Three Xeon E5 Server Systems From Intel, Tyan, And Supermicro

Supermicro 6027R-N3RF4+: Layout And Overview

The Supermicro 6027R-N3RF4+ is a complete barebones kit composed of an X9DRW-3LN4F+ motherboard and CSE-829BTQ-R920WB chassis. Both parts are available separately, but Supermicro sells the combination with cabling already run, routed, and secured to optimize airflow. This does save quite a bit of time compared to purchasing each piece and assembling. Supermicro also offers Intel CPUs and other components on its price list, so it is possible to not only purchase the company's components, but also to configure a fully-assembled system.

Let's take a look at the 6027R-N3RF4+ barebones package.

Looking at the front of the CSE-829BTQ-R920WB chassis, ten 3.5" disk trays are perhaps most prominent. Generally, this provides room to install two boot drives and a fully-populated eight-channel SAS controller. Three-and-a-half-inch disks are generally used as mass storage, with 10 000 and 15 000 RPM spindles becoming less common (in favor of 2.5" SAS drives or solid state drives when performance is the priority), making 3.5" the form factor of choice for larger, slower 7200 RPM SAS or SATA devices.

You can also see Supermicro's LCD status panel, along with USB ports, status LEDs, and buttons. The company makes room for a slim optical DVD drive near the top of the chassis, which is less common these days due to the remote image mounting capabilities of many management interfaces.

A quick look at the drive tray makes it pretty obvious that it'd be difficult to install a 2.5" device without utilizing an adapter. Supermicro does sell adapter hardware, but given the dominance of 2.5" storage for high-IOPS workloads, I do hope Supermicro's next design incorporates the ability to use 2.5" drives in 3.5" bays through either a unified drive sled or adapter.

We clearly see that the CSE-829BTQ-R920WB is built to accommodate custom form factor motherboards (WIO+). Proprietary form factors are very common when vendors design systems with expansion slots using riser cards, which the 6027R-N3RF4+ does utilize. This is important because the number and location of expansion slots via risers is not standardized, as you might expect on the desktop. When you purchase a system based on a proprietary form factor from a vendor like Supermicro, Dell, HP, or IBM, the ability to upgrade later on is often limited as a result.

There are four hot-swap 100 CFM 80 mm fans that dissipate heat from not just the motherboard, but also the passive CPU heat sinks through the use of clever ducting with an air shroud. Hot-swap fans in a chassis of this price are standard because, if a fan fails, you need the flexibility to pull it out and install a new one from the top of the chassis without touching the motherboard. This is doubly important in 1U and 2U enclosures, where CPUs are often passively cooled.

Moving to the rear of the chassis, the Supermicro 6027R-N3RF4+ includes redundant hot-swap 1U 920 W power supplies with 80 PLUS Platinum ratings, configured one on top of the other. These PSUs have a replacement part number of PWS-920P-SQ, with the "SQ" designating Supermicro products marketed as "Super Quiet". We find that interesting in a 2U server chassis destined for data centers. The 80 PLUS Platinum rating means that these PSUs can achieve up to 94% efficiency, an important metric in racks, where power delivery and cooling are finite. PSU efficiency plays an important role in lowering overall infrastructure load.

In order to remove one of the platform's power supplies, push the latch securing it and pull the unit's handle. Inserting a power supply is as simple as pushing it into a vacant slot.

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20 comments
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  • mayankleoboy1
    the charts are looking strange. they need to be reduced in size a bit....
    6
  • EzioAs
    Anonymous said:
    the charts are looking strange. they need to be reduced in size a bit....


    I agree. Just reduce it a little bit but don't make it too hard to see
    0
  • dogman_1234
    Cool. Now, can we compare these to Opteron systems?
    0
  • TheBigTroll
    no comparison needed. intel usually wins
    4
  • willard
    TheBigTrollno comparison needed. intel usually wins

    Usually? The E5s absolutely crush AMD's best offerings. AMD's top of the line server chips are about equal in performance to Intel's last generation of chips, which are now more than two years old. It's even more lopsided than Sandy Bridge vs. Bulldozer.
    4
  • Malovane
    dogman_1234Cool. Now, can we compare these to Opteron systems?


    As an AMD fan, I wish we could. But while Magny-Cours was competitive with the last gen Xeons, AMD doesn't really have anything that stacks up against the E5. In pretty much every workload, E5 dominates the 62xx or the 61xx series by 30-50%. The E5 is even price competitive at this point.

    We'll just have to see how Piledriver does.
    2
  • jaquith
    Hmm...in comparison my vote is the Dell PowerEdge R720 http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-r720/pd?oc=bectj3&model_id=poweredge-r720 it's better across the board i.e. no comparison. None of this 'testing' is applicable to these servers.
    0
  • lilcinw
    Finally we have some F@H benches!! Thank you!

