The Supermicro X10DRL-CT server motherboard is the smallest form factor 2P system board that we have tested in the lab. Its small form factor enables it to be installed in compact systems and short depth server cases.
The X10DRL-CT is the base motherboard used in Supermicro systems such as SYS-1028R-MCTR and SYS-1028R-MCT which are compact 1U servers that offer high speed storage with an LSI 3108 controller and Intel X540 Dual 10GBase-T ports for fast network speed. The key features of the X10DRL-CT server motherboard are:
- Dual E5-2600 v3 CPUs up to 145W
- 8x DIMM, up to 512GB ECC DDR4 up to 2133MHz
- 1x PCI-E 3.0 x16 & 2x PCI-E 3.0 x8 slots
- 6x SATA3 ports
- LSI 3108 controller with 8x mini SAS3 12Gbps ports
- SuperDOM, TPM support
- 2x Intel i210 Dual GbE LAN ports, 2x Intel X540 Dual 10GBase-T ports
- ATX form factor 12" x 10"
- IPMI 2.0 and KVM with dedicated LAN
This motherboard can handle up to 145W processors, which allows it to run the E5-2699 v3 (18 core) CPU's. Let us take a closer look at the X10DRL-CT server motherboard.
Specifications and Layout
The main supporting features of the X10DRL-CT are its compact size that enables it to fit into short depth server cases and the LSI 3108 SAS3 controller. Large arrays of up to 16 drives can be installed with special options available on request. AHCI & SCU SATA3 (6Gbps); RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 options are also available through the C612 Chipset that further expand storage capabilities.
We only received the X10DRX motherboard for our tests. The retail package should contain:
- Two (2) SATA Cable 61CM FLAT S-S PBF (CBL-0044L)
- Two (2) Internal Mini-SAS HD to Mini-SAS HD cables, 80cm, 30AWG, 12Gb/s (CBL-SAST-0531)
- One (1) I/O Shield (MCP-260-00062-1N)
- One (1) Quick Reference Guide (MNL-1620-QRG)
Optional accessories are:
- Heat Sinks
- 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
Here we get a look at the block diagram of the X10DRL-CT motherboard, which shows how all the input and output devices connect to the C612 chipset.
Here we get our first look at the X10RL-CT workstation motherboard. With a size of 12" x 10" (30.48cm x 25.4cm), this is a very compact motherboard for a dual CPU system. The X10DRL-CT is the smallest 2P board we have seen in the lab.
For a small board like this the number of RAM slots needed to be cut down, but that has positive effects on RAM speed and bandwidth. In addition, a limited number of PCI-E slots could be installed on this board, but its primary system is one like SYS-1028R-MCT which is a 1U short depth server. The X10DRL-CT also sports Dual 10GBase-T LAN with Intel X540 Ethernet controllers for fast network connections.
Here we see the PCIe slots, which are:
- 1x PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot
- 2x PCI-E 3.0 x8 slot
At the top of the board, we see the heat sink for the Intel X540 Ethernet controller, and down in the middle area is the heat sink for the Intel C612 chipset. There are also 4x SATA 3.0 ports along the left edge.
Now we are looking at the lower left side of the motherboard now. Here we see the large heat sink for the LSI 3108 SAS3 controller and its associated mini SAS ports along the bottom. The orange SATA ports also support SATA DOM (Device-on-Module) devices.
Here we are looking at the upper right section of the motherboard. There are only 2x fan headers located here, this area is not cluttered and should provide good clearance for heat sinks.
The lower right side of the motherboard has its main power connectors over on the right edge on the motherboard. The three main power connectors are grouped into one tight area here. They are orientated so the release pin on the power connector is within easy reach and not a problem to remove. Fan headers are located on the edge and provide easy access. Again, we see nice clean areas that help to keep the board running cool.
Now we are looking at the back I/O ports. At the left, we see a VGA port. Next, we find 2x USB 3.0 Ports and an IPMI dedicated LAN port just above. Following that, we have 2x 1GB LAN ports. Then we find 2x 10GB Ethernet ports.
