Gigabyte R272-Z32 Storage Performance
Since we usually use Intel DC P3520 2TB drives for 24-bay storage arrays we wanted to show those plus some of the Micron 9300 Pro 9300 3.84TB SSDs. We do not have 24s Micron 9300 Pro’s, so instead, we just filled the chassis and wanted to show performance across all 24 drives.
One of the reasons that we typically use the Intel P3520’s, aside from having quantities of them, is that on Intel systems, PCIe switches in 24-bay dual Intel Xeon systems mean there is only a PCIe 3.0 x16 lane to one or two switches. With so little bandwidth on most Intel Xeon systems, using lower-speed SSDs does not matter as it is the PCIe switch uplink bandwidth that becomes a bottleneck here.
With the Gigabyte R272-Z32 and AMD EPYC 7002 series, each drive gets a direct connection. The 10x Micron 9300 Pro array we have is faster than virtually every 24-bay dual Intel Xeon system due to not needing a PCIe switch. When you add the results of the 14x Intel DC P3520 SSDs and extrapolate how fast 24x Micron 9300 Pro SSDs would be, the results are not close. If you want a fast NVMe storage server, the Gigabyte R272-Z32 delivers single-socket performance that exceeds dual Intel Xeon Scalable processor performance.
Normally we test network performance as well. We managed to get just over 100Gbps speeds using the Mellanox ConnectX-5 PCIe Gen4 card and two ports active. Still, we wish there was another PCIe Gen4 x16 interface. We also did not have other PCIe Gen4 network cards to test with, so that seemed almost redundant to chart.
Gigabyte R272-Z32 Power Consumption
For this, we wanted to present two sets of numbers. One using the AMD EPYC 7702P 64-core part without storage being used, and then a maximum effort run with both storage and networking being hammered along with the CPU. In this system, a massive amount of power can be used especially with up to 24x 15W drives. We thought it would be important to give a range.
- Idle: 0.13kW
- STH 70% CPU Load: 0.28kW
- 100% Load: 0.32kW
- Maximum Recorded: 0.63kW
That is a great showing. The impact here is that one can consolidate multiple Intel Xeon E5-2600 V4 systems into a single socket Gigabyte R272-Z32 that also uses fewer switch ports and PDU ports. As a result, the overall data center power savings are excellent.
Note these results were taken using a 208V Schneider Electric / APC PDU at 17.6C and 72% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance.
STH Server Spider: Gigabyte R272-Z32
In the second half of 2018, we introduced the STH Server Spider as a quick reference to where a server system’s aptitude lies. Our goal is to start giving a quick visual depiction of the types of parameters that a server is targeted at.
Here, the CPU density is not great with only one CPU per 2U. Gigabyte sells other models with eight AMD EPYC 7002 CPUs in 2U. The system does have a full set of 16 DIMMs which helps memory density slightly. Where this box is mainly focused is towards high-performance storage applications with 24x NVMe SSDs.
In every server generation, there is a system or type of system that just gets it right. For years, we have seen generations of systems that offered incremental improvements but still relied upon dual-socket servers. If you have even the latest April 2019 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable systems bandwidth is constrained by too few PCIe lanes for both a 100GbE network connection and 24x NVMe bays, even with two CPUs installed. With the Gigabyte R272-Z32, one gets 24x front panel U.2 NVMe bays, two M.2 boot drives and two rear SATA boot drives, plus PCIe expansion room to utilize 100GbE connectivity all using one CPU. That includes even the $450 AMD EPYC 7232P which can also address up to 4TB of memory (although we would not suggest that configuration.)
There are a few items that we would change. The web management interface can use a boot to BIOS option and could be a bit faster to load. Two M.2 slots could be sacrificed for a full PCIe Gen4 x16 slot. A sturdier airflow guide could be used with additional SATA SSD mounting points. These are really areas of potential improvement but do not take away from the fact that the Gigabyte R272-Z32 is a great platform that is one of the first to fully utilize what the AMD EPYC 7002 series has to offer. If you read our AMD EPYC 7002 Series Rome Delivers a Knockout article, you will see it indeed offers a lot.
If you are looking for a software-defined storage or hyper-converged platform with next-generation capabilities, the Gigabyte R272-Z32 is a step beyond what traditional vendors offer in dual-socket Intel Xeon servers. Gigabyte did a great job of creating an expansive platform around the new chips.
Where to Buy
We have gotten a lot of questions asking where one can buy these servers. That is pretty common since some of the gear is harder to find online. ThinkMate has these servers on their configurator, so we are going to point folks there:
Let us know if you find this helpful and we can include in future reviews as well.