Broadberry CyberServe AM4-T108 review

£3354
Price when reviewed

Multi-node servers will be the next big thing this year, as manufacturers race to pack more into ever smaller chassis. The server vendors are all jumping on the bandwagon, including Tyan, whose latest system brings together a pair of dual-Opteron 4100 servers in a low-profile 1U rack chassis.

Supplied to us for this exclusive review by Broadberry Data Systems, the CyberServe AM4-T108 is a versatile device. To give us a taste, Broadberry has fitted one node with a pair of 2.8GHz Opteron 4184 six-core processors, which are the fastest of AMD’s ‘Lisbon’ family; and the other with two 2.4GHz 4176HE low-power 50W processors, so we could see their power benefits.

Sure enough, with just the dual-4184 node fired up, we measured it drawing 81W when idling in Windows Server 2008 R2 and 248W under heavy load from Sisoft Sandra. With only the dual-4176HE node running, the idle draw was still 81W, but with all cores near maximum load the peak draw fell to 187W – a significant difference.

Broadberry CyberServe AM4-T108

The price above is for both nodes equipped with the HE models, but for a quartet of 4184 models it only rises to £3,049 ex VAT. And Broadberry has been generous in fitting both nodes with 24GB of 1,333MHz RDIMM DDR3 – this can be boosted to 96GB for each node, or 48GB if you opt for cheaper UDIMM memory.

The system presents the two nodes as independently powered trays, each mating with its own 450W cold-swap power supply inside the chassis, so one node can be removed without upsetting the other. General build quality is reasonable, although we found tray removal tricky as they are a tight fit and the small lugs and locking tabs at the front are difficult to grasp.

Each tray employs a Tyan S8228 motherboard specifically made for this chassis. It’s a tidily designed board with all components laid out neatly down its length to ensure air flow isn’t impeded.

The front part of the tray provides a storage bay with room for four SFF hard disks in removable carriers, and the price includes a pair of 250GB drives per node. Only SATA drives are supported, but the embedded Promise controller supports mirrors, stripes and RAID5 arrays. Hot-swap and hot-sparing are available with Promise’s WebPAM Windows utility.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 1U

Processor

CPU family AMD
CPU nominal frequency 2.40GHz
Processors supplied 4
CPU socket count 4

Memory

RAM capacity 96GB
Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 2 x 250GB SATA SFF hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 500GB
RAID module embedded Promise SATA RAID controller
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 3

Power supply

Power supply rating 450W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 162W
Peak power consumption 439W

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