Boston Igloo BOS-IX8-1111G review
The processors are fitted with large passive heatsinks and each is flanked by a bank of six DIMM slots. The review system came with 12GB of fast 1333MHz DDR3 memory and, if you can afford scarily expensive 16GB modules, you can go up to 192GB.
When we benchtested the Xeon 5600 processors we found a marked difference in performance between the higher- and lower-end models. The X5650 processors as deployed in the Boston server on review outperformed the E5630 across the board and by a considerable margin.
A unique feature of the 5600 Xeons is their AES-NI instruction set, which allows them to encrypt and decrypt in hardware. Using SiSoft Sandra’s Cryptography test we saw the X5650 deliver a huge total bandwidth of 14GB/sec showing them to be a top choice for these types of applications.
However, there is a price to pay for this extra horsepower as we found the Igloo was remarkably thirsty for power. With Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise in idle our inline meter recorded a hefty draw of 200W and with SiSoft Sandra punishing all 24 logical cores this rose to an uncomfortable peak of 380W.
The X5650 has a TDP of 95W, which is 55W higher than the E5630 but we were surprised to see the Igloo sucking up nearly twice as much juice as Broadberry’s server. Boston did supply a pair of 650W hot-plug power supplies but testing with one in action only saw idle and peak power readings drop to 180W and 367W.
The picture looks brighter for remote management as the motherboard has Supermicro’s embedded RMM and dedicated network port. This offers a tidy web interface allowing you to remotely control the server and access its power supplies directly to turn it on and off, reset it or gracefully close its OS down.
It offers plenty of operational information where you can monitor a range of sensors for critical components and restrict access using external authentication via LDAP and RADIUS servers. Whereas Dell, HP and IBM expect you to pay extra for the privilege, Boston includes KVM-over-IP remote control as standard along with virtual media services.
Although of less value, you also get Supermicro’s SuperO Doctor III software, which allows the server to be accessed and monitored locally or remotely using a web browser where it provides plenty of information on critical system components. Basic remote control facilities are also provided so you can access the server from another system, gracefully shut down the OS, and control power.
The Igloo BOS-IX8-1111G scores well for its package of high-performance Xeon 5600 processors and octet of fast 6Gb/sec SAS hard disks. It packs a lot into its compact chassis but there is a price to pay as power consumption under load is surprisingly high.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|CPU family||Intel Xeon|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.66GHz|
|CPU socket count||2|
|Hard disk configuration||8 x 146GB Seagate Savvio 10K.3 6Gb/sec SAS SFF hard disks in hot-swap carriers|
|Total hard disk capacity||1,168|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 10, 5, 6, 50, 60|
|Gigabit LAN ports||2|
|Power supply rating||650W|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||180W|
|Peak power consumption||367W|