Gigabyte R281-G30 Versatile Compute Platform Review


Gigabyte R281-G30 Power Consumption

We put the server into in our data center using 208V 30A Schneider Electric APC PDUs. We measured power using the Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 CPUs, and saw some great figures:

  • Idle: 97W
  • STH CPU 70% Load: 361W
  • 100% Load AVX2 (GROMACS): 508W
  • Maximum: 1353W

Spinning up the three NVIDIA GPUs caused our maximum power consumption to rise considerably. There were still options to add a few more cards and more drives so we understand why Gigabyte is using 2kW PSUs.

Note these results were taken using a 208V Schneider Electric / APC PDU at 17.7C and 71% RH. Our testing window shown here had a +/- 0.3C and +/- 2% RH variance. The ambient temperatures and humidity factors are important as they greatly influence server power consumption, especially in densely populated  GPU servers such as this.

Final Words

At STH, we now do more hands-on server reviews than any other site out there. That means that we have been reviewing Gigabyte products for years. During this time, perhaps the most amazing evolution is simply the build quality. With the company’s latest servers, such as the Gigabyte R281-G30, the build quality is light years beyond where it was even five years ago. The R281-G30 build quality is nearing or exceeding Intel’s own branded servers at this point which is a major accomplishment.

The market is trending towards using more GPUs in the data center. Having the ability to add three full-size GPUs in a single 2U chassis that is designed for general purpose workloads means that customers can add GPU capabilities to their server deployments without having to resort to going all-in on GPU centric platforms.

We like the fact that the system is flexible in terms of PCIe configurations as well as storage configurations. Beyond our test system, we have used other Gigabyte platforms built on this platform so if you are a VAR looking to customize, Gigabyte has a unique solution.

The dual OCP mezzanine card slots we found to be a great feature. We were able to use these slots to add a massive amount of networking even in a densely packed chassis. Gigabyte’s use of an open mezzanine card form factor with a vibrant community we see as a positive. Other manufacturers build custom form factor networking modules which have limited usability across models. Gigabyte’s OCP adoption means that stocking spares and provisioning forupgrades will be immensely simplified.

Overall, we like the direction of the Gigabyte R281-G30 and would not hesitate to use this platform in our own production clusters because it is an excellent and well rounded server.

You can find out more information on the server here.


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