Broadwell Xeon D lands on Mini-ITX boards

Intel introduced its Broadwell-based Xeon D server SoC earlier this month, and already, the chip has popped up in a couple of interesting Mini-ITX boards. Super Micro's X10SDV-TLN4F and X10SDV-F both feature the Xeon D-1540, which has eight cores, 16 threads, and a peak Turbo speed of 2.6GHz. Here are some painfully small board shots pulled from Super Micro's website:

The TLN4F is on the left, while the F is on the right. The former's extra characters apparently refer to the presence of dual 10-Gigabit Ethernet connectors—and a fan for the integrated heatsink. Since both boards feature the same 45W CPU, I presume the fanless design is meant for enclosures with ample internal airflow.

Up to 128GB of ECC-infused DDR4 memory can be added via quad memory slots, though that total only applies to registered DIMMs. The maximum for unregistered memory is 64GB. Expansion options include one PCIe x16 slot and one M.2 x4 slot, both of which are connected to Gen3 lanes in the SoC. The boards also have six Serial ATA ports, dual GigE jacks, and a mix of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. Integrated graphics is present, but output is limited to an old-school VGA port.

According to Japanese site Akiba PC Hotline, the boards should be available toward the end of April. The site quotes pricing in the ¥150,000-130,000 range, which works out to around $1091-1260 USD with a direct exchange-rate conversion. That price should include the CPU mounted on the motherboard.

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    • Andrew Lauritzen
    • 5 years ago

    I want one! My Steam proxy cache/file server machine needs an upgrade 🙂

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Integrated graphics is present, but output is limited to an old-school VGA port.[/quote<] Incidentally, the Xeon D parts do NOT include an IGP since, realistically, these boxes are going to be headless in real-world server installations. Very rudimentary graphics are provided by an on-board ASPEED AST2400 BMC, but other configurations may lack those graphics. Of course, you could slap a GPU into that PCIe slot if you really want something beefier. Link: [url<]http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-1540-sfp-10gbe-microserver-x552-nic/[/url<]

    • danazar
    • 5 years ago

    From what I’ve read, they’re both the exact same CPU and have the same official 45W TDP, but there’s a significant difference in actual thermal dissipation with the (on-board) 10G-E enabled. The SoC includes integrated 10G-E, and I believe I read that the model without 10G-E enabled has a 20W thermal envelope, which explains why a passive heat sink would be sufficient (assuming a chassis with adequate airflow). The onboard 10G-E contributes so much additional heat that if its enabled, passive cooling is insufficient even with proper chassis airflow and a direct fan is mandatory on the 10G-E enabled model.

    Edit: I got that idea in my head from this: [url<]http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-1540-power-performance-preview/[/url<]

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      Fascinating: We are now obsessed with the TDP of the network hardware instead of the main CPU…

        • Klimax
        • 5 years ago

        When NICs (both parts) don’t scale down that well and processes brutal number of frames per second, power requirements go seriously up.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    I just KNEW that someone could get 4 DIMM slots on a board.

      • Terra_Nocuus
      • 5 years ago

      Weird, I thought the mITX spec only allowed for 2 (but hey, more RAM is better!)

        • stdRaichu
        • 5 years ago

        Don’t think there was anything in the spec about it, you just need to have a [i<]very[/i<] small socket (or in this case, no socket) to fit four DIMM slots in. SM's previous mITX xeon boards for E3's managed to fit in four DIMM slots only by using SODIMMs.

        • Shambles
        • 5 years ago

        Most of the Avoton boards have 4 dimm slots.

    • maxxcool
    • 5 years ago

    $1091-1260 USD …….

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      It will definitely be less when it actually shows up in the U.S.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 5 years ago

        But don’t forget that includes the CPU, so it’s not really the worst thing.

          • the
          • 5 years ago

          I’m thinking $999 and $1199 USD respectively. Not bad for an 8 core CPU and motherboard, especially the one with dual 10 Gbit Ethernet.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            Yeah, I didn’t think it’d drop all that much, and your guesstimated prices seem reasonable.

      • pyro_
      • 5 years ago

      Over on serverthehome they were saying that the boards should run around 800-900 each

      [url<]http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-1500-platforms-supermicro-d-1540/[/url<]

    • vargis14
    • 5 years ago

    Hum out of curiosity wonder how this would do with the direct X 12 draw call tests or a OVERPRICED low powered gaming rig since you could use USB for sound etc. Plus it has plenty of sata ports.

    In most cases it seems to perform better then a E3-1230 v3 8M Cache, 3.30-3.80 GHz CPU.
    [url<]http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-1540-performance-comparison/[/url<]

      • stdRaichu
      • 5 years ago

      Remember that that’s comparing a 4-core 3.3GHz with an 8-core 2GHz. As you’d expect, the Xeon D loses on single-threaded tasks and romps to victory on multithreaded.

