Broadberry CyberServe X34-Q104 review

£2862
Price when reviewed

Server manufacturers have been getting ever more innovative in the quest for higher compute node density, but Broadberry has taken things to a new level. It’s managed the remarkable feat of squeezing four independent servers into a low-profile 1U rack chassis.

The X34-Q104 comes courtesy of Intel’s latest Server System SR1640TH platform. Previously Intel’s rack server solutions have been functional but uninspiring in the design department.

The four server nodes are presented as two separate motherboards, each fitted in independently powered trays. Both motherboards have two processor sockets supporting Xeon 3400 processors, but have been designed to present each one as a separate server.

The chassis works purely as a shell for the two trays. The only components inside are two 450W cold-swap power supplies, which the trays mate with when inserted from the front.

The design of the tray is impressive. Components are neatly laid out down their length, with hardly a wire or cable out of place to mar the symmetry. The front of each tray houses two hard disks, and even here Intel has reduced cabling requirements by placing the SATA and power interfaces at the front.

Broadberry CyberServe X34-Q104

Broadberry offers a good choice of storage options. It supplied the left-hand tray with a pair of 500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA drives and the right-hand tray with two 80GB Intel SSDs. The price for the review system includes all these drives, but Broadberry can supply the system with four 80GB SSDs for £2,550 or four 500GB SATA drives for £2,180 exc VAT.

The nodes get a single processor socket each, with the review system sporting a quartet of 2.4GHz X3430 Xeons. These offer the lowest core density of all the 3400 Xeons as they don’t support Hyper-Threading.

Each processor is equipped with four DIMM sockets, with the 3420 chipset supporting a maximum of 32GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 memory. The chipset also has an embedded RAID controller that supports stripes, mirrors and RAID5 arrays, although with only one drive per node this is academic.

The one feature we didn’t like was the basic Matrox G200 video chip on each node. These have only 32MB of video memory and support a maximum resolution of 1,024 x 768, which is a real pain for local management.

Warranty

Warranty3yr on-site

Ratings

Physical

Server formatRack
Server configuration1U

Processor

CPU familyIntel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency2.40GHz
Processors supplied4
CPU socket count4

Power supply

Power supply rating450W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption138W
Peak power consumption370W

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