Supermicro X11SDV-4C-TLN2F Review with Intel Xeon D-2123IT

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Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F Three Quarter
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F Three Quarter

The Supermicro X11SDV-4C-TLN2F is an awesome mITX platform. Compared to the previous generation Supermicro X10SDV-4C-TLN2F, it follows Intel’s product direction, adding new capabilities. We have been testing the platform for several weeks now and highlighted it in our Exploring Intel Xeon D Evolution from Xeon D-1500 to Xeon D-2100 piece which discusses many of the platform-level features using this motherboard as one of the data points.

Supermicro X11SDV-4C-TLN2F Overview

At its most basic form, the Supermicro X11SDV-4C-TLN2F is a mITX motherboard. That means it fits in the same 6.7″ x 6.7″ form factor that we have seen for a few generations of Supermicro embedded products now.

Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F Overview
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F Overview

Completely dominating the motherboard is the heatsink around the Intel Xeon D-2123IT SoC. This is a passive unit but with a 60W TDP SoC, it will require airflow over the unit to operate. Under the heatsink is an Intel Xeon D-2123IT SoC with 4 cores and 8 threads running at 2.2GHz base and 3.0GHz turbo clocks. These are the same cores as the mainstream Skylake systems so you will see feature set compatibility. That includes advanced features such as AVX-512 as well. Beyond the raw CPU capabilities, there are a number of system-level capabilities with the new platforms that we will highlight in this overview.

Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F CPU Heatsink Airflow And DIMMs
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F CPU Heatsink Airflow And DIMMs

Like the X10SDV series, the X11SDV-4C-TLN2F has four DIMM slots. The main difference in this generation is that each is tied to a memory channel of the onboard Intel Xeon D-2123IT SoC. That essentially gives twice the memory bandwidth (or more) versus the Intel Xeon D-1500 series. You can still use as few as one DDR4 RDIMM, but we suggest fully populating all four channels. Memory capacity is rated at 512GB using LRDIMMs or 256GB using 4x 64GB RDIMMs.

Storage on the X11SDV-4C-TLN2F is significantly upgraded over the previous generation. There are four standard SATA III ports, one is gold for using SATA DOMs without a power cable. An additional four SATA III lanes can be appropriated from the Oculink port. That same Oculink port can also be set to provide a PCIe 3.0 x4 link to a device such as a U.2 NVMe SSD.

Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F SATA And Oculink
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F SATA And Oculink

Aside from the Oculink port, expansion is possible through the PCIe 3.0 x8 slot for additional NICs or storage.

Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F PCIe And BMC
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F PCIe And BMC

The other major chips we find are the ASPEED AST2500 BMC and supporting memory along with the PHY for the NICs. These take up real estate on the small motherboard but are necessary for the platform to function. The sheer size of the thermal solution and Xeon D-2123IT footprint means that there is no room for a m.2 SSD slot, an internal USB Type-A header, nor a full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot in this generation in the mITX form factor.

The rear I/O follows a familiar pattern. First, there is a RJ-45 Ethernet port for remote IPMI management. The rear I/O pattern also has a VGA port and two USB 3.0 ports for local management. There is an internal header for two USB 2.0 ports, but there are no USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel.

Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F Rear IO
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F Rear IO

Perhaps more exciting are two 10GbE ports for 10Gbase-T connectivity. The ports are powered by the X557 NIC and utilize the standard Intel i40e driver. We found compatibility in current Linux and even VMware ESXi 6.5u1 excellent out of the box.

Intel Xeon D 2123IT Lshw Network Output
Intel Xeon D 2123IT Lshw Network Output

One area we wanted to talk about is power. Gone from this generation is the standard ATX power connector so you need to use the 12V DC input. If you do not have a DC power supply, the process essentially involves using the auxiliary CPU power connector and then a cable or assembly to ensure the ATX connector’s power on pins are connected. Supermicro will be shipping these boards with an appropriate cable, but we had to jump the ATX power connector.

Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F 8 Pin Power
Supermicro X11SDV 4C TLN2F 8 Pin Power

Next, we are going to look at the Supermicro IPMI management solution.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.4
Performance
9.6
Feature Set
9.3
Value
9.2
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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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t wait for AMD’s Embedded Epyc to hit the market. Hopefully that will drive perfromance plus I/O up and prices down.

  2. I don’t really understand why idle watts are so high. I would almost guess SoC doesn’t reach its deepest power saving states, which should be fixed after kernel support matures.

  3. I second the yearn for AMD Epyc Embedded boards. Beside that, looking at the charts above, the best bang per watt and bucket still seems to be at Atom C3955. At least for my usage scenario and feature set needs.

  4. @Jyrki:
    I would say kernel support should be pretty solid since it’s based on the Skylake Platform and Intel usually gets their drivers in pretty early. Maybe using acpi-cpufreq instead of intel pstate helps, I usually use the schedutil governor on my Intel devices.
    However I don’t know how many of the other platforms also have out of band management, I believe that AST2500 is also drawing some power.

    What I would really like to see is a similar platform that offers more PCIe lanes and/or better networking in the SoC.

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