As far as I am aware, there isn’t a BIOS level lock that would prevent the card from working. But I can’t find any evidence of this working or not.

The card you have picture for the “PERC 6/ir” is actually a “SAS 6/iR”. The PERC 6/i has a heatsink and a battery module. (and physically looks similar to the H700 Mini)

I do know that when Dell have supplied a H700 for their smaller systems at the time (towards the end of the R310,R410 life), they’ve supplied the bigger add in card.

Physically, there would be an issue. As the heatsink of the H700 Mini may interfere with a card in the PCI-e slot directly above it, especially if the add-in card also had a heatsink.

If you can get one for cheap, it maybe worth it. But it would be safer to get the larger add-in card and appropriate cables.

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#3

Yes, you’re right. Now that I think of it, the 6/iR is a SAS not PERC. However, there won’t be any card sitting above where this one would be.

I tried reaching out to dell for a answer on this, and was unable to get one. I have, through eBay, been able to track down a lot of these for a really good price. Even better, a seller said they’d do me a even better price on a 6 item lot, so I’m waiting on that.

I guess I’ll find out shortly if this will work.

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#4

Between work at work, I’ve done some research. Found two articles, one states I can use it, the other states I can’t. However, I looked up my current Dell T710, and the supporting documentation for that says I couldn’t use the stock slot with a upgraded card, and it worked fine.

Section 3.1 says what devices the H700 can be used in;

This 2 page document says the PERC H700 is supported, but doesn’t say in what slots only.

This 81 page detailed document stats the PERC H700 is supported, but doesn’t state from which port.

I really wish I knew someone who has walked this path, but for now I guess I’m going to find out on my own until then. Well, at least anyone after me looking to build a decent lab for learning on a budget, is about to find out if they can deck out a R310 on the low!

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#5

Now we wait…
Parts will be arriving over the next few weeks.

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#6

Well…it won’t work. Now, the best guess I have being as the power delivery is there, is that something on the motherboards backplane is missing in order to work or it’s disabled by Dell.

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#7

Well that is a bummer.

Its a shame that OEM impose these BIOS lock downs, but at the same time I see why they do it due to validation.

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#8

I’m very surprised they didn’t work. I know the r310s are stripped down compared to the r410 and r710, but I thought they would take these.

Have you searched the servethehome forum? There’s a lot of enterprise expertise there.

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