While the first wave of AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” servers often was laden with PCIe Gen3, the Tyan Transport HX TS75-B8252 comes with PCIe Gen4. PCIe Gen4 is a defining feature of the “Rome” generation of CPUs and while AMD started shipping the parts in Q3 2019, we do not expect Ice Lake generation Intel Xeon servers with PCIe Gen4 to be widely available in-market until 2021. The EPYC 7002 platform, like this server from Tyan, is the way to get PCIe Gen4 today. Let us get on to our review.
Tyan Transport HX TS75-B8252 Hardware Overview
Since this is a more complex system, we are first going to look at the system chassis. We are then going to focus our discussion on the design of the internals. We also have a video version of this review for those who prefer to listen along. Our advice is to open it in another YouTube tab and listen along while you go through the review.
Since our full review text is thousands of words as we are adding this video, this review has more detail. Still, we know some prefer to consume content in different ways so we are adding this option.
Tyan Transport HX TS75-B8252 External Hardware Overview
On the front of the Transport HX TS75-B8252 we can see what at first glance appears to be a standard 2U layout. There are two USB 3.0 ports on one ear and status LEDs and power/ reset buttons on the other. In the middle, there are twelve 3.5″ drive bays. We will note here that Tyan does have chassis options with 2.5″ drive bays as well.
Of those twelve drive bays, there are four with different color tabs. These are actually not just SATA/ SAS bays like the other eight. Instead, they are NVMe drive bays. In this segment, Tyan is looking to capture those who are using hard drives for large local storage (e.g. for video analytics) and/or local fast scratch storage with U.2 NVMe SSDs.
We normally do not discuss hard drive trays too much but the new Tyan drive trays are great. One can simply pop a latch and the side of the drive tray opens. That allows you to install a drive without a single screw. This is a fabulous design choice since it can potentially save 48 screw installations (or more with traditional blanks) when assembling a server and several over its lifetime.
The Tyan Transport HX TS75-B8252 that we are reviewing is specifically the “B8252T75V8E4HR-2T” variant. Hopefully, Tyan can streamline product naming in the future, but we are here to review hardware, not comment on product naming conventions. Still, we wish that Tyan put its labels in an easier to see location, such as on the top of the chassis. Many of Tyan’s competitors are also adding field service guides attached to the chassis or inside the top cover. We hope that Tyan includes these in upcoming generations of servers.
On the rear of the chassis, we see a system set up for left and right parity. Power supplies are located on each side which makes cabling A+B sides of the system easy for those that put PDUs on either side of systems.
Dominating the rear, however, are a myriad of expansion slots. We are testing a 5x PCIe slot plus OCP NIC configuration, however, Tyan has an 8X model that trades some of the PCIe Gen4 x16 slots for additional x8 slots allowing one to fit 8x NVIDIA T4 GPUs in the system.
On the rear I/O we see legacy VGA and two USB 3.0 ports for basic KVM cart connectivity in the data center. There is also a management Ethernet port for out-of-band management that we will go into more detail on later in this review.
There are two 10Gbase-T ports on the rear of the system as well. Tyan is using an Intel X550 controller here which is a big upgrade over some of the 1GbE Intel i210 networking we see on many servers.
Rounding out our external overview of the system, we wanted to discuss the power supplies. Here we have dual 1.6kW power supplies that are 80Plus Platinum rated for high efficiency.
Next, we are going to open the system and look at the hardware inside the server.