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Supermicro 7048GR-TR (Intel C612) Workstation Tower System Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 23, 2015 3:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Supermicro

Specifications

 

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The 7048GR-TR workstation has an impressive specification list, which comes complete with a massive eight-drive storage system, dual redundant 2,000-watt power supplies, and a whole host of other features listed above. The base motherboard used in the 7048GR-TR workstation is the X10DRG-Q, which we reviewed earlier.

 

The X10DRG-Q comes with five PCIe slots; however, the very first PCIe slot does not have clearance to fit a full size expansion card. This slot is typically used for an AOC-TBT-DSL5320 Thunderbolt Add-On Card, which will allow remote management in an office environment while the workstation is in a separate location.

 

Optional accessories are as follows:

 

  • TPM security module - TPM module with Infineon 9655, RoHS/REACH, PBF (Vertical or Horizontal, depending on the server layout and expansion cards used)
  • SuperDOM - Supermicro SATA DOM Solutions
  • AOC-TBT-DSL5320 Thunderbolt Add-On Card

 

Let's move on and take a look at the workstation.

 

 

Layout

 

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Here we get our first look at the 7048GR-TR workstation outside of the shipping box.

 

With a size of 18.2" (462mm) x 7.0" (178mm) x 26.5" (673mm), the 7048GR-TR is large, and impressive looking. The case itself can be fitted with a 4U rack-mountable rail kit for installations in server racks. In our testing, we used the case mounting feet for Tower operations. The feet simply slide into slots on the side of the case, screw into place, and with a simple rotation, the case is in upright position.

 

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The front of the case includes a full-size lockable door, which we have opened here to show the front access to the drive bays. The door will snap into closed position, so it does not fall open by itself while you are moving it around.

 

We can see here there is plenty of storage bays available on the 7048GR-TR workstation; these bays include:

 

  • 8x 3.5" hot-swap SAS/SATA drive trays
  • 3x 5.25" drive bays in storage module
  • 1x 3.5" fixed drive bay

 

We would like to see a dust filter installed on the front door because of the large air flow that moves through the case when the fans are all spooled up.

 

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Each of the 8x 3.5" hot-swap SAS/SATA drive trays can be unlocked and removed for easy drive access.

 

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At the top of the case, we find the power/reset buttons, status LEDs, and two USB ports that can be accessed with the front door closed.

 

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Looking at the front of the 7048GR-TR workstation, we can see the lock for the front door and status LEDs, which are easy to see when in operation.

 

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The 7048GR-TR workstation is 26.5" (673mm) long, and requires plenty of desk space if you are planning to run this on a desktop. The side of the case is rather plan; nothing fancy here. You can see the blue locking button, which flips open the side handle when pressed, and allows the side panel to be removed. There are also two screws on the back of this panel, which must be removed before this panel can be taken off.

 

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The back of the workstation has all of the IO and power connections, which we can see here. If you notice, there is a blue locking button at the top, which allows the top plate to be removed if you are planning to use rails for mounting in a server rack.

 

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After removing the side panel, we get our first look at the insides of the 7048GR-TR workstation. Yes, this is an impressive machine, and it shows that Supermicro has taken great care to design and build an enterprise quality case to house the workstation components. When looking over the system, you will find it is of high quality, strong build, and no options are left off the table.

 

Right off the bat, we notice the GPU locking rail, which holds the expansion cards firmly in place. Each tab on the rail can be adjusted to fit different expansion cards.

 

The middle wall holds 4x 92x38mm four-pin PWM controlled fans to provide the cooling needs for the case, all within easy access. All fans can be removed to provide easy access to SATA and other cables.

 

The X10DRG-Q is a large motherboard, and fills the entire bottom of the motherboard area.

 

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The outfit for the 7048GR-TR workstation includes 4x Intel Xeon Phi 3120A Coprocessors that fit nicely in the enclosed space. Two high-speed case fans direct airflow through this area to supply cooling for these cards.

 

You can also spot the empty PCIe slot, which would normally have an AOC-TBT-DSL5320 Thunderbolt Add-On Card, if the user wants that option.

 

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Each of the 4x 92x38mm four-pin PWM middle bar cooling fans are easily removed by simply pressing in on the locking tab, and pulling outward.

 

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Here we get a look at the back plane for the 8x hot swap SATA drive bays.

 

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The GPU locking rail simply attaches at the bottom of the case with two tabs that fit into locking positions, and then swings up to the top of the case. Here we see the top of the rail, which has a locking lever that slides up to lock the bar in place, and a retention screw to finish the installation. To remove the rail, simply unscrew the retention screw, pull down the locking lever, and swing the rail outward.

 

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Here we see the storage module and its 3x 5.25" drive bays, and power, USB, and status LEDs. For rack mount installations, this can be rotated 90 degrees by simply pushing in the blue locking button, and sliding the module out. If you are building the system from scratch, this should be done before installing drives or other items.

 

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The system we tested has 2,000-watt redundant power supplies. To replace a power supply, simply press the locking lever, and pull the PSU out.

 

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The back of the case also includes 2x 80x38mm, four-pin PWM rear exhaust fans. To replace a fan, simply push in the locking button, and pull out.

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