Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4 Server Review 1U Dual AMD EPYC

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Supermicro AS 1123US TR4 Front Top Open
Supermicro AS 1123US TR4 Front Top Open

Our Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4 server review is going to cover a lot of ground. The Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4 is a 1U dual-socket AMD EPYC 7000 series platform that targets the mainstream enterprise 1U segment. Although the AMD EPYC 7000 series has a strong single socket value proposition, the bulk of the server market is still in dual socket form factors. With 10x 2.5″ front hot-swap bays, the ability to handle up to four add-in cards, and 32 DIMMs for 4TB of memory, and 64 cores, this platform has a lot to offer, and far more than Intel Xeon Scalable can deliver in this generation’s 1U dual processor platforms.

This is a really interesting option for those looking at AMD EPYC as a replacement for Intel Xeon. We think AMD and Supermicro have a strong case for consolidating dual socket Intel Xeon E5 generation platforms into a single socket AMD EPYC platform today as we showed in our Supermicro AS-1013S-MTR 1U 1-Socket AMD EPYC Server Review. Still, when one wants more memory capacity, the dual AMD EPYC platform takes top honors as the highest capacity dual processor platform on the market today with the Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4 taking up to 4TB of RAM in the 1U platform.

In terms of CPUs, here is an interesting point. If an organization is on an “every other generation” (~3 year) replacement cycle, which means the organization is looking to replace Intel Xeon E5-2600 V3 era servers, AMD EPYC has a unique claim. We tested the server with three SKUs, the AMD EPYC 7601, EPYC 7551, and EPYC 7501 that have enough cores to match or exceed dual socket E5-2600 V3 configurations for all but the top end Intel Xeon E5-2699 V3 part of that generation. With twice the RAM capacity in 2 DIMMs per channel mode, twice the core count (or more), and more than twice the memory bandwidth, there are major implications for those upgrading Intel Xeon E5-2600 V3 and earlier systems to AMD EPYC dual socket systems.

The layouts of the AMD EPYC 7000 series and the Intel Xeon Scalable lines are quite different, and that impacts some applications more than others. Check out our video on AMD EPYC v. Intel Xeon Scalable to understand why the NUMA node difference is important.

With that background in mind, here is our basic configuration that describes our test platform.

Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4 Configuration Overview

Supermicro sent us the base unit for review, and we outfitted it with a few different configurations.

  • Server: Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4
  • CPUs: 2x AMD EPYC 7601, 2x AMD EPYC 7551, 2x AMD EPYC 7501, 2x AMD EPYC 7451, 2x AMD EPYC 7401, 2x AMD EPYC 7351, 2x AMD EPYC 7301, 2x AMD EPYC 7281, 2x AMD EPYC 7251
  • RAM: 256GB in 16x 16GB DDR4-2666MHz RDIMMs
  • SATA III Storage: 8x Intel DC S3710 400GB
  • U.2 NVMe Storage: 1x Intel DC P4510 8TB, 1x Intel Optane 900p 280GB
  • 40GbE NIC: Mellanox ConnectX-3 EN Pro
  • 100GBE NIC: Mellanox ConnectX-4

With the Supermicro AS-1123US-TR4, one gets 10 front panel bays for SATA III or SAS3 drives (using an add-on controller), three rear I/O cards for expansion as well as some internal expansion capabilities. That means one can add a lot of storage in the chassis. There is an option that one can add to the standard AS-1123US-TR4 platform in the form of Supermicro CBL-SAST-0929 cables that allow one to utilize the Oculink NVMe sources for NVMe front panel drives. We manage to snag a pair of cables which allowed us to utilize two front panel U.2 NVMe drives.

As we go through the server hardware, we are going to show how networking and expansion options abound in the platform. The server has 1GbE networking built-in but we see the vast majority of servers based on this platform being deployed with 25/40/50/100GbE so we wanted to be sure to work with that.

Next, we are going to delve into the hardware overview. We are then going to look at the management features and the block diagram for the server. After that, we are going to cover operational aspects including performance and power consumption before giving our final thoughts on the platform.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.2
Performance
9.7
Feature Set
9.6
Value
9.9
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

8 COMMENTS

  1. A criticism of STH reviews is that they don’t put price in. These barebones are like $1600 and available from channel partners. For a barebones that is about right but if you’re loading with RAM, CPUs, a 25/100Gb NIC, and 10 drives the $1600 is a small cost overall.

    When are we gonna see 10x nvme? That’s really the sweet spot for EPYC.

    Good lookin’ system though and really thorough review. You guys have kicked it up a notch on the server reviews.

  2. Too bad this isn’t ten NVMe like the Dell R6415. It looks really nice and since we’re doing NVMe-oF attached storage these days with less local it’s fine for us. Something to talk to our reseller about. Price is really reasonable here Tyrone.

  3. KILLS me that they didn’t do 4 NVMe.

    Why did they do a x8 internal on the riser not an x16? They’ve got risers with that. Since 8 SAS3 isn’t going to do us much good an x16 internal slot filled with 4 M.2’s I’d say is ideal.

    I’m with these guys. I want one. If you could get the 7401’s at 7401P price I’d have a stack of these already.

  4. Have you also noticed that you have to disable “above 4G decoding” in bios in order for 100G Connect-x 4 to initialize properly?

    Also, it should be worth mentioning that if you fully populate dimm slots, memory frequency goes down to 2133MHz.

  5. For those looking for NVMe, the SMC site shows two versions of the AS-1123US.
    AS-1123US-TR4 = 10 x 2.5 SATA + 2 x NVMe
    AS-1123US-TN10RT = 10 x U.2 NVMe

    Really great review STH. Looking forward to getting a few of these.

  6. @Jure: please check the manualon page 34. Pick the right dimms and in most situations you wil have 2666mhz.

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