Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Motherboard Review

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Tyan S7106
Tyan S7106

We have our first dual LGA3647 review motherboard from Tyan in the lab today with the Tyan Tempest CX S7106. Our motherboard is a 1Gbe network version or the S7106GM2NR using the C621 chipset. The GM2NR-L2 version uses 10Gbe network and C622 chipset which we know many of our readers will be interested in. Cliff Robinson broke down Tyan New Intel Xeon Scalable Servers and Business Model back in July, which gave us a look at new products Tyan would be releasing, including the S7106.

Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Specifications

Here are the key specifications for the Tyan Tempest CX S7106:

Tyan S7106 Specifications
Tyan S7106 Specifications

Highlights include:

  • Industry Standard 12″ x 13″ EATX Form Factor
  • Dual Socket Xeon Scalable Processor Family
  • (16) DIMM slots supporting up to 2TB DDR4 RAM
  • (2) PCIe x24 slots for 1U/ 2U riser card deployment
  • (14) SATA ports & (1) NVMe M.2 port
  • (1) PCIe x16 OCP LAN Mezzanine supporting speeds up to 100Gb/s
  • (1) PCIe x16 Storage Mezzanine for SAS or NVMe Retimer
  • AST2500 BMC with IPMI 2.0 and Redfish

Test Configuration

Our basic test configuration for this motherboard:

  • Motherboard: Tyan Tempest CX S7106
  • CPU: 2x Intel Xeon Bronze 3104, 2x Intel Xeon Gold 6138
  • RAM: 12x 16GB DDR4-2400 RDIMMs low profile (Micron)
  • SSD: OCZ RD400
Tyan S7106 Bronze 3104 CPUz
Tyan S7106 Bronze 3104 CPUz

Our test setup will be running a pair of Intel Xeon Bronze 3104 processors. These are six core CPUs with an 85W TDP. The Bronze 3104 processors with an 85W TDP run fairly cool which makes them perfect for low power 1U and 2U servers. The Tyan S7106 is rated to cover processors rated at 205W and up to 28 cores. Patrick has given us a full breakdown of Intel’s new Xeon Scalable Processors back in July, we find the Bronze 3104 at the entry level for these new processors. Patrick also tested this motherboard with the Intel Xeon Gold 6138 before it arrived in my lab. For this one, we decided to minimize the CPU power consumption to focus on overall motherboard power performance.

Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Contents

Retail boxes for motherboards are simple with no direct specifications printed on the box. A label on the side will note what model motherboard includes.

Tyan S7106 Retail Box
Tyan S7106 Retail Box

Underneath the motherboard, we find a standard accessory loadout for the S7106.

Tyan S7106 Accessories 2
Tyan S7106 Accessories 2

The accessory loadout shown above includes:

  • S7106 Motherboard
  • 2x SATA Cables
  • 2x CPU Clips for Narrow Non-Fabric CPU Carriers
  • 1x Bag of M.2 screws
  • 1x Rear I/O Shield
  • 1x Quick Installation Guide
  • 1x Driver DVD

We did want to point out the CPU carrier clips. These are for standard Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs, not the Omni-Path Fabric parts (F). STH has an article on why here Intel Skylake Omni-Path Fabric Does Not Work on Every Server and Motherboard.

Also, the motherboard features three SFF-8643 ports but it does not come with cables to connect. This makes sense as each chassis and backplane will have different length and end connector requirements. As you are building a system around the S7106, this is simply something to add to your shopping list as you would with virtually any other retail motherboard.

Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Motherboard Overview

Let us take the S7106 motherboard out and get a look at how it is laid out. The S7106 is a large motherboard with a size of 12″ x 13″ (30.48cm x 33.02cm) EATX form factor.

Tyan S7106 Motherboard Top
Tyan S7106 Motherboard Top

Two huge LGA3647 sockets for Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs dominate the motherboard and utilize much of the board space. Memory slots flank each socket with six DDR4 slots (blue) for each processor. We can now push memory capacity up to 1TB with the new platform.

Tyan S7106 Front
Tyan S7106 Front

On each side of the processor sockets, we find four slots, three blue, and one black. That gives each CPU 8x DDR4 DIMM slots to use. Each Intel Xeon Scalable CPU can utilize up to six memory channels so when using all eight two channels can be run in two DIMM per channel (2DPC) mode. Using standard RDIMMs the sixteen total DIMM slots can handle up to 512GB RAM. That figure can be scaled up to 2TB with appropriate CPUs and 3DS LRDIMMs.

CPU 8-Pin power connectors located at the front edge of the motherboard aligns with dual redundant power supplies found in Tyan’s server chassis.

Moving around to the right side of the motherboard, we find the main 24-pin power connector and three Mini-SAS HD (SFF-8643) storage connectors. These Mini-SAS HD ports are SATA only since they are hooked up to the C621 chipset.

Tyan S7106 Right Side
Tyan S7106 Right Side

Just above the Mini-SAS ports, there are two SATA 6.0 Gb/s (Blue) ports.

Moving the motherboard around to look at the left side we find the M.2 slot which is PCIe enabled for NVMe SSDs. The M.2 slot accepts up to 2280 (80mm) SSDs which should cover most use cases.

Tyan S7106 Left Side
Tyan S7106 Left Side

Across the motherboard, there are white PCIe connectors. Tyan has both OCP A and B slots that one can use to add up to 100Gbps networking and either a SAS3008 HBA or a NVMe retimer.

One of the unique features of the Tyan Tempest CX S7106 motherboard are the power and reset buttons are located down at the corner. We like the fact that Tyan has included these, it makes it easier to power cycle the machine when working on an open system.

Tyan S7106 Back IO Ports
Tyan S7106 Back IO Ports

Here we find the back of the S7106 motherboard and looking at the I/O ports.

  • 1x Dedicated BMC LAN Port
  • 2x USB 3.0 Ports
  • 1x VGA Port
  • 1x COM Port
  • 2x 1Gbe LAN Ports

Digging into the Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Expansion

What Tyan’s design team did with the Tempest CX S7106 is to create a flexible platform that can easily be used in number of chassis. The standard 12” x 13” SSI EEB form factor helps with the overall system design and power supply orientation options. Beyond this, the motherboard is designed to offer flexible I/O for those servers using riser and mezzanine expansion.

Here is what the basic breakdown looks like for the S7106 motherboard family expansion:

Tyan S7106 Addon Card Slots
Tyan S7106 Addon Card Slots

The two black center PCIe 3.0 x24 slots connect to riser cards used in Tyan’s chassis. Tyan servers will come pre-configured, however, there is an assortment of riser cards that are available if you decide to configure a server yourself. Here are a few examples for 1U servers:

Tyan S7106 Mezzanine Risers #1
Tyan S7106 Mezzanine Risers #1

You can see that there are both left and right risers that can extend upwards utilizing both PCIe slots even in a 1U chassis that has mezzanine cards installed.

2U servers offer more headroom, and we can see expanded PCIe slot options with these riser cards.

Tyan S7106 Mezzanine Risers #2
Tyan S7106 Mezzanine Risers #2

Those options allow for the two PCIe 3.0 x24 slots to be fully utilized in a 2U chassis even with full-height PCIe add-in cards.

Perspective on Systems with the Tyan Tempest CX S7106

We wanted to provide some perspective on the systems that this motherboard can be found in. Unlike a layout designed for perpendicular PCIe card expansion, the S7106 is designed for systems in conjunction with risers. One example is the Tyan Thunder SX TN70EB7106 (B7106T70EV8E4HR) which is a typical server from Tyan that uses the S7106 motherboard. These include storage related machines or even GPU servers.

 

Tyan Thunder SX TN70EB7106 Front
Tyan Thunder SX TN70EB7106 Front
Tyan Thunder SX TN70EB7106 Top And Back
Tyan Thunder SX TN70EB7106 Top And Back

Here we get a top view and what the back I/O and expansion slots look like on the Tyan Thunder SX TN70EB7106 installed in a system. The two risers allow full height expansion cards to be installed using the two PCIe 3.0 x24 connectors. There is also room for storage and networking mezzanine expansion in addition to the up to six riser based slots. One does need two CPUs for maximum PCIe lanes, but it shows the advantage of this layout. In a 2U chassis, one can make use of a large number of add-in card and mezzanine card expansion options.

The choice by Tyan to support OCP networking and storage mezzanine form factors is a welcome one. There are large volumes dedicated to OCP mezzanine cards so Tyan can tap into a vibrant mezzanine card ecosystem without having to design its own closed standard.

Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Management

With the new Skylake-SP platform we also find a new and improved management interface by Tyan.

Tyan S7106 Management
Tyan S7106 Management

Entering the IP address for the BMC port and logging on with the default credentials (root and superuser) we find the home page. We had no issues getting around the new interface; it’s clean and easy to navigate. Decidedly modern in its layout. The remote interface still uses Java to bring up iKVM; we would like to see the new HTML5 interface as an added option, but it is not available at this time on our S7106.

Tyan S7106 BIOS
Tyan S7106 BIOS

Using the Java remote interface and entering the BIOS we find typical BIOS options for the new platform. You can also use the management interface to remotely mount media and power cycle the server.

Linux-Bench Test

We ran the motherboard through our standard Linux-Bench suite using Ubuntu as our Linux distribution. Linux-Bench is our standard Linux benchmarking suite. It is highly scripted and very simple to run. It is available to anyone to compare them with their systems and reviews from other sites. See Linux-Bench.

Tyan S7106 Linux Bench
Tyan S7106 Linux Bench

The full test results for our Linux-Bench run can be found here.

Tyan Tempest CX S7106 Power Consumption

Power consumption can vary a large amount depending on processors used and the number of HDDs/SSDs/Expansion cards used. Here we test just a basic system.

Tyan S7106 Power Test
Tyan S7106 Power Test

For our tests, we use AIDA64 Stress test which allows us to stress all aspects of the system. At default BIOS settings, we see 151.87 watts at max power use.

  • OS Idle: 79W
  • AIDA64 Stress Test: 151.87W

The Bronze 3104’s would work very well in a 1U chassis and passive heat sinks.

Conclusion

The Tyan Tempest CX S7106 motherboard is designed to support maximum configuration flexibility in both 1U and 2U chassis. The use of OCP mezzanine slots along with riser-friendly PCIe 3.0 x24 slots means that one can pack more add-in controllers than they could in standard 1U and 2U configurations.

We liked Tyan’s newly re-designed management interface. It was easy to navigate both for someone new to server management as well as those who are new to Tyan platforms. If you are building this system for one of your customers, the look and feel of the web GUI is very nice.

Once you need full-height expansion cards in 1U or 2U configurations, using riser cards is the only real answer. Tyan addresses the needs of such users with the S7106 while packing the motherboard with as much functionality as will fit. One only needs to look to the CPU and RAM slots to see that Tyan has the platform filled out edge to edge bursting with functionality.

1 COMMENT

  1. What will happen with this motherboard when you put 2 X platinum 8180’s in it and let it run Gromacs for a day with AVX512 enabled. With AVX512 enabled both cpu’s will do around 300 Watt, what makes 600 Watt for the cpu’s only. Looking at the power supply connectors 1x24pin (75 watt) 2x8pin (2×160 watt) totals 395 Watt. 2×205 Watt is on the edge but should be possible.
    It looks like X299 early motherboards all over again (fire in the house).

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