Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 Review Embedded EPYC Appliance

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Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 Power Consumption

We used our pair of Extech TrueRMS Power Analyzer 380803 units to take measurements at different points of the Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 use on 120V power in the embedded lab. Embedded platforms tend to spend more time at the edge in offices rather than in higher power data centers, hence why we do our testing at a lower voltage. Here are the figures:

  • Power off BMC only: 4.7W
  • OS Idle: 33.7W
  • 100% Load: 71.8W
  • Maximum Observed: 97.4W

With three fans, the Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 uses more power than some other configurations. If one has less storage and never plans on installing an add-in card a fan can be removed with impact to power consumption.

Still, the Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 performs well and at a lower power level than many of the Intel Xeon D-2100 performance competitive solutions. In the embedded market, low power is key. It is not quite at the Intel Atom power consumption levels but it is competitive with the Intel Xeon D-1500 and newer Xeon D-1600 series.

We wanted to take a moment here and discuss noise. The solution is too loud to have sitting on one’s desktop. On one hand, this is a high-performance CPU and a lot of components in a small box. On the other hand, using a 1.5U design, based on a 1U design, means that the Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 is still using 40mm 1U fans for cooling, not larger quieter units.

STH Server Spider: Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4

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.

STH Server Spider Supermicro AS E301 9D 8CN4
STH Server Spider Supermicro AS E301 9D 8CN4

The Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 is not meant to be the densest platform. Instead, it is intended to be compact in size. To this end, it achieves its goal.

Final Words

Overall, we think that the Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 makes a great AMD EPYC 3000 test platform. If you have a small cluster setup for testing based on the Supermicro CSE-E300 chassis, adding a Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4 to the mix will be easy. For embedded appliance makers, we think this is a great option, but wish that Supermicro offered more SKUs. The design means that we think that this can be used as a reference with other M11SDV and even Intel-based platforms.

At under $1000 street price, we think this is a solid solution, but wish that Supermicro had a SKU variant that was a few dollars more but included everything (e.g. brackets, cables, and adapters) to make a fully functional system. We can see Supermicro’s channel partners and end users getting the systems and then wanting the optional features to fully configure the servers. A $1025 street price that had everything but without having to look-up individual pieces would be excellent and relatively easy to accomplish.

Another small point is that there are entirely too many screws in this design. It may be by a margin of four, but it is still too many. We like that Supermicro went to tool-less 7mm SSD installation, that is great. At the same time, we hope that innovation to remove screws extends past SSD installation to make these boxes more serviceable. Replacing a SATA DOM in the field will take at least eight screws to remove, then re-install. At the same time, we like features like the locking DC power supply.

If you are looking for a desktop/ appliance version of an AMD EPYC 3000 series server that is not tied to a rackmount, we like the Supermicro AS-E301-9D-8CN4. Adding additional storage over CSE-300 based offerings is a welcome design direction in this space.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.2
Performance
9.6
Feature Set
9.3
Value
9.5
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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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. On every hardware metric it is rather limited: but it has fairly fast CPU cores for it’s power budget.

    Like it’s brethren it is very cute and it looks nice sitting on a bench but I have a difficult time understanding why it exists. What am I supposed to use it for?

  2. @emerth industrial applications where you need some compute on the edge such as factories/oil/chemical. From my perspective this is direct competition for the like of HPE Edgeline 1000 type of applications but at a lower cost.

    The 40mm fans I don’t quite understand, at 1.5U height it’s ~66mm high so 50mm or even 60mm fans would have been possible. It could also have used the additional height for a top down 80mm or 120mm cooler for low noise applications (and a custom shroud for airflow).

  3. I ordered one of these from Newegg.

    It DOES NOT come with:
    1. PCI-E 90 degree riser card
    2. ANY hard drive cages – and I have yet to figure out the part number for those

    It only comes with one SAS power cable, so you can’t actually hookup 4 drives – only 2… And the cable used isn’t available on Supermicro’s store…

    What a MESS.

    What a MESS!

  4. Jason, we mentioned in our review that we had a pre-production unit with some parts labeled as optional. I think this is great feedback and will send it to the team. I agree it would be good either to have this as everything in the box or an additional SKU with all of the accessories. Maybe even a note on the product page for optional components like in some other Supermicro servers.

  5. Do you know if it’s works with ESXi 6.7? I know it’s not officially supported yet, but it would be nice to know for homelab purposes.

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