Dell Wyse 5070 – Home Server

Recently I have upgraded my home server to Dell Wyse 5070 Extended. This is a very interesting low power computer in a small form factor. My unit came with Pentium J5005 CPU, 8 GB DDR4 RAM (2 × 4 GB), an Radeon E9173 PCIe graphics card and a M.2 SATA SSD drive. The case is really nice, but the Windows sticker is not. There are many ports around, but I’m not going to use most of them anyway.

My previous setup based on Celeron J1900, 16 GB RAM and Intel 730 SSD has been working fine for 7 years with many services, including website. I decided to build a new Linux home server, which could also be sufficient for such a long time, while still keeping the power consumption at a low level.

Although Intel says J5005 supports up to 8 GB RAM, there are many reports available on the Internet about a success with 16 and 32 GB. The first attempt with a memory from my Dell Latitude e7270 failed – Crucial CT16G4SFD8266 (2 × 16 GB, 2666 MHz). I upgraded the BIOS to the latest version (1.15.1), but it did not help.

For a second attempt I ordered two Hynix HMA82GS6AFR8N modules (2 × 16 GB, 2400 MHz). 

It worked, but… not exactly. I started Memtest86 to check if everything is OK. At the end of each test, the memory was very slow, i.e. after address 0x800000000. I have never experienced such a behavior, but the Linux dmesg quickly revealed the issue.

[ 0.000972] e820: update [mem 0x800000000-0x87fffffff] usable ==> reserved
[ 0.000979] WARNING: BIOS bug: CPU MTRRs don't cover all of memory, losing 2048MB of RAM.
[ 0.000981] update e820 for mtrr

I successfully tested the memory four times with Memtest86 (with a limit up to 0x800000000). There is a BIOS bug or maybe the memory controller in CPU cannot handle 32 GB correctly. Anyway, 30 GB is definitely enough for me.

What about storage? It would be great to use NVMe SSD, but the M.2 onboard slot does not support it (SATA only). This is the main reason that I bought the Extended version of Dell Wyse 5070, which contains PCIe slot. I removed the stock Radeon card and I installed a PCIe → M.2 NVMe adapter (IB-PCI208-HS) with Samsung 970 PRO (MLC).

The PCI Express 2.0 (×4) bus limits the sequential speeds to 1300 MB/s. However, all small random reads and writes should be generally unaffected.

Timing buffered disk reads: 3930 MB in 3.00 seconds = 1309.43 MB/sec

Important note: Wyse 5070 does not support booting from NVMe … as expected. I installed another SSD drive into the M.2 slot (Intel 535) which holds the EFI boot partition.


What about power supply? Dell Wyse 5070 Extended comes with 19.5 V 130 W PSU. It is generally an overkill, unless you put a full load on CPU, GPU and all ports available. I’ve been running my previous server directly from a 12 V buffer PSU, as it accepted a voltage between 8 and 19 V. It would be nice to use Dell Wyse in the same way.

I used an adjustable PSU to check the voltage thresholds (hysteresis). To my delight, it seems that Dell Wyse 5070 Extended does not require a voltage of 19.5 V to work or start. 

  • Power on: 10.6V
  • Shutdown: 8.7V

Therefore, I’m going to use it directly with my 12V buffer PSU. Unfortunately, it is not that easy as it would seem. Dell involves a third wire in PSUs, which is dedicated for 1-Wire bus. It provides an identification of the PSU (serial number, wattage and other things). Without it, the operation of Wyse is limited (e.g. CPU is stuck at low frequency). 

The identification IC is DS2501 or alike. The 90W versions are widely available on Aliexpress, but not 130W. I decided to extract it from the PSU that was included and create a custom PCB. The circuit consists of an identification IC (SMD), a Zener diode (12 V) and a resistor (130 Ω).


The final setup features:

  • 4-core Pentium J5005.
  • 30 GB of RAM.
  • NVMe SSD 1 TB.
  • SATA SSD 180 GB.

The idle power consumption is pretty insane – just 3.4 W. The turbo CPU frequency quickly drops down from 2.7 to 2.3 GHz under a load (tested with echo "8 8 8 ^^p" | dc).

