Nice Canadian gives tour of world's first 16 core Intel Xeon D-1587 Supermicro SuperServer Mini-Tower

Posted by Paul Braren on May 18 2016 (updated on Jul 1 2016) in
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    This article will be updated, with additions below this original article, where you'll also find the new video, and a chance to cast your vote for your favorite Xeon D-1500 system: Amazing, Insane, or Ludicrous, what'll it be? Please also consider voting for your favorite virtualization sites.

    To my delight and surprise, yesterday, I received a rather important comment from a TinkerTry visitor. This considerate Canadian had been following Intel's Xeon D-1500 product line closely, and read about a 16 core notion I dropped on my readers back on February 23 2016. The wild idea was to put the pieces together for a 16 core Mini-Tower, since apparently Supermicro had chosen to neglect the beloved CSE-721TQ-250B Mini-Tower form factor during their Xeon D announcement earlier this year. He took the idea and ran with it, and I'm sure glad he did. The more folks on board with growing the Mini-Tower product line, the better for all of us. Hopefully, all the new Supermicro Xeon Ds join their Xeon D-1541 ancestor on the VMware Compatibility Guide soon!

    Yep, this particularly tenacious Wiredzone customer waited (somewhat) patiently since he first approached Wiredzone in February. Even the the $2100+ USD price tag for the X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F motherboard alone was no deterrent for him. His heavily multi-threaded virtualization workload demands many CPU cores. Perfect!

    Remember, it's a System-on-a-Chip design, so that hefty price includes the motherboard with permanently attached CPU, CPU heatsink and fan, and 4 onboard NICs, in addition to the 5th IPMI/BMC management NIC. Not so hefty once you realize there's nothing else like this in the market right now, or any time in the near future. At least not anything you can run quietly and efficiently enough to be comfortable living near, even when left running 24x7.

    Storage and GPU

    All 950 PRO models currently available at Amazon.

    His conditions require him to be in the same room with this highly capable SuperServer, stuffed full of the best components, including 4 7200rpm 3.5" drives, 2 Samsung 2.5" SSDs, and a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe drive, which is also available on Amazon here. Note, a 1TB version will be joining the popular 950 PRO family soon!

    Most virtualization folks won't need or want a GPU, but for those who need that ability to bless a VM with a dedicated VT-d pass thru GPU, the VisionTek 7750 3x4K card works flawlessly, is rated at 65 watts max, and is still a great choice, explained here, even though the fan needs a bit of quieting. Rob chose to go for and even quieter and newer 45 watt NVIDIA K1200 Quadro triple 4K GPU card, which I've been testing as well, with some success. We're still working on that. Together.

    Much like I had been working to convince Supermicro that making such a "boutique" product for the enthusiast would be a fantastic idea, he didn't give up easily either, and had the $ to back his vision. It can only be good for other voices out there to give Supermicro an earful about expanding their Mini-Tower product line SKUs.

    Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 Product Family - sibling comparisons

    Compared to the Xeon D-1541 at 2.1/2.7GHz, the Xeon D-1587 runs at 1.7/2.3GHz, but has twice the Level 3 cache, and runs at 65 watts. See all the details on the most beefy 4, 8, 12, and 16 core Xeon D-1500 series of CPUs at Intel ARK here:

    So with a bit of help from kind folks in pre-sales at Wiredzone, along with getting past a bit of skepticism from Supermicro support, who were convinced to build a similar prototype in house. It worked great of course, and ran cool enough for their satisfaction. Next, with a finalized build list, the order was placed. Soon enough, Canada's plans were fully realized, taking delivery on Friday, May 13th. All the parts were assembled. The world's first 16 core Xeon D-1587 was born.

    Think SYS-5028D-TN4T SuperServer on steroids


    No wasted parts, no parts set aside, these are the same components as the SYS-5028D-TN4T. The only difference is that instead of the usual X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard, it's powered by a X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F motherboard.

    Xeon D-1587 Mini-Tower Build List

    Here's the build list featured in the below video:

    Total Cost of build above is $3,125.21 USD.

    I've put together the Wiredzone product page links for each of the items. While Wiredzone won't (yet?) be assembling such a beast piecemeal for you, it's rather straight forward to create one of these yourself. I hope to get my hands on something similar someday myself. All parts listed are 100% Supermicro:

    1. X10SDV-16C+-TLN4F Motherboard Mini-ITX SoC Xeon D-1587 16-Core, FCBGA 1667, 24MB
    2. MCP-310-00076-0B Mylar Air Shroud for SYS-5028 Series Servers - RoHS / REACH
    3. MEM-DR432L-SL01-ER24 32GB DDR4 PC4-19200 (2400MHz) 288-pin RDIMM ECC Registered
    4. CBL-0157L-01 8pin-to-8pin Cable for SGPIO
    5. CBL-0473L 8.27in 30AWG SATA S-S Cable
    6. CBL-0483L 11.4in 30AWG SATA S-S Cable
    7. CSE-721TQ-250B Mini-Tower Chassis w/ 250W Power Supply


    Overview, with discussion, recorded live.
    Soon, hopefully by May 19, 2016, I'll complete the finishing touches on preparing the video for you, recorded live, during our casual conversation and demonstration. [it's ready, watch below!]
    Admittedly, the video isn't of optimal quality, due to Skype screen-sharing limitations. But our only chance to record was tonight, or wait until mid next week. So I took the first opportunity I got, as he graciously gave an hour of his time to me, and to you. I may have future opportunities for a bit more tinkering, at a later date.

    One hour of detailed BIOS feature overview, ESXi 6.0U2 boot, fan/cooling discussion, Samsung 950 PRO M.2 NVMe, and a look at ESXi CIM