Boston Green Power 1200-6 review

£9751
Price when reviewed

Once AMD had announced its Opteron 6100 family, it didn’t take Supermicro long to magic up a production server, with the PC Pro Recommended GP 1120-T sporting a pair of the new 12-core processors. Here, we’ll take a look at the company’s brand-new 48-core rack server, courtesy of the Boston Green Power.

A feature of the Opteron 6100 series that Intel’s Xeon processors can’t match is their ability to support 1P, 2P and 4P servers. The Green Power 1200-6 came with a quartet of 12-core 2.1GHz Opteron 6172 modules and its 2U chassis height gives you a maximum processing density of 1,008 cores per 42U rack cabinet. And its tempting price is well below anything that Intel 7500 Xeon servers can muster.

The server combines Supermicro’s 2U chassis with its new H8QG6-F quad-socket motherboard. It can handle up to six hot-swap drives, and the price includes four high-performance 300GB Seagate Cheetah 6Gbits/sec SAS drives.

Boston Green Power 1200-6

The motherboard has six SATA and eight SAS embedded ports. The SATA ports are handled by an Intel controller, which offers stripes and mirrors, while the SAS ports are managed by an LSI SAS2008 chip that supports SAS 2 speeds.

The four drives in the review system were preconfigured as a RAID10 striped mirror, but you can upgrade the LSI controller with a key to bring in support for RAID5 arrays. If you want cache memory, a battery backup and RAID6, you’ll need to consider adding a separate expansion card.

It’s here that Dell’s PowerEdge R815 wins out: our review sample had Dell’s H700 RAID card installed. This included a healthy 512MB of cache memory, a battery backup pack and support for all key RAID array types.

Boston provides essential power redundancy – the price includes a pair of 1,400W hot-plug supplies. Although power is connected at the rear, the supplies are accessed from the front so you don’t have to go rummaging in your rack cabinet to replace a failed unit.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 2U

Processor

CPU family AMD Opteron
CPU nominal frequency 2.10GHz
Processors supplied 4

Memory

RAM capacity 512GB
Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 4 x 300GB Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 6Gbps SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 1,200
RAID module embedded 6-port SATA and 8-port SAS 2.0 controllers
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 2

Power supply

Power supply rating 1,400W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 335W
Peak power consumption 703W

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