Electricity Bill

Having one PSU power two nodes should make sure that the 900W PSU is never working at a very low load, and thus at its lowest efficiency. Using motherboards with only the features that are really necessary and a PSU that is "more than 90%" efficient should also help. On the flipside, a 1U server with 16 cores is harder to cool than two 1U servers with 8 cores.


So how much power can you save with Supermicro's Twin compared to two 1U servers? We decided to find out with Supermicro's 1U 6015b-8+ server. This server has a slightly less efficient 700W PSU, "up to 85% efficient", which is still better than the average PSU in the 1U market. Also, the 6015b+8+ features a U320SCSI controller and one SCSI320 disk which adds about 10-15W.

We tested for 400 seconds (the x-axis).


To sum up our findings:
  • A 1U server with 85% efficient PSU needs +/- 230 W
  • The Twin 1U server with 1 Node powered on needs +/- 213 W
  • Twin 1U server with both nodes working uses +/- 330 W
We can conclude that:
  • The second node adds only 55% more power
  • In comparison with 2x 1U servers, we save about 130W or about 30% thanks to Twin 1U system
Of course it is rare that a server runs at maximum power. Let us see how much power the different systems consume running idle. We tested for about 100 seconds.


To get a better idea, we summarized the averages in the table below:

Average Power Use
Configuration Idle (Watt) Full Load (Watt)
Twin 1U: 1 node 160 213
Twin 1U: 2 nodes 271 330
Power increase 1 to 2 node 69% 55%
Normal 1U 200 230
2 x Normal 1U 400 460
Power savings compared to "Normal 1U" 129 130

Even if we take into account that two "normal" 1U servers would probably consume a bit less (as it gets harder to keep them at 100% load), and even if we take into account the fact that the SCSI controller and disk increase the power consumption by about 10W, we think it is safe to say that each 1U Twin server saves about 100W compared to two "normal" 1U servers. Mission accomplished for the Supermicro PSU engineers.

3DSMax 9 Backburner Rendering Analysis
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  • SurJector - Tuesday, June 5, 2007 - link

    I've just reread your article. I'm a little bit surprised by the power:
    idle load
    1 node : 160 213
    2 nodes: 271 330
    increase: 111 117
    There is something wrong: the second node adds only 6W (5.5W counting efficiency) of power consumption ?

    Could it be that some power-saving options are not set on the second node (speedstep, or similar) ?

    Nice article though, I bet I'd love to have a rack of them for my computing farm. Either that or wait (forever ?) for the Barcelona equivalents (they should have better memory throughput).
    Reply
  • Super Nade - Saturday, June 2, 2007 - link

    Hi,

    The PSU is built by Lite-On. I owned the PWS-0056 and it was built like a tank. Truely server grade build quality.

    Regards,

    Super Nade, OCForums.
    Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - link

    Here are the VMWare ESX issues I see. ... They basically compound the problem.

    - No Local SAS controller. (Already mentioned)
    - No Local SAS requires booting from a SAN. This means you will use your only PCIe slot for a SAN Hardware HBA as ESX can't boot with a software iSCSI.
    - Only Dual NICs on board and with the only expansion slot taken up by the SAN HBA (Fiber Channel or iSCSI) you already have a less then ideal ESX solution. --- ESX works best with a dedicated VMotion port, Dedicated Console Port, and at least one dedicated VM port. Using this setup you'll be limited to a dedicated VMotion and a Shared Console and VM Port.

    The other issue is of coarse the non redundant power supply. While yes ESX has a High Availability mode where it restarts VMs from downed hardware. It restarts VMs on other hardware, doesn't preserve them. You could very easily loose data.

    Then probably the biggest issue ... support. Most companies dropping the coin on ESX server are only going to run it on a supported platform. With supported platforms from the Dell, HP and IBM being comparatively priced and the above issues, I don't see them winning ANY of the ESX server crowd with this unit.



    I could however see this as a nice setup for the VMWare (free) Virtual Server crowd using it for virtualized Dev and/or QA environments where low cost is a larger factor then production level uptime.
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - link

    Superb feedback. I feel however that you are a bit too strict on the dedicated ports. A dedicated console port seems a bit exagerated, and as you indicate a shared Console/vmotion seems acceptable to me. Reply
  • DeepThought86 - Monday, May 28, 2007 - link

    I thought it interesting to note how poor the scaling was on the web server benchmark when going from 1S to 2S 5345 (107 URL's/s to 164). However the response times scaled quite well.

