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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

Power Consumption


We have upgraded our power testing equipment, and now use a Yokogawa WT310 power meter for testing. The Yokogawa WT310 feeds its data through a USB cable to another machine where we can capture the test results.


To test total system power use, we used AIDA64 Stability test to load the CPU, and then recorded the results. We also now add in the power use for a server from off state, to hitting the power button to turn it on, and take it all the way to the desktop. This gives us data on power consumption during the boot up process.




The Supermicro 7048GR-TR workstation is a powerful system with a large number of included components; as a result, it will use a fair amount of power. In our tests, under normal use on the desktop, we saw ~540 watts used.


We ran our power tests using just one 3120A, then two, then three, and then all four, and finally with the 2x E5-2699 v3 processors. Because of the way LINPACK cycles, the graphs were rather confusing, and had plenty of overlapping lines. We drop our graph results to show just one 3120A under full load, then with all four 3120As and the 2x E5-2699 v3s to show the maximum power load of the full system.


With just one 3120A under load, we saw power usage max out at ~700 watts. After putting the full system under max load, we saw total power use almost reaching 1,600 watts. That is a staggering amount of power used, but considering the 7048GR-TR Workstation's load out, it is not surprising.




Booting the 7048GR-TR Workstation also consumes a fair amount of power; we saw this peak out at ~680 watts, with the system settling down to ~540 watts after the boot process was complete.



Final Thoughts


Previously, we looked at the Supermicro X10DRG-Q (Intel C612) Workstation Motherboard with five PCIe slots. The X10DRG-Q motherboard is the base of the 7048GR-TR Workstation, and provides the ability to use all four 3120A Xeon Phi Coprocessor cards.


When your HPS needs increase, a workstation like the Supermicro 7048GR-TR is well equipped to handle just about any computational need that you can run on it.




The Supermicro 7048GR-TR Workstation is the base unit that can run several different types of expansion cards, depending on your needs. This is a massive workstation designed for HPC applications, or high-end workstation uses. With the base unit itself, you can add a large RAID system for storage needs. We had the building blocks for a 7048GR-TR Workstation here in the lab for a while now, and when the new Haswell-EP platforms came out, we were able to set this up with all current equipment. This setup included installing the X10DRG-Q motherboard, E5-2699 v3 CPUs, and 256GB of Crucial DDR4 RAM.


As we have said before, the case used for the 7048GR-TR Workstation is simply the best in quality, craftsmanship, and features. When you are installing components similar to the ones we used in our system, only the best case will do, and this is it. We have used this case many times in our builds in the past, and it is our go-to case every time. The 7048GR-TR Workstation is designed for maximum uptime with hot-swappable drives and cooling fans, and includes dual redundant power supplies. It also includes ease of upgrades, should you decided to move up to higher-end Xeon Phi cards, or other expansion cards.




In our review of the X10DRG-Q workstation motherboard, we recommended installing the AOC-TBT-DSL5320 Thunderbolt Add-On Card; it will allow remote running of the machine, so it can be installed in a location separate from the user. When this system is up and running under full loads, it can generate a fair amount of heat, and this will make the cooling fans spin up to higher speeds, which can make a fair amount of noise.


When we look at our LINPACK results for one Intel Xeon Phi 3120A Coprocessor, we see GFLOPS results that almost equal many of the dual CPU systems we have tested. The full system generated a staggering 3,737 GFLOPS, which is very impressive. The Xeon Phi 3120As act like a compute multiplier, and take the computational power of an equivalent of five systems, and combine that into one 4U workstation. This could be as much as 10U worth of server space condensed into one 4U machine.


Power uses for this system is also rather high, but consider that a machine like this can replace up to five systems, and it will actually come out to be about equal or less in power consumption.


We only had the 3120A Xeon Phi cards in the lab for a short time, which limited what tests we could run. There we several more we wanted to do, but we simply ran out of time. However, most of the applications that a user would use these cards for are relatively complex and specific to what they will be using them for, and as such, these are far out of the scope of this review. Intel has done a great job of providing resources for developers on all platforms, including Linux and Windows based systems.


Systems like this are the backbone of many HPC infrastructures, and are growing rapidly. Supermicro is well equipped to provide these systems with high-quality, well calculated designs to meet these HPC demands, and the 7048GR-TR Workstation is just one example of what Supermicro has to offer.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality including Design and Build98%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging95%
Value for Money98%
Overall TweakTown Rating97%

The Bottom Line: If you need Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessor support in your workstation, the Supermicro 7048GR-TR tower workstation system can power your HPC needs with ease with a maximum of four Phi cards installed.

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