Recently a new Supermicro Hyper-Speed server was sent to STH for review. For those not familiar with Supermicro Hyper-Speed it is enterprise overclocking. Supermicro enables mild overclocks on their Hyper-Speed products. These overclocks are innovative in the data center because dual socket Intel Xeon E5-2600 series CPUs are multiplier locked. The company offers both workstation and 2U server variants of the platform. We were sent a SYS-6027AX-TRF for review, which is a 2U unit. This article will go over the chassis of the Supermicro Hyper-Speed SYS-6027AX-TRF which is the CSE-829BTQ-R1K28LPB.
Supermicro sent the following test configuration for our testing. This represents one common configuration for a compute node. One other popular configuration is using dual Intel Xeon E5-2643CPUs (4C/8T) for applications where one needs high clock speed and lower core counts due to per-core license costs.
- Intel Xeon E5-2687W @ 3.224GHz base clocks
- Supermicro X9DAX-iF Motherboard
- Samsung 8GB x 8 DDR3-1600 running at 1937MHz
Overall, this is the fastest dual socket configuration available in terms of today’s processors. Currently the Intel Xeon E5-2600 series line tops out with Intel Xeon E5-2687W at 3.1GHz base clocks and 8 cores / 16 threads each. As we will see, overclocking the CPU by 4% and memory by 21% yields the fastest configuration we can get at the moment.
Supermicro Hyper-Speed SYS-6027AX-TRF 2U Server Chassis
Part of the solution Supermicro provides is an integrated chassis plus motherboard. With the 2U solution, the system utilizes a Supermicro CSE-829BTQ-R1K28LPB chassis. Let’s take a look at what the Supermicro SYS-6027AX-TRF has to offer.
The front of the Supermicro CSE-829BTQ-R1K28LPB chassis has ten hot swap bays. The -TRF portion of the part number tells us that this is a SATA solution. One can see the standard ten hot swap bay front design. There is a spot for a slim optical drive if one requires it. One very interesting note is that the CSE-829BTQ-R1K28LPB has two USB 3.0 (SS USB) ports on the front panel. This is very unusual. The Supermicro SYS-6027AX-TRF also has Supermicro’s LCD status panel.
Moving to the rear of the chassis, we can see a few things. First, there are spots for 7 low profile expansion cards on the chassis. Second, there are more USB and USB 3.0 ports as well as audio output. The internal X9DAX-iF motherboard is used in both server and workstation form factors, so the server board does have some of these workstation features built in. We also see two Intel i350 Ethernet ports and a management NIC, standard fare on server motherboards. One will also note that the entire rear of the chassis is a massive vent to exhaust the fast moving air cooling overclocked CPUs.
The power supplies are located in the rear of the chassis. Both redundant power supplies have tool-less hot swap capabilities. This is a standard Supermicro design and works well.
The PWS-1K28P-SQ power supplies are high quality power supplies. Each can deliver 1.28kW of power. They are rated as 80 Plus Platinum so one knows that these will run efficiently even if the chassis has both overclocked CPUs pegged at 100%, and all expansion capabilities maxed out. Each Intel Xeon E5-2687W is rated at 150w TDP with stock clocks so there is a lot of room for drives, fans and expansion slots. The four fans in the chassis alone can require up to almost 50w if they run at full speed.
Opening the chassis required unscrewing four screws, two on either side. Inside, one can see that there is a large fan shroud that funnels air to the dual overclocked Intel Xeon E5-2687W processors, memory and expansion cards.
Cooling is provided by four large Nidec UltraFlow fans. Each 80mm fan is capable of 100CFM of airflow and can draw up to 16.8w. These large fans are needed to cool the Supermicro Hyper-Speed system and its overclocked processors and RAM.
Sitting just in front of the Nidec fans is the hot swap backplane. The backplane takes 7-pin SATA inputs and has hole in order to facilitate airflow through the chassis. The Supermicro X9DAX-iF test motherboard that came in the system does not have SFF-8087 connectors. However, Supermicro does have versions with onboard LSI SAS controllers. For those systems, Supermicro also sells a SATA/ SAS backplane.
As we go though the Supermicro Hyper-Speed server hardware, one will see the engineering that went into making the platform a stable performer even being overclocked in a data center. In future pieces we will explore the internal portion of the chassis with the CPUs, motherboard and memory in greater detail. We will also look at BIOS settings that are found on the Hyper-Speed products. Performance figures will follow, but suffice to say, this is probably the fastest production 2U dual-socket server around right now. Stay tuned!