Supermicro E300-9D-4CN8TP Internal Overview
To access the system, we first remove two screws that allow us to then remove the top cover. Inside, we are greeted with what appears to be yet another cover. The holes on this interior cover are designed so that one can attach a 2.5″ SSD using screws to this cover and mount it in the chassis. While not the most elegant solution, it works.
Removing this internal cover requires removing three more screws. Underneath, we get to the main system area.
Here we find the Supermicro X11SDV-4C-TP8F motherboard as the key feature. There is only a modest amount of room in front of the motherboard for the fan tray and front I/O panel electronics. Here there are three fans that move air through the system. These are mounted on a removable bar that one can remove from the chassis (without screws) to then access the three fans. This is not as easy as server hot-swap fans since the fans screw into the metal fan bar, but it is much easier than trying to screw fans directly into the chassis.
The system itself is powered by the external DC power supply which means we only use the 8-pin connector and not the ATX power input. There is a small power port that sits below the top two fan headers that provide power to drives that may be attached to the top cover.
Onboard we have an Intel Xeon D-2123IT. This is a 4 core/ 8 thread SoC that operates at up to 60W TDP. One item we should note is that these CPUs generally use more power than the Xeon D-1500 processors, but they have a very nice feature. The cores are Skylake like the first generation Intel Xeon Scalable parts, and the I/O is effectively handled by the same IP found in the Lewisburg PCH found on first and second-generation Intel Xeon Scalable systems. Given this is effectively the mainstream platform for Intel from 2017 to 2021 (and the Lewisburg Refresh for the Cooper/ Ice platform has some of the same IP) that means this platform has excellent software support at this point.
Flanking the Xeon D-2123IT we have four DDR4 DIMM slots. One can populate up to 4x 128GB LRDIMMs in the platform for 512GB of memory. This also means we get more memory bandwidth and more memory bandwidth per core than the dual-channel 4-core/ 8 core AMD EPYC 3000 parts such as the AMD EPYC 3151 and EPYC 3201.
In terms of expansion, we get a PCIe 3.0 x16 and x8 slot for standard expansion slots. Given the small form factor, the x8 slot is used for the PCIe riser and is effectively the only one that can be used in this system, and only if the riser is installed. Otherwise, this system is designed for less traditional PCIe expansion than some larger servers.
On the motherboard, we also get a mPCIe slot, a M.2 2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4), and a M.2 B-key slot for wireless WAN connectivity. There is even a SIM card slot under the B-Key 3042 slot.
For SATA SSD connectivity, there are four onboard standard 7-pin SATA ports. One of these ports is a SATADOM port that can power a SATADOM without a cable. It also has two high-density ports which can each break out into four additional SATA ports for twelve total. In a chassis like this, one is unlikely to need even four SATA ports given the size of the system.
Internal cable management is a bit tricky given the small chassis. Just as a note, this system has been used and even installed into a new E300 chassis so the cabling is unlikely to be just as it would be from the factory.
Next, we are going to get into the block diagram, management, performance, and our final words.