        • vargis14
        • 5 years ago

        Well it does not get beat by the E3 1230v3 CPU in all the single threaded tests… but it would still be interesting to see benchmarks from such a powerful CPU that only uses 45 watts 8 cores 16 threads especially against a AMD FX8350/70 CPU

          • chuckula
          • 5 years ago

          NO IT WOULDN’T!!
          — AMD Marketing

          A little more seriously… I’m pretty sure that this Zen chip we keep hearing about from AMD is actually intended to target this exact type of compact & high performance server system.

          I’d expect the 95watt flavors of Zen to be targeted at a somewhat higher-performance level than these Xeon D’s while having a similar physical form factor and level of integration with the lower-power Zens competing with these Xeon Ds (or maybe Skylake successor parts…)

      • albundy
      • 5 years ago

      i was thinking the same. seems way too expensive at the price per performance ratio, but nonetheless offers features not found on itx boards.

    • stdRaichu
    • 5 years ago

    Serve The Home managed to grab a pre-production sample of a bunch of the Xeon D kit; here’s their [url=http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-1540-power-performance-preview/<]previews of[/url<] [url=http://www.servethehome.com/intel-xeon-d-1540-power-performance-preview/<]the kit[/url<]. Performance ranks along the current Xeon E3 chips on a clock-for-clock basis but these are octa-cores rather than quads and power utilisation is very spartan (although this board is without the 10GbE). In short - it's the home server or high-density server platform to beat.

      • stdRaichu
      • 5 years ago

      As if by magic, STH just got their hands on a production box with the full 2GHz and 10GbE. Benches next week apparently.

      [url<]http://www.servethehome.com/exclusive-production-intel-xeon-d-1540/[/url<]

    • DrDominodog51
    • 5 years ago

    Looks good for VMs in a small form factor.

      • cmrcmk
      • 5 years ago

      Great point! This would make an awesome ESXi home lab.

    • shank15217
    • 5 years ago

    Nice, 10-Base-T 10GbE ports

      • bjm
      • 5 years ago

      Wow, yes, that is awesome.

      • vargis14
      • 5 years ago

      Still surprised we do not have 10Gbe ports on high end gaming motherboards yet.
      We have thunderbolt 2 with tons of bandwidth, why not 10Gbe ports on high end boards.

        • cmrcmk
        • 5 years ago

        Intel’s 10GBaseT NICs are still $400+ USD. Even if Asus/MSI/Gigabyte could wholesale them for half that, the premium would be way too much for anything but a halo product.

      • Waco
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, 10G copper is AWESOME. I’m very nearly to the point of wiring up my house with it once the switch/card costs drop a little lower. Not having to buy fiber is a huge win!

        • mesyn191
        • 5 years ago

        You can wire CAT6a now, run good ol’ 1Gb router/switches, and just upgrade to a 10Gbe router/switch when they get cheap. Its a very effective way to future-proof your home network for quite a long time.

        That is what I did. Had some guys run the wire and I did the termination myself to save money. Its not all that hard to time consuming to do. They gave me a big discount because CAT6a is shielded cable and they didn’t want to bother with it.

        Just make sure to run a ground wire from the patch panel to your house’s electrical box ground to act as a drain or else CAT6a won’t work. If your runs are short enough CAT6 or even CAT5e can do 10Gbe but you have to be careful how you install the cable! I used CAT6a on purpose because of prior bad experiences with CAT5e and CAT6 even on short (around 40′) runs.

        The actual CAT6a cable doesn’t cost too much. 1000′ boxes go for around $250 on Amazon. Its the keystones that will cost you significantly more. Even the suspiciously cheap ones typically are around $5 a pop. The good ones are around $7-10 a piece.

        A 16 port patch panel will run around $100. Higher density 24 port panels aren’t too much more but require you get the high density keystones. The ‘regular’ or at least cheap ones are too fat so you can’t fit 24 keystones on them.

          • curtisb
          • 5 years ago

          [quote<]or even CAT5e can do 10Gbe[/quote<] I wouldn't attempt 10Gig over 5e. As stated in another reply, you can only go 55m on CAT6, so it would be even less on CAT5e. I don't know how reliable a connection you would have, either. That's trying to push A LOT of data over a specification that was originally created just to support 1Gig. There is a huge difference in the cabling. The twists of the individual pairs are different from CAT5, 5e, 6, 6a, 7, etc. They often also include some form of separator between the pairs. This is all to reduce cross talk so the faster speeds work reliably. This can even be screwed up by using the wrong jack or wrong end, or terminating it incorrectly.

        • curtisb
        • 5 years ago

        Until you realize that 10G-Base-T switches use more power than their fiber counterparts…sometimes by a lot. We opted to go with the fiber model switches in our datacenter, and used 10 meter twinax direct attached SFP+ cables. Of course, you wouldn’t be wiring up a home this way, though.

        There are limitations for using twisted pair for 10GigE though. You can only go 55m with CAT6. To get the full 100m you have to use CAT6a or CAT7.

        I’m honestly surprised that Supermicro opted for 10G-Base-T for the ports.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Here are some painfully small board shots pulled from Super Micro's website[/quote<] Normally advertisers fake you out by making the product look bigger than it actually is, but in this case they made an exception.

      • UberGerbil
      • 5 years ago

      You clicking on those Male Enhancement ads again, Chuckula?

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