A Look at 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids Platforms
We are using three primary platforms. Our first platform was the QCT QuantaGrid software development platform that was very similar to the AMD EPYC 9004 QuatnaGrid platform. Intel’s Sapphire Rapids launch differs from AMD EPYC Genoa insofar as that the availability of mature platforms is much greater on the Intel side. We have had several platforms working flawlessly from server OEMs before that QCT platform had updated BIOS for MCC parts. Some are still not going to be released for a few days after Intel’s launch, but we wanted to show off two Supermicro platforms that we used.
The first is a traditional dual-socket server from Supermicro. This is the Supermicro SYS-221H-TNRR.
The system is fully PCIe Gen5 enabled both to its front 2.5″ NVMe bays to its rear PCIe riser slots.
Inside we get two CPU sockets and support for Intel’s high-end 350W TDP CPUs. What is more, these platforms support 2DPC operation at launch. That may seem standard, but it means that we get 16x DIMMs per socket and 32x DDR5 DIMM slots total in the system. A modern AMD EPYC 9004 server has 12-channel memory, but most will only have 24x DDR5 DIMM slots due to the current 1DPC limitation for AMD.
Something else that we see with this platform is a trend that we will see more of. Almost all of the PCIe connectivity is cabled rather than using traditional gold finger risers. PCIe Gen5 signal integrity is so challenging that the trend of using cabling we saw start in the PCIe Gen4 era is now commonplace in the new PCIe Gen5 servers.
Aside from the 2U dual-socket platform, we also had something that was very interesting, a single-socket platform. The Supermicro SYS-111C-NR is part of the company’s newer Cloud DC line. It also really shows how much better a single-socket Intel Xeon server is in this generation.
The new system can support 10x NVMe drives, as well as two PCIe Gen5 full-height cards and two OCP NIC 3.0 cards, all in 1U.
A lot of this flexibility has to do with the new 80x PCIe Gen5 lanes from Sapphire Rapids processors. As one can see, these are already mature platforms running 2DPC DDR5.
We are going to have full reviews of these platforms, along with a few others that will be announced soon, in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you go to Supermicro.com/x13 today, you will likely see several videos that I hosted for Supermicro on their new product launch. It was fun to get to see all of the new servers, including 8-socket systems, GPU systems, and more.
Next, let us get to the performance.