    Going from 307 ms to 815 ms (2.65) with only a clockspeed difference of 2.33 cs 1.86 (1.25) is completely unexpected. Since the architecture is the same, how can a 1.25 factor in clock lead to a 2.65 factor in performance? Then I remembered you're varying TWO factors at once making it impossible to compare the numbers.... how dumb is that in benchmark testing??

    Honestly, it seems you guys know how to hook up boxes but lack the intelligence to actually select test cases that make sense, not to mention analyse your results in a meaningful way

    It's also a pity you guys didn't test with the AMD servers to see how they scaled. But I guess the article is meant to pimp Supermicro and not point out how deficient the Intel system design is when going from 4-cores to 8
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Since the architecture is the same, how can a 1.25 factor in clock lead to a 2.65 factor in performance? Then I remembered you're varying TWO factors at once making it impossible to compare the numbers.... how dumb is that in benchmark testing??


    I would ask you to read my comments again. Webserver performance can not be measured by one single metric unless you can keep response time exactly the same. In that case you could measure throughput. However in the realworld, response time is never the same, and our test simulates real users. The reason for this "superscaling" of responstimes is that the slower configurations have to work with a backlog. Like it or not, but that is what you see on a webserver.

    quote:

    It's also a pity you guys didn't test with the AMD servers to see how they scaled


    We have done that already here for a number of workloads:
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc...

    This article was about introducing our new benches, and investigating the possibilities of this new supermicro server. Not every article can be an AMD vs Intel article.

    And I am sure that 99.9% of the people who will actually buy a supermicro Twin after reading this review, will be very pleased with it as it is an excellent server for it's INTENDED market. So there is nothing wrong with giving it positive comments as long as I show the limitations.



    Reply
  • TA152H - Tuesday, May 29, 2007 - link

    Johan,

    I think it's even better than you didn't bring into the AMD/Intel nonsense, because it tends to take focus away from important companies like Supermicro. A lot of people aren't even aware of this company, and it's an extremely important company that makes extraordinary products. Their quality is unmatched, and although they are more expensive, it is excellent to have the option of buying a top quality piece. It's almost laughable, and a bit sad, when people call Asus top quality, or a premium brand. So, if nothing else, you brought an often ignore company into people's minds. Sadly, on a site like this where performance is what is generally measured, if you guys reviewed the motherboards, it would appear to be a mediocre, at best product. So, your type of review helps put things in their proper perspective; they are a very high quality, reliable, innovative company that is often overlooked, but has a very important role in the industry.

    Now, having said that (you didn't think I could be exclusively complimentary, did you?), when are you guys going to evaluate Eizo monitors??? I mean, how often can we read articles on junk from Dell and Samsung, et al, wondering what the truly best monitors are like? Most people will buy mid-range to low-end (heck, I still buy Samsung monitors and Epox motherboards sometimes because of price), but I also think most people are curious about how the best is performing anyway. But, let's give you credit where it's due, it was nice seeing Supermicro finally get some attention.
    Reply
  • DeepThought86 - Monday, May 28, 2007 - link

    Also, looking at your second benchmark I'm baffled how you didn't include a comparison of 1xE5340 vs 2x5340 or 1x5320 vs 2x5320 so we could see scaling. You just have a comparison of Dual vs 2N, where (duh!) the results are similar.

    Sure, there's 1x5160 vs 2x5160 but since the number of cores is half we can't see if memory performance is a bottleneck. Frankly, if Intel had given you instruction on how to explicitly avoid showing FSB limitations in server application they couldn't have done a better job.

    Oh wait, looks like 2 Intel staffers helped on the project! BIG SURPRISE!
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, May 28, 2007 - link

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/it/2007/superm...">http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/it/2007/superm...
    Looks like the top DIMM is not fully seated? :D
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, May 28, 2007 - link

    Nice one.. not everyone would catch such a fault :)

    MrS
    Reply

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