At SC17 this year AMD had a great presence, as did Tyan. We have reviewed a number of Tyan servers over the past few months as the company is experiencing a resurgence. One of the most popular reviews we published recently on the company was our Tyan Thunder HX GA88-B5631 Server Review 4x GPU in 1U. That particular system sported four GPUs in a dual PCIe root configuration in 1U. It used a single Intel Xeon Scalable CPU which means it is a high-density play with cost savings on the overall system front. At SC17 we saw the AMD variant on display.
Tyan Transport HX GA88-B8021 at SC17
At SC17 we saw the Tyan Transport HX GA88-B8021 at the AMD booth. AMD was showing off a number of partner solutions, but Tyan’s 1U EPYC platform was one of the more unique.
As a point of perspective, this system was suspended several feet on a booth wall behind a plexiglass shield. We asked Tyan to send us a photo we could use which shows the design without horrible show floor reflections:
Key here is that Tyan is able to offer something different. With the AMD EPYC’s massive PCIe expansion capabilities, Tyan can offer a dual PCIe riser for more PCIe slots in the 1U chassis. If you wanted to add high capacity NVMe storage, multiple 100GbE or EDR Infiniband, or even two single-width GPUs the utility of this design is readily apparent. One also gets 16 DDR4 DIMM channels rather than 12 on the comparable Intel platform. That means that one can use lower-cost and lower capacity DIMMs to achieve a memory capacity or hit a higher capacity target (up to 2TB) in this 1U configuration. The benefits of this approach are readily apparent.
We have been told that these are not yet on the market but we can expect them coming. This is certainly an interesting option for GPU compute and potentially even 1U GPU/ NVMe storage configurations.