Boston Igloo BOS-IX8-1111G review

Price when reviewed

With the launch of the Xeon 5600 processors, Intel moves into the next ‘tock’ phase, which delivers its new 32nm process architecture along with a choice of four or six cores. Broadberry pipped everyone by being first into the lab last month with its E5630 equipped CyberServe X55-SR1625 and in another exclusive review we look at Boston’s Igloo BOS-IX8-1111G, which showcases the higher-end Xeon X5650.

The 2.66GHz X5650 sits plumb in the middle of this family of twelve processors and offers six physical cores, a top QPI speed of 6.4GT/sec and support for Intel’s HyperThreading and Turbo Boost technologies. Fortunately, you don’t have to ponder how much L3 cache you want as they all have 12MB and the X5650 supports memory speeds up to 1333MHz.

The Igloo hits the spot perfectly for storage as despite its modest dimensions it has room for up to eight hot-swap SSF hard disks across the front panel. There’s more, as Boston generously filled every bay in the review system with the latest 146GB Seagate Savvio 6Gb/sec SAS hard disks.

Boston Igloo BOS-IX8-1111G

RAID options are in abundance as the Supermicro motherboard comes with six embedded SATA ports and its integral controller supports mirrors, stripes and RAID-5 arrays as standard. To handle the SAS drives Boston fitted a Supermicro dual-port card in the UIO (universal I/O) slot at the rear of the motherboard and cabled it directly to the drive backplane.

The UIO feature is unique to Supermicro and offers some interesting expansion options as the cards fit into the gap at the back of the L-shaped motherboard. These plug directly into an interface slot at the bottom of the central riser and as the card sits flush with the motherboard it doesn’t obstruct the riser’s own PCI-e expansion slot above it.

The SAS UIO card brings dual-drive redundant RAID-6 into the frame and comes as standard with 512MB of embedded cache memory. You can also opt for an optional battery back-up pack.

The Igloo shows a few new design moves from Supermicro – instead of the recalcitrant push buttons, the lid has a simple thumbscrew at the rear making it much easier to remove. We were also pleased to see it has done away with the cheap and flimsy processor air shroud and used a transparent plastic cover, which looks a lot more solid.


Warranty3yr on-site next business day



Server formatRack
Server configuration1U


CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
Processors supplied2
CPU socket count2


RAM capacity192GB
Memory typeDDR3


Hard disk configuration8 x 146GB Seagate Savvio 10K.3 6Gb/sec SAS SFF hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity1,168
RAID levels supported0, 1, 10, 5, 6, 50, 60


Gigabit LAN ports2

Power supply

Power supply rating650W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption180W
Peak power consumption367W

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