Supermicro H11SSL-NC Rev 2 Topology
Topology was a major challenge with the EPYC 7001 series. When we add an AMD EPYC 7002 series CPU into the Supermicro H11SSL-NC we see a significantly different picture than with the previous generation:
As you can see, this is all a single NUMA domain which greatly increases performance. Now, AMD has more than twice the number of cores possible in a single socket and single NUMA domain. All PCIe I/O flows directly to the SoC itself, instead of through a PCH as it does on Xeon systems. Here is the block diagram.
What you are seeing here is the PCIe I/O that would go through the PCH and second socket on an Intel Xeon system all connect into a single CPU socket on the Supermicro H11SSL-NC instead.
Supermicro will release a H12 generation motherboard after this review goes live that supports PCIe Gen4. Still, the vast majority of hardware today supports PCIe Gen3. If you need to build a server using today’s components, then the Supermicro H11SSL-NC Rev 2 makes sense. It will be less expensive.
The impact of the Supermicro H11SSL-NC Rev 2 is simple. This is a platform that offers more performance, and lower cost per core than dual Intel Xeon platforms all in a single socket motherboard. The ATX form factor allows the Supermicro H11SSL-NC Rev 2 to be used in server chassis that cannot fit E-ATX or proprietary motherboards. That greatly enhances the potential deployment scenarios for the system.
Overall, Supermicro did an excellent job making a PCIe Gen3 platform for the AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” series. It still needs a Gen4 version for those customers that want to take advantage of that feature at a higher cost.