Three Xeon E5 Server Systems From Intel, Tyan, And Supermicro

Tyan GN70-K7053: Layout And Overview, Continued

Because the KGN70M1 is not a chassis designed with risers in mind, instead utilizing half-height expansion cards, you can see that the rear panel has enough room for six shorter peripheral devices. Often, chassis employing side-by-side power supplies leave room for this exact sort of expansion scheme. Again, this is a fairly standard setup.

Unfortunately, our review unit was missing its metal I/O shield, and we didn't have a spare to match Tyan's S7053 motherboard. So, that space is uncovered.

The rear-panel reveals that the S7053 includes legacy VGA and serial ports in case you need to attach a serial device or monitor into the server. Although KVM-over-IP is fairly widely accepted at this point, the possibility exists that you'll need to make a physical connection at some point instead. Next to those ports, you find two stacks that include a pair of USB ports and an 8P8C connector attached to an Intel gigabit Ethernet controller. Another pair of gigabit-capable connectors sits on the far-right side of the motherboard's integrated I/O.

Tyan really goes the extra mile here in providing four USB ports, rather than the more common pair. If you're setting up a server using a VGA monitor, mouse, and keyboard, that typically leaves little additional connectivity for a driver-laden USB thumb drive, for example.

All four 8P8C female jacks are driven by an on-board Intel I350-AM4 network controller, which is one of the company's newer-generation chipsets.

The board itself features six PCIe 3.0-capable expansion slots, four of which are eight-lanes wide, and two of which offer 16 lanes of connectivity. Tyan uses open-ended x8 connectors, which we wish that more motherboard vendors would do as well. The benefit of an open-ended slot is that they accept x16 devices as well at half-bandwidth, so long as they clear other components along their path.

You can see near the edge of the board that Tyan is using Intel's Patsburg-A (C602) PCH. So, you find two SATA 6Gb/s ports, along with four SATA 3Gb/s connectors derived from the Intel core logic. Tyan also includes an LSI SAS 2308 RAID controller with support for standard RAID levels without parity, which we'd expect from a controller with no associated battery or NAND-backed memory. Because our review guidelines specifically requested vendors not to send motherboards with on-board third-party storage controllers, we won't go into detail on this feature except to mention that the kit comes wired to utilize LSI's controller with the KGN70M1 2U chassis.

Both CPU interfaces are set up for the standard LGA 2011 mounting pattern, which is similar to the LGA 1366 layout. Each processor and its associated memory is placed in-line, but slightly offset (again, standard for dual-socket server motherboards). There are eight DDR3 DIMM slots per CPU, yielding a maximum memory configuration of 128 GB using unbuffered ECC DDR3 memory, 256 GB of registered ECC DDR3 memory, or 512 GB using LR-DIMMs (load-reduced DIMMs).

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  • Dr_M0rph3us
    An impressively well-written article, top to bottom, included all the information a barebones server review should have. I'm looking forward for more similar enterprise-oriented articles. Congrats!