Customers trying to construct their very own twin EPYC workstation or system, utilizing fully off-the-shelf elements, do not need loads of choices. Customers should buy many of the CPUs at retail or at OEM, in addition to reminiscence, a chassis, energy provides, coolers, add-in playing cards. However the one merchandise the place there isn’t loads of competitors for these types of builds is within the motherboard. Except you go down the route of shopping for a server on rails with a motherboard already fitted, there are very restricted twin EPYC motherboard choices for customers to only buy. So few actually, that there are solely two, each from Supermicro, and each are known as the H11DSi. One variant has gigabit Ethernet, the opposite has 10GBase-T.
Trying For a Forest, Solely Seeing a Tree
Non-proprietary motherboard choices for constructing a single socket EPYC are pretty numerate – there’s the Supermicro H11DSL, the ASRock EPYCD8-2T (learn our evaluate right here), the GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 (learn our evaluate right here), or an ASUS KNPA-U16, all various in function set and ranging from $380. For the twin socket house nevertheless, there is just one choice. The Supermicro H11DSi, H11DSi-NT, and different potential minor variants, will be discovered at commonplace retailers from round $560-$670 and up, relying on supply and extra options. All different options that we discovered have been a part of a pre-built server or system, usually utilizing non-standard type components as a result of requests of the shopper these techniques have been constructed for. In being the one ‘client’ centered motherboard, the H11DSi has loads to dwell as much as.
As with different EPYC boards on this house, customers must know which revision of the board they’re getting – it’s the second revision of the board that helps each Rome and Naples processors. One of many early points with the one socket fashions was that a few of them weren’t able to Rome assist, even with an up to date BIOS. It ought to be famous that because the H11DSi was constructed with Naples in thoughts to start with, we’re restricted to PCIe 3.zero right here, and never the PCIe 4.zero that Rome helps. In consequence, we suspect that this motherboard could be extra suited to customers trying to extract the compute out of the Rome platform slightly than expanded PCIe performance. Sadly which means there are not any industrial twin socket EPYC motherboards with PCIe 4.zero assist on the time of writing.
The H11DSI is partly E-ATX commonplace and half SSI-CEB, and so appropriate circumstances ought to assist each in an effort to get the required mounting holes. Utilizing the twin socket orientation that it has, the board is loads longer than what most common PC customers are used to: bodily it’s one sq. foot. The board as proven helps all Eight reminiscence channels per socket in a 1 DIMM per channel configuration, with as much as DDR4-3200 for the Revision 2 fashions. We efficiently positioned 2 TB of LRDIMMs (16 * 128 GB) within the system with out points.
As with nearly all server motherboards, there’s a baseband administration controller in play right here – the IPMI ASPEED AST2500 which has change into a normal lately. This enables for a log in to a Supermicro interface over the devoted Ethernet connection, in addition to a 2D video output. We’ll cowl the interface on the subsequent web page.
Ethernet connectivity is dependent upon the variant on the H11DSi you search for: the bottom mannequin has two gigabit ports powered via an Intel i350-AM21 controller, whereas the H11DSi-NT has two 10GBase-T ports from the Intel X550-AT2 on board. Attributable to this controller having a better TDP than the gigabit controller, there may be a further heatsink subsequent to the PCIe slots.
The board has a complete of 10 SATA ports: two SATA-DOM ports, and 4 SATA ports from every CPU via two Mini-SAS connectors. It’s value noting that the 4 ports right here come from completely different CPUs, such that any software program RAID throughout the CPUs goes to have a efficiency penalty. In an analogous vein, the PCIe slots additionally come from completely different CPUs: the highest slot is a PCIe 3.zero x8 from CPU 2, whereas the opposite slots (PCIe 3.zero x16/x8/x16/x8) all come from CPU 1. Because of this CPU 2 doesn’t truly use most of the PCIe lanes that the processor has.
Additionally on the storage entrance is an M.2 x2 slot, which helps PCIe and SATA for Naples, however solely PCIe for Rome. The facility cabling is all within the high proper of the motherboard, for the 24-pin primary motherboard energy in addition to the 2 12V 8-pin connectors, one every for the CPUs. Every socket is backed by a 5-phase server-grade VRM, and the motherboard has eight 4-pin fan headers for plenty of cooling. The VRM is unified beneath a central heatsink, designed to make the most of cross-board airflow, which can be a important half in any system constructed with this board.
We examined the motherboard with each EPYC 7642 (Rome, 48 core) processors and the newest EPYC 7F52 (Rome, 16 core excessive frequency) processors with out difficulty.