Supermicro puts 2880 cores in a rack

Computex 2010: C32 boards and other goodies too

Supermicro logoSUPERMICRO WAS SHOWING off a bunch of high end servers and boards during Computex, most based around Magny-Cours, and a few Becton machines as well. Not to be outdone, they finally revealed a new line of modular racks.

Racks may not seem all that exciting, but this new line from Supermicro does try and step out of the ordinary in useful ways. First up, everything is modular, so you can order side panels, doors, rails, rear power options and the rest until you get bored. By then, you won’t have come close to using all the choices, there are a lot to pick from.

The original idea was for the racks to be OEM only, and since they are not on the Supermicro site yet, that still seems to be the case. From the front, they look like any other rack out there, but the back is a bit longer than normal.

Super rack 

Rack ’em up

That extra depth holds the power bars in a configuration that Supermicro calls “cable obstructionless”. If you look at how the power is routed, it goes from the same rack unit to the same rack unit, IE only horizontally, and comes from either side. If you have to pull out a part from the back, you can usually do so without pulling out power or ethernet cables. There are also the usual hooks for routing non-power cables.

This configuration is pretty handy, especially if you have the dual sided storage option with HDDs in back. Things are blocked here and there, but if you are careful about setting things up, there should be little or no issues with rear parts removal. It is a good idea.

If this doesn’t make data center people smile, the racks are also almost tool free. Doors come on and off without screws, and even the power rails are put in place via slots and keys. There are probably some things that you’d need a screwdriver for, so we won’t say 100% tool free, but these racks are pretty close.

4S magny-cours

48 cores in 1U

Getting back to motherboards, we have the H8QG6+F quad Magny-Cours board. It sports 32 DIMM slots, two north bridges, and two 16x PCIe slots. If that isn’t enough, there is an LSI 2008 SAS-6G RAID card with 8 SAS-6G ports, 7 USB ports, and a remote KVM. Should you want it in a case, you can get it in a 1U enclosure as the A+ Server 1042G-TF. Look for the board to pop up in netbooks everywhere this summer, it is truly the right platform for your thin and light 48-core 10.1″ models.

Becton Board

Lots of Intel inside this one

Not to be outdone, there is an Intel based quad Becton board called the X8QB6-F. It also has two 16x slots, an LSI 2008 SAS-6G controller, and a VGA card. While it is not explicitly listed, knowing Supermicro, there is a variant out there with remote KVMs, but the X8QB6-F loses badly to the AMD options because it only has 6 USB ports. I guess there will be no webcams for you X8QB6-F owners. Should you want this board pre-installed in a box, you can get the SuperServer 8046B-TRF which puts the board in in one of Supermicro’s really slick new pedestal chassis.

Becton heatsinks

Heat is definitely sunk

Looking at the size of the heatsinks on the memory buffers, those are the smaller square ones, and the VRMs, the larger flat ones, this machine has some serious cooling needs. Then again, it is 32 cores and 32 DIMMs, so it is not exactly lightweight. I would think long and hard before you get one of these in a 1U case, which means it probably won’t be in the same slim netbooks as the Magny-Cours board.

Should you be into GPU compute, Supermicro has a the nifty 1022GG-TF 1U Magny-Cours server for you. This little beastie can cram 2 12-core CPUs, 8 DIMM slots per CPU, and a remote KVM into the box. Supermicro people tell us there is an option for a third FirePro card, but we can’t see how it would fit. Should you not want GPUs, you can put two of the boards in 1U as well.

C32 board

I know nothing about C32 and Opteron 4100!

Should your needs be more space sensitive, you can go for the ‘short depth’ 1012G-MTF C32 based server. Since AMD has not announced the Opteron 41xx parts yet, this doesn’t exist, so pretend you didn’t hear about it if anyone asks.

Everyone loves a clean data center, and nothing is more jarring that servers that look different from the rest. Because of that, Supermicro came out with the Super SSB (Storage Bridge Bay). This box has two dual core Xeon boards and 8 drives RAIDed per board. It is basically a redundant storage box with 10GigE and Infiniband for high throughput.

If that isn’t fast enough, Supermicro is now selling Fusion-IO cards. Should you need lots and lots more speed from your drives, and cost is less of an option, you can now get the fastest drives out there with your Superserver.

Twin Blade

Dense servers

The last bit is the tried and true TwinBlade 7U blade chassis. Supermicro now has a two socket half-height Magny-Cours blade, and a full height four socket version in development. If you fill the chassis with 20 2S blades, six chassis per rack, and use the other 2U for a Hello Kitty diorama, you have 2880 cores per rack. For the math averse, 20 * 2 * 12 * 6 = 2880. That should be enough for most users wanting to play casual net based games, edit home videos, or simulate complex proteins in real time.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate