Supermicro SuperServer 5018A-FTN4 Rackmount Server

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Supermicro SuperServer 5018A-FTN4 Atom-Powered Rackmount Server

March 5, 2014 by Lawrence Lee

Supermicro SuperServer
5018A-FTN4 Barebones
1U Rackmount Server
Street Price

The term rackmount is used to describe equipment conforming to a standardized 19-inch wide enclosure system used to organize hardware in wide racks/frames. The standard is further divided into rack units (U) with a 1U system being 1.75 inches high, 2U being twice that, and so on and so forth. The footprint of such devices is quite large for home use but in larger scales, it's convenient for stacking multiple systems on top while knowing exactly how much room is available for expansion. It's how the majority of servers are arranged, with multiple racks of of machines with nothing but swappable hard drive bays at the front for easy storage access.

Headquartered in the USA, Supermicro is a giant in the technology sector, designing, producing, and selling servers, workstations, motherboards, and cases of every imaginable type and size. They recently sent us a sample of their SuperServer 5018A-FTN4 1U rackmount server, and while these types of systems don't generally fit within our purview, the hardware inside falls within our scope of interest. It gives us our first look at the latest generation of Intel's Atom family based on the 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture. The 8-core 20W Atom C2758 is built on the same technology as chips like the Z3470 found in the latest crop of Android and Windows tablets.

The Supermicro SuperServer 5018A-FTN4.

Specifications: Supermicro SuperServer 5018A-FTN4
(from the product web page)
Motherboard Super A1SRi-2758F
CPU Intel® Atom™ Processor C2758
CPU TDP 20W (8-Core)
FCBGA 1283
System Memory 4x 204-pin DDR3 SO-DIMM sockets
Supports up to 32GB DDR3 ECC memory (64GB according to the motherboard specifications)
1600/1333MHz ECC DDR3 SDRAM 72-bit, 204-pin gold-plated DIMMs
Memory Voltage: 1.5 V, 1.35 V
Error Detection: Corrects single-bit errors, Detects double-bit errors (using ECC memory)
SATA SoC SATA3 (6Gbps), SATA2 (3Gbps)
Network Controllers C2000 SoC I354 Quad GbE Controller (MACs)
Virtual Machine Device Queues reduce I/O overhead
Supports 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-T, RJ45 output
IPMI Support for Intelligent Platform Management Interface v.2.0
IPMI 2.0 with virtual media over LAN and KVM-over-LAN support
Aspeed AST 2400 BMC
Graphics BMC integrated Aspeed AST2400
USB 3.0 Renesas uPD720201
Input / Output 2x SATA3 (6Gbps) ports
4x SATA2 (3Gbps) ports
4x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
1x RJ45 Dedicated IPMI LAN port
4x USB 3.0 ports (2 rear, 1 Type A, 1 via header)
2x USB 2.0 ports (2 rear)
2x Fast UART 16550 Serial Port (1 rear, 1 via header)
1x SATA DOM (Disk on Module) power connector
1x VGA Port
1x PCI-E 2.0 x8 slot
Form Factor
1U Rackmount
Model CSE-505-203B
Dimensions (H x W x D) 1.7" x 17.2" x 9.8"
43mm x 437 mm x 249mm
Weight Net Weight: 8 lbs (3.62 kg)
Gross Weight: 12 lbs (5.44 kg)
Available Colors Black
Front Panel Buttons Power On/Off button
System Reset button
Front Panel LEDs Power LED
Hard drive activity LED
2x Network activity LEDs
System Overheat LED
Information LED (temp., status)
Expansion Slots 1x PCI-E 2.0 x8 slot via riser**
Drive Bays 2x 3.5" or 4x 2.5" internal SATA2 hard
drive bays (optional) *
Power Supply 200W Low Noise AC-DC power supply with PFC
80 Plus Gold Certified
Plug and Play (PnP)
DMI 2.3
ACPI 5.0
USB Keyboard support
SMBIOS 2.7.1
* 1x 3.5" or 2x 2.5" SATA2 with riser card
** Add-on card compatibility dependent on number of drives/brackets installed + height of card components

Despite using an embedded processor, there's nothing really second rate about SuperServer's A1SRi-2758F motherboard. It's equipped with both SATA 6 Gbps and 3 Gbps ports (six in total) but this might be overkill as there are only two drive bays which can hold either a 3.5 inch drive or dual 2.5 inch drives in each. USB 3.0 connectivity is provided by a Renasas controller, and an Intel controller offers four gigabit ethernet ports as well as IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) which allows administrators to manage the hardware directly, even if the operating system becomes unresponsive. It takes up to four ECC DDR3 SO-DIMMs up to 32GB or 64GB depending on whether you believe the server or motherboard specifications. Video of course, is not a priority, so a rudimentary Broadcom Aspeed AST2400 graphics adapter is utilized with only one VGA output (limited to 1600x900 resolution). PCI-E expansion is available through an 8x slot and an included riser. There's nothing special about the enclosure but the internal 200W power supply is 80 Plus Gold certified.

The box.

Shipping damage.

The package from Supermicro was well padded but it wasn't enough to prevent shipping damage to our sample. It appears that somehow the handle on the left side was pulled away from the rest of the chassis, bending the front panel outward.

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