This is a close up of the new Socket 2011 R3. As you can see, it looks very much like the normal Socket 2011 that we have seen on past boards. However, last gen processors will not fit this new socket because it has a different pin configuration and notches inside the socket will only work on the new Haswell-EP E5-2600 v3 processors. The mounting holes for heat sinks are the same compared to those used on Socket 2011 systems so you should have no problems using those heat sinks. The CPU socket area here is very tight, passive heat sinks that would normally be used have plenty of clearance, but if you decided to use non-Supermicro heat sinks, be sure to check if you will have fan clearance in the middle.
BIOS and Remote Management
The BIOS for this motherboard is standard for server motherboards, so we will only show a few BIOS screens and go over new menu options.
This is the main BIOS screen, which shows basic system information.
We find our remote access IP address located in the BIOS under the IPMI Tab. In our case, this was 192.182.1.013. Enter that into your browser, and you will see the login screen.
To login use:
As a best practice, Administrative users should change factory default Username/Password logins before connecting any new server to their network. The rest of the screens are typical for Supermicro remote access so we will just show the screens here.
Test System Setup
The platform that the X10DRL-CT uses is the Wellsburg (Intel C612) and new Haswell-EP processors. The processor we will be using is the Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3, which features 18 cores with hyper-threading used on these tests and will supply the processing power.
The Wellsburg Platform (Intel C612) will have support provided for 4 to 18 cores with dual socket capability. TDP ranges from 55W up to 160W for workstations. Memory is now DDR4 and can gave a frequency of up to 2133 MHz. The E5-2600 v3 processors use 2x QPI 1.1 channels with up to 9.6 GT/s. These processors support PCIe 3.0 with up to 8 GT/s and 40 lanes. The chipset will be Wellsburg PCH. This gives support for a huge number of SATA ports at 10. A large number of USB devices can be used with 6x USB 3.0, 8x USB2 ports. Wellsburg (C612) also supports DMI2 with 4x lanes.
With two E5-2699 v3 processors running on the X10DRL-CT, we have a huge number of threads at 72 available for this system.
In our tests, we will be using the new Crucial DDR4 memory, which has a speed of 2133 MHz, and rated at CL15. We have already taken a look at these memory kits which you can find here: Crucial DDR4 Memory Performance Overview Early Look vs. DDR2 & DDR3
Here we can see the timings of the Crucial DDR4 memory that we will be using in our tests. The configuration of memory slots used on the X10DRL-CT, we are able to get full RAM speed out of our memory kits.
Here we see how memory in Slot / DIMM's per channel can affect memory speed.
The X10DRL-CT is showing average scores in these tests. This motherboard is geared for storage solutions so its BIOS has been tuned for this.
wPrime is a leading multi-threaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance. This is a great test to use to rate the system speed; it also works as a stress test to see how well the systems cooling is performing.
In wPrime, the X10DRL-CT has an average score. As we said before this motherboard is tuned for storage bandwidth.
Memory & System Benchmarks
AIDA64 memory bandwidth benchmarks (Memory Read, Memory Write, and Memory Copy) measure the maximum achievable memory data transfer bandwidth.
Memory bandwidth for the X10DRL-CT is one of the stronger boards we have tested. Performance is enhanced with the lower memory slot configuration and allows the memory to run at max speed.
LinX 0.6.4 is a CPU benchmark that measures floating-point operations per second and is used to compare CPU performance; it is also a very good stress test to run.
Linpack shows strong bandwidth numbers and is comparable to other motherboards we have tested. These results are almost 2x's faster than our Ivy Bridge-EP tests and shows just how well the new Haswell-EP platforms perform. These speeds coupled with fast DDR4 should give a real boost to application performance.
In Stream benchmarks, the X10DRL-CT shows strong bandwidth numbers.
UnixBench and SPEC CPU2006v1.2
UnixBench has been around for a long time now, and is a good general-purpose bench to test on Linux based systems. This is a system benchmark, and it shows the performance of single threaded and multi-threaded tasks.
Synthetic benchmarks only show part of the performance of a motherboard. When using tests that are more complex we will start to see a different trend in the scores. UnixBench starts to show what the X10DRL-CT can really do well and that is multi-threaded workloads.
SPEC CPU2006 v1.2
SPEC CPU2006v1.2 measures compute intensive performance across the system using realistic benchmarks to rate real performance.
In our testing with SPEC CPU2006 we use the basic commands to run these tests.