    Having said that I would suggest you include expected PPD for the given TPF since that is what folders look at when deciding on hardware. Or you could just devote 48 hours from each machine to generate actual results for F@H and donate those points to your F@H team (yes Tom's has a team [40051] and visibility is our biggest problem).
    3
  • dogman_1234
    lilcinwFinally we have some F@H benches!! Thank you!Having said that I would suggest you include expected PPD for the given TPF since that is what folders look at when deciding on hardware. Or you could just devote 48 hours from each machine to generate actual results for F@H and donate those points to your F@H team (yes Tom's has a team [40051] and visibility is our biggest problem).

    The issue is that other tech sites promote their teams. We do not have a promotive site. Even while mentioning F@H, some people do not agree with it or will never want to participate. It is a mentality. However, it is a choice!
    1
  • lilcinw
    I don't expect promotion at this point, just basic recognition would be appreciated.
    2
  • Luscious
    I've seen a few 2U 4-node blade servers from Asus and Supermicro running dual-socket E5's - just the thought of populating a single 42U rack with those things makes the mind boggle (168 processors, 1344 cores, 2688 threads, 42TB of total RAM and 1008TB of storage).

    F@H on such a monster? Do the math and you'll see that just after one year of 24/7 operation you would rack up over 3 billion points, putting you in the top 10 for teams and no.1 spot for single user.

    That's assuming, of course, that you've forked out $20k for your monthly power bill to run that fully-stocked 42U rack and paid $240k to your utility company for the entire year. Then there's the cost of the hardware itself - around $26k for each 2U server, or around a cool $600,000.

    SPEND MONEY FAST
    1
  • utomo88
    We need somebody to design new server which is powerful and can handle a lot of memory and harddisk and affordable price.
    all powerful server are expensive now.
    I believe market for cheap but powerful server are big, and no one is working on this area.
    I know the profit is not big, but by big quantity it mean big money too :)
    0
  • bit_user
    Would be cool to test both a E5 Xeon and a Sandybridge-E of the same clock speed, in the same C602 motherboard (Supermicro's X9SRA), to see if DDIO has any performance impact on 3D and GPGPU benchmarks.
    0
  • bit_user
    Also, how about posting measuring the scaling from 1x 4core E5 Xeon -> 1x 8core E5 Xeon -> 2x 4core E5 Xeon?

    The point is that memory is directly connected to 1 CPU only. Adding a 2nd CPU doubles aggregate bandwidth, but could actually hurt performance, if the software isn't written to carefully to localize data and manage affinity between threads & CPUs.
    0
  • _zxzxzx_
    Would be nice to see how these compare to the AMD systems.
    0
  • saturn85
    nice folding@home benchmark.
    great work.
    0
  • centosfan
    Why don't you include HP DL series and the Dell R series. Those two companies have about 70% market share on the 2U Inter server market. I don't understand why you would exclude them. Most companies wouldn't buy anything but a Dell, HP or and IBM.
    0
  • pjkenned
    centosfanWhy don't you include HP DL series and the Dell R series. Those two companies have about 70% market share on the 2U Inter server market. I don't understand why you would exclude them. Most companies wouldn't buy anything but a Dell, HP or and IBM.


    That is something that we are looking at. This was more of a look at what is out there for barebones kits. I totally agree that these types of comparisons would be great.
    1
  • DVFinn
    I've been using Supermicro bare bones servers for a few years now and I love them. When it comes to performance per dollar there's no way to compare these systems with off the shelf dell or HP offerings. I've specced them out 20 ways and the bottom line is I can build nearly 2x the horsepower at significantly lower cost vs. a fully configured server from one of the big vendors. My newest SQL servers are 8xSSD Raid10 data sets and simple sata mirrors for the OS. 128GB RAM, dual, quad-core Xeons, adaptec 6805 controllers. About $5k each for the full build, and their chassis are so easy to work in the whole build takes less than 30 minutes before I'm loading the OS.
    0
  • razor512
    utomo88We need somebody to design new server which is powerful and can handle a lot of memory and harddisk and affordable price.all powerful server are expensive now. I believe market for cheap but powerful server are big, and no one is working on this area.I know the profit is not big, but by big quantity it mean big money too


    That is already done (but as more of a work around) build a standard PC.
    Many high end gaming motherboards work well in a server environment, and can easily handle a high traffic website.
    Most web hosting does not need a super powerful server (which is why virtualization is so popular). If you are running a relatively small business and are not doing anything that is hugely CPU bound (eg, rendering) then you can save a bit of money with a decent desktop PC.
    0