The Bottom Line
With the release of Intel Xeon processor D-1500 series processors, manufactures have a complete SoC (System-on-Chip) to build boards around. These processors come with everything needed built right inside the CPU itself so there is no need for extra chipsets. These systems make high compact systems that are low power and have increased performance with up to 8 cores / 16 threads of processing power.
These Xeon processor D's also have the capability to use DDR3 which will lower costs even further. We have been eagerly waiting to see what manufacturers would build with these new processors.
Today we take a look at Supermicro's X10SDV-TLN4F which uses the Intel Xeon processor D-1540 and is the base motherboard used in Supermicro systems such as SYS-5018D-FN4T and SYS-5028D-TN4T, which are compact 1U servers and fast network storage appliances. The key features of the Supermicro X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard are:
- Intel Xeon processor D-1540, Single socket FCBGA 1667; 8-Core, 45W
- System on Chip
- Up to 128GB ECC RDIMM DDR4 2133MHz or 64GB ECC/non-ECC UDIMM in 4 sockets
- Expansion slot: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4, M Key 2242/2280
- Dual 10GbE LAN and Intel i350-AM2 dual port GbE LAN
- 6x SATA3 (6Gbps) ports via SoC
- 2x USB 3.0 ports (rear), 4x USB 2.0 ports (via headers)
- 1x SuperDOM, 1x COM, TPM 1.2 header, GPIO and SMbus headers
- 12V DC input and ATX Power Source
According to Supermicro, the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard offers server-class reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features now available in an ultra-dense, low-power device, the X10SDV-TLN4F will be able to deliver balanced compute, storage and intelligent edge networks and appliances. Let us take a closer look at the Supermicro X10SDV-TLN4F 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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard for our tests. The retail package should contain:
- Two (2) 57.5CM SATA FLAT S-S PBF (CBL-0044L)
- One (1) I/O Shield (MCP-260-00084-0N)
Optional accessories are:
- 1U I/O Shield for X10SDV-F/TLN4F in CSE-510/505/504
- 1U I/O shield for X10SDV-F/TLN4F in SC813/SC512 chassis
Here we get a look at the block diagram of the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard, which shows how all the input and output devices connect to the Intel Xeon processor D-1540.
Here we get our first look at the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard.
With a size of 6.7" x 6.7", (17cm x 17cm), this is a very compact motherboard. The Mini-ITX size motherboard does have a great deal of real-estate to include a lot of options, the Intel Xeon processor D-1540 is a complete system on a chip and that frees up a great deal of extra components that would otherwise be needed. The D-1540 processor also sports Dual Gigabit LAN which gives this platform excellent network capabilities right out of the box.
The X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard also supports 4x DDR4 RAM slots and can max out at 128GB's using 32GB ECC RDIMM's, or 64GB of DDR4 ECC/Non-ECC UDIMM of speeds up to 2133MHz.
Here we see the 6x SATA3 (6Gbps) ports, the yellow port supports SuperDOM (Device-on-Module) devices. These are enough ports to support basic systems storage needs.
Right behind the video output port, we see a large heat sink that provides cooling for the Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports via Intel i350-AM2 Gigabit Ethernet. Tucked away behind the video out port is a m.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot for SSDs which frees up SATA ports and makes this system totally self-contained. We do not have a m.2 SSD here to test this, but we do hear this works fine and adds a great deal of performance.
Here we are looking at the back of the motherboard. On the left there is an IPMI LAN port with 2x USB 3.0 ports underneath. The next stack is 2x Gigabit LAN ports with 2x 10GBase-T ports right next to those. Then the Aspeed AST2400 video out port is last.
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 22.214.171.124. 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
We would like to thank Supermicro, Crucial, SPEC, Yokogawa, Thermaltake, SanDisk, HWiNFO and AIDA64 for their support in providing parts for our test system.
Here you can see the stats of the Intel Xeon processor D-1540. This processor includes 8 cores / 16 threads for computing power and features full Xeon supporting instructions. The Xeon processor D-1540 is a full system on a chip architecture so there is no supporting chipset. The base clock speed of the Intel Xeon processor D-1540 is 2.0 GHz and it will Turbo up to 2.6GHz. Features of the Intel Xeon processor D-1540 include:
- Full AVX 2.0 support (256 Bit Integer)
- Dual FMA providing up to 2x improvement in floating point operations/cycle vs. prior Xeon processors
- AES-NI instructions for crypto support
- Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT) for servers
- Intel VT support
- Full support for Intel Transactional Synchronized Extensions (Intel TSX) for improved multi-threaded performance
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 Supermicro X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard, we are able to get full RAM speed out of our memory kits.
The X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 includes 8 cores / 16 threads and provides a modest amount of processing power.
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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 provide fairly good results consider its clock speed of only 2GHz.
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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 is not groundbreaking, but provides enough bandwidth to keep the system going strong for a system of this type.
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 results compare with AIDA64 Memory benchmark, keep in mind that the D-1540 Processor is not a fast CPU and does have thermal limitations.
In Stream benchmarks, the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 compare well with AIDA64 and Linpack results.
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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 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=16.
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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 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 Intel Xeon processor D-1540 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 8 cores/16 threads cores on the Intel Xeon processor D-1540 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 8 cores/16 threads cores on the Intel Xeon processor D-1540. 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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 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 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and Intel Xeon processor D-1540 uses ~40 watts at idle on the desktop. The X10SDV-TLN4F will jump up to ~88 watts at full load, which is very good for a board of this type. The X10SDV-TLN4F really just drinks power and uses even less power than a 100-watt light bulb.
With the X10SDV-TLN4F, we see only peak power use of ~78 watts during the boot up process. The system then settles down to ~40 watts after the boot up is completed. Overall, power consumption is extremely good and boot up hardly stresses the system's power needs.
With the release of the new Intel Xeon processor D-1540 processors, Supermicro is first out of the gate with its X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard. We saw all the presentations on the Intel Xeon processor D's, but we had no idea how well they would perform, except what Intel told us. So we were pretty excited to get our hands on one of these boards to test out.
We have to say that we are very impressed with what Supermicro has come up with on the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard. The X10SDV-TLN4F packs the D-1540 with 8 cores / 16 threads and takes advantage of the SoC capabilities of this new architecture, Supermicro has a real winner on its hands. This little Mini-ITX board has just about everything you could want, fast Gigabit and 10GBase-T ports, m.2 SATA, and a max of 128GB DDR4.
Here we see a SuperServer 5018D-FN4T that uses the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard. This is a great low power high performance system perfect for networking, storage, IoT, and microservers.
The X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard is also the base for the SuperServer 5028D-TN4T Network Storage Appliance. This system has plenty of power to handle a large number of users. We can also imagine many users who would want to fit the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard into a Mini-ITX case and build a complete system that can function as a desktop for small footprint, low power, and low noise type applications. There is a wide range of cases that can fit the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard and these could end up serving just about any need.
We ran our test system in the lab for a while using Windows 8.1 and many applications that we use on a regular basis and found this platform to work very well for day-to-day use. We have only one wish for this board, and that is the ability to use video cards installed into the PCIe slot. We did try one of our NVIDIA Quadro cards and we could not get that to work, if it could use GPU's, it could make a powerful mini workstation and even a nice gaming platform.
|Quality including Design and Build||98%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||97%|
The Bottom Line: Supermicro's X10SDV-TLN4F with the Intel Xeon processor D1540 is an impressive compact motherboard that is perfect for networking, storage, IoT, and microserver uses.
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