Runspec --tune=base --config=tweaktown.cfg then int or fp
To do multi-threaded we add in --rate=72.
When SPEC CPU first came out these tests could take up to a week to run, but as computers become faster, our tests can take up to four days for a full run now and even less on some systems. The user can do many thing to effect the results of CPU2006 runs, such as compiler optimizations, add-ons like Smartheap and different commands used to start the tests.
This benchmark has many different commands to use depending on what the user is looking for. For our tests, we used basic commands that run a full test with a base tune.
You can see here the SPEC scores after full runs for Integer (int) and Floating Point (fp) tests. Single-core runs show how fast (speed) a CPU can perform a given task. In the multi-core runs, we set SPEC CPU2006v1.2 to use all thread to measure the throughput of the system. The additional cores/threads of this system has a huge impact on performance in these tests and really shows the amount of horsepower that a dual-socket system has over a single-socket board. Single-threaded results are still very important, but when you need many single threaded apps to run, moving to a CPU with more cores is the way to go. This is where the X10DRL-CT starts to shine, multi-threaded integer workloads.
Looking at the results of single-threaded integer runs, we can get an idea of speed at which the E5-2699 v3's can crunch through the different integer tests. Not all CPUs are equal here, and ones that have a higher speed will perform these tests faster. Naturally, using an overclocked system or CPUs with a higher stock speed will generate higher results.
Now we run the test using all 36 cores/72 threads cores on the E5-2699 v3 processors to measure the throughput of the system. In this test, more cores/threads will have a greater effect on the outcome.
Just like the integer tests, we now run the floating-point tests in single threaded (speed) mode.
Here we see the results of the multi-core floating-point run that uses all 36 cores/72 threads cores on the E5-2699 v3 processors. Like the multi-threaded integer test, more cores/threads will have a greater impact on the test. Just like the integer multi-threaded tests, the X10DRL-CT really takes off here.
Power Consumption & Final Thoughts
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 X10DRL-CT uses ~100 watts at idle on the desktop. The X10DRL-CT will jump up to ~455 watts at full load, which is very good for a board of this type.
With the X10DRL-CT, we see only peak power use of ~250 watts during the boot up process. The system then settles down to ~100 watts after the boot up is completed. Overall, power consumption is about what we would expect to see for these types of boards.
Supermicro again designs another powerful motherboard and this time in the smallest form factor, we have seen in the lab. Motherboard size is one thing, but Supermicro also included a complete solution with high-speed storage and network options right on the board.
We thought there might be performance penalties with such a small motherboard, but the X10DRL-CT showed some impressive benchmark numbers, mostly in Stream and CPU2006. Space is at a premium on this board and only 4x memory slots per processor somewhat limit maximum memory capacity, but it made up for that with the ability to run memory at full rated DDR4 speeds of 2133MHz. This gives it quite a punch when it comes down to feeding fast storage and networks. Speaking of fast storage and networks, the X10DRL-CT comes with impressive LSI 3108 controller with 8x mini SAS3 12Gbps ports and 2x Intel X540 Dual 10GBase-T ports.
Here we see a typical Supermicro SYS-1028R-MCT 1U server which has a short depth making it easy to fit into a wide variety of racks and it's easy to handle and install and still packs an impressive storage array. Other servers built for this motherboard like the SYS-1028R-MCTR, which includes dual redundant power supplies. We also think enthusiasts will really like this board as it will fit into a wide range of popular cases that might even be able to handle high-end water cooling setups.
We were very impressed with the X10DRL-CT motherboard; we only had a few things on our wish list. One would be the ability to have overclock abilities as the X10DAX can, and a second would be to have a version with PCI-E slots that can run SLI GPU's, two slots would be perfect. That would turn this motherboard into a great machine running 2x NVIDIA GeForce Titan X's and 4K video capabilities. Yes, wishful thinking I know, but I can dream. There might be better boards for that, but the size and features of the X10DRL-CT makes a very compelling case.
|Quality including Design and Build||98%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||97%|
The Bottom Line: Supermicro's X10DRL-CT is built on a small form factor 12" x 10" motherboard making it ideal for short depth servers and it also packs in high speed storage and network options that decrease expansion cards needs.
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