Gigabyte unveiled a trio of AMD EPYC based GPU servers. AMD certainly has a lot of industry buzz right now with AMD EPYC handling more GPUs per CPU than Intel Xeon Scalable and the AMD MI25 having an enormous amount of computing per GPU. Gigabyte is capitalizing on this momentum with three new AMD EPYC servers.
Gigabyte G291-Z20 8x GPU 1P EPYC 2U Server
We first saw this at Gigabyte’s booth during Computex 2018. In person, this looks like a winner. You can utilize one of AMD EPYC “P” series CPUs lowering CPU costs while still having up to 32 cores and 8 DDR4 DIMM channels to populate.
The server is meant for high-end GPU compute scenarios and has massive fans to move air throughout the chassis. There are dual 2.2kW power supplies which are popular in 8x GPU compute servers.
We asked Gigabyte for clarification on the block diagram. AMD EPYC does not have enough PCIe lanes for 8x PCIe x16 GPUs, multiple M.2 and U.2 slots, PCIe x16 for 100GbE / EDR Infiniband, and front SATA bays. There is a small PCIe 3.0 switch on each riser supporting two GPUs per riser.
With dual M.2 slots for boot devices and even SFP+ 10GbE basic networking onboard, we think this is a great platform for those looking at GPU compute systems.
Gigabyte S451-Z30 4U 36-bay Storage Server
We really like this next platform. The Gigabyte S451-Z30 is a single AMD EPYC 36-bay storage server.
Like many Intel-based configurations, there are 24 front hot swap 3.5″ bays. An additional 12-bays are rear facing. The Gigabyte S451-Z30 also has two hot-swap 2.5″ bays for OS or cache drives.
This is a great case of single socket AMD EPYC moving into a form factor where Intel system often has two CPUs. It also is a case where the 10GbE SFP+ networking and additional PCIe expansion slots can help a lot for networking or cache drives.
Gigabyte G221-Z30 2U Dual GPU Compute Server
The Gigabyte G221-Z30 uses the same base motherboard as the S451-Z30 but adds a unique twist. The chassis has 16x SATA/ SAS hot swap bays. In addition, there are two riser cards that can handle two dual width GPUs.
This is an interesting machine since it is adopting a channel motherboard form factor into a 2U GPU compute chassis using risers. Typically to fit GPUs in a 2U server machines require special form factors and riser-specific PCIe slot arrays.
Rumor has it AMD is sitting around 2% CPU market share and moving towards potentially doubling that by the end of the year. As AMD EPYC gains in popularity, the ecosystem of servers will flourish. We are now seeing the next generation after the launch general purpose platforms to more specialized servers.