  12 V 15 V 19.5 V 22 V
Idle 3.6 W 3.4 W 3.4 W 3.4 W
Load (4 × 2.7 GHz) 14.7 W 14.4 W 14.7 W 14.8 W
Load (4 × 2.3 GHz) 11.6 W 11.4 W 11.8 W 11.8 W


13 thoughts on “Dell Wyse 5070 – Home Server

  1. Thanks for your detailed review of Dell wyse 5070 Extended machine. I have a question regarding PCI-E M.2 adapter. Once you have added the card to Wyse 5070 Extended did it show up in the BIOS.

    I purchased this PCI-E adapter
    and added 1 TB drive to it and it is not showing up in BIOS.

    I would appreciate if you could let me know what was the behavior once the PCI-E card was added to the computer. was it detected in the BIOS or only just OS.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Unfortunately BIOS will not detect the NVMe drive, only OS.
      That’s why I added a M.2 SATA drive for EFI partition with bootloader.

  2. Hi, could you mesure voltages in pcie slot (without “reiser bracker”) when running on 12V PSU?

    1. My units are currently running 24h/7d. Maybe I’ll check it during maintenance break someday ;)

    2. So I measured the voltages of the PCI-e “slot” in the Wyse5070 (slim one), looking from the top of the board, the first pins are on the left, WITH 12V PSU, after turning on the PC:
      side A[V]: 0/12/12/0/3.3/5/5/0/3.3/3.3/3.3
      side B[V]:12/12/12/0/3.3/3.3/0/3.3/3.3/3.3/3.3
      Does it look right to test PCI-e card without original Dell’s riser?

  3. Samsung 970 Pro is expensive than Samsung 980 Pro.
    980 Pro is better and compatible (Samsung MZ-V8P1T0BW 1TB M.2 PCIe) ?

    1. Well, I would not say that 980 Pro is better for my purpose. 970 Pro is based on MLC flash (2 bit) which is much more reliable than TLC (3 bit) in 980 Pro.

      In last months there were many reports of high failure rates of all new Samsung NVMe drives, including 980 Pro, 990 Pro and also 970 Evo Plus (the new version that uses the same controller as 980 Pro). There is still no official statement from Samsung available about the cause, except that they have just released new firmware.

      I’m really happy that I have bought the 970 Pro for my server. Unfortunately it is now discontinued.

  4. Thanks for great and detailed review. From the table of power consumption I see you’ve tested the 5070 with 22V on input? Great info, as I want to supply it with 5×4.2V Li-ions in-series. Any objections to the safety of that? Cheers Jan

    1. I don’t know what is the voltage tolerance of Dell 19.5 V power supplies, so I cannot recommend anything more than that.

      Personally I’ve been running another Wyse 5070 Extended unit at 22 V for a few months without any problems so far. Of course your mileage may vary, as this is out of specification and you’re doing it at your own risk.

      The highest voltage that I tested was 24 V (but just for a moment at low load) and there was no magic smoke yet. The efficiency of the internal power supply started to deteriorate sharply at 22.5 V (or 23.5 V, I don’t remember now) and above.

      1. That is what I wanted to hear/read :) As I’ll use 5x Li-ions, the 5070 will be exposed to 21V for only short time, as the voltage shall drop to the nominal 18V. All at my own risk of course :) Thanks a lot

  5. Dziękuję za podzielenie się ciekawym pomysłem! Zainspirowany kupiłem swojego 5070 na celeronie, dorzuciłem 32 GB ramu i jest dokładnie tak samo jak piszesz. Przy końcu memtestu (>30 GB) ewidentnie zwalnia, ale nie sypie błędami. Będę instalował na nim proxmoxa. Jak uważasz czy trzeba wykluczyć z użycia komórki pamięci > 30GB, czy nie ma takiej konieczności, tylko zwyczajnie nie alokować na wirtualne maszyny więcej niż np. 29 GB?
    Dzięki i pozdrawiam!

    1. Kernel sam wyłącza ten fragment pamięci. Sprawdź dmesg, powinno się pojawić coś w stylu:
      [ 0.000979] WARNING: BIOS bug: CPU MTRRs don’t cover all of memory, losing 2048MB of RAM.
      W systemie jest dostępne 29911 MB.

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