Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550 Internal Overview
With the side panel off let us take a look inside the Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550.
The ThinkSystem ST550 uses a sizeable cooling shroud to direct airflow from two cooling fans at the mid-plane across the passive CPU heat sinks. A third fan is directed to the PCIe expansion cards. Each of the cooling fans at the mid-plane is hot-swappable. A forth hot-swappable fan located at the back of the server under the cooling shroud aids pulling warm air out the back of the server.
After removing the cooling shroud, we have easy access to the motherboard area.
Looking at a close up of the processor heat sinks which do not have fans attached, cooling is provided by the main fan assembly at the midplane and directed through the heat sinks by the air shroud. This the leading practice for cooling server processors.
With a closer look at the CPU socket area, we see six DDR4 DIMM slots per CPU. This means that the system supports a maximum of one DIMM per channel. Unlike previous generation Intel Xeon E5 systems, the new Intel Xeon Scalable platform offers 50% more memory channels for additional memory bandwidth. Having more memory channels also means more configuration flexibility.
The six PCIe expansion slots can be accessed only when both CPUs are installed. Two of the PCIe x16 slots are blocked by the first CPU’s DIMM sockets which is common in this form factor.
Our ST550 arrived with a ThinkStation RAID 930-8i 2GB Flash PCIe 12Gb adapter which provides SAS connectivity to the front panel storage.
The Lenovo ThinkSystem ST550 provides locations for four battery packs for storage HBAs. In many white box systems, mounting batteries and capacitors for RAID controllers can be troublesome. Lenovo has a leading solution here.
Before getting into performance and power consumption testing let us take a look at XClarity Management.