Supermicro's SuperServer 5028D-TN4T

Supermicro has always been one of the first server vendors that integrates new Intel technology. The Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T is a mini-tower, clearly targeted at Small Businesses that still want to keep their server close instead of in the cloud, which is still a strategy that makes sense in quite a few situations. 

The system features four 3.5 inch hot swappable drive bays, which makes it easy to service the component that fails the most in a server system: the magnetic disks. 

That being said, we feel that the system falls a bit short with regards to  serviceability. For example replacing DIMMs or adding an SSD (in one of fixed 2.5 inch bays) requires you to remove some screws and to apply quite a bit of force to remove the cover of the chassis. 

Tinkering with DIMMs under the storage bays is also a somewhat time consuming experience. You can slide out the motherboard, but that requires to remove almost all cabling. Granted, most system administrators will rarely replace SSDs or DIMMs. But the second most failing component is the PSU, which is not easy swappable either but attached with screws to chassis. 

On the positive side, an AST2400 BMC is present and allows you to administer the system remotely via a dedicated Ethernet interface. Supermicro also added an Intel i350 dual gigabit LAN controller. So you have ample networking resources: one remote control ethernet port, two gigabit and two 10 gigabit (10GBase-T) ports, courtesy of the Xeon-D integrated 10 GbE Ethernet MAC.  

Broadwell in a Server SoC Meet the SuperServer 5028D-TN4T: Inside
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  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    this is the reason why Intel focuses on mobile, it benefits their server cpus too.

    the 14nm process is the one to thank for these massive improvements. Samsung also has 14nm and the S6 Exynos is in similar achievement
  • Refuge - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    I disagree, the Exynos is no where close to a similar achievement.

    Granted it is doing better than Qualcomm's equivalent at the moment.

    But I'm also faster than a fat man with a broken leg running on a hot and humid day.
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Still, these 14nm SoCs are the best in their class as they pack more cores while using less power.
  • LukaP - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    Just a note, Samsung's (and TSMC's 16nm FF(+) process isnt really 16nm entirely. The interconnects are still 28nm making it not nearly as dense as intel's 14nm, as well as being more leaky. IIRC their density and leakage can be compared to intels 22nm TriGate in the times of Ivy Bridge
  • nils_ - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Few questions:
    1. Why did you disable x2apic?
    2. Did the Large Page allocation in the Java Benchmark actually work? It can be a bit tricky some times and then falls back to 4KiB pages
    3. What were the JVM settings for elasticsearch?
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    1. Was out of the box disabled. I have to admit I did not check that option. Performance impact should be neglible though.
    2. I have no monitored that, but there was a performance impact if we disabled it.
    3. ES_heap_size = 20 G; otherwise standard ES settings
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Wow, that is still quite pricey here. For the price of the SuperMicro tower you can actually get a 1U 2S Xeon E5 system with one socket equipped and some memory. I'd really love to replace my home server (running on Core i5 rather than Xeon E3 for efficiency reasons, those C chipset suck balls) with one of those systems if they can make them efficient and quiet.
  • hifiaudio2 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Two questions:

    1. How does the Xeon D compare to the c2700 series for a home NAS that will also serve as an Emby server and HDHR DVR (when that software is available). Could be one or two 1080p transcodes going on at the same time at most. Usually no transcoding if I am using Kodi or something that can natively play back the file, but for remote viewing or random uses over the network, some transcoding by Emby could be required -- if you are not familiar with Emby think of the same thing using Plex. So would the extra power of the Xeon D be of use to me, or is the 8 core c2750 plenty for the aforementioned use case?

    2. If I do go with this unit, which dimms specifically does it use? The Supermicro c2750 board takes laptop style dimms. What does this take?
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    I can answer 2: see the picture here: RDIMMs or UDIMMS (= basically "normal" DDR-4) will do.
  • hifiaudio2 - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Thanks.. So this ram:?

    And what is the SR x4 / DR x8 difference in the two choices for the 8gb sticks?

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