Supermicro X12STN-E Performance
Instead of going through the entire Linux-Bench test suite, we are going to show a few performance and power numbers here to give a general sense of performance that is in line with our TinyMiniMicro series.
Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark
This is one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read:
Here the performance of the 4 core/ 8 thread solution is very good, and overall this chip is going to perform well in our testing.
7-zip Compression Performance
7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.
This is a newer chip than the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1756B, and it shows here in terms of performance. AMD generally performs well on this test overall, so this is a very good result for the 11th generation Intel Core embedded CPU.
OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:
Here are the verify results:
Again, we see solid results here putting it roughly between the Core i5-10500T and Core i5-8500T in terms of performance.
A Quick Bit of Context
The same concepts that we looked at in our recent Stop Leaving Performance on the Table with AWS EC2 M6i Instances piece where we looked at onboard acceleration and its impact on performance applies here. A big part of the offering is utilizing the onboard accelerators for AI inference as well as for video to offload tasks to dedicated parts of the chip.
Of course, one has to use accelerators, but as they find their way into platforms like this, utilizing accelerators will become a bigger part of the puzzle.
Supermicro X12STN-E Power Consumption
In terms of power consumption, this is a very low wattage platform. That also means that the configurations will impact the power consumption figures significantly. Without the BMC however, we were able to achieve power of only 4-6W at idle. On many server platforms that floor is more like 10W due to the BMC. Even the 1L corporate desktop PCs are 9-14W due to the fans they have running and higher base clocks. At the top end, we did not crest 35W but there was still more that could be added such as higher-power PCIe Gen4 SSDs, radios, and USB devices. Going too high and one would have to start thinking about the passive cooling capacity of the enclosure.
This is a really interesting platform. The fact that it has 2.5GbE means that this is a generational upgrade over older platforms. One also gets features like the Intel Xe graphics and new 10nm Tiger Lake accelerators onboard. While many of our readers are going to be interested in the Celeron-based X12STN-C model for something like firewalls, this X12STN-E is designed more for video processing.
Part of Intel’s strategy is to get good enough AI inference performance and video encoding in the x86 chip itself so one does not need to add a PCIe GPU. This reduces power and footprint.
Overall though, when we first heard about this platform a few months ago, we knew we had to do it. We wish that the power cable situation and supply improve, but they should once this platform is officially released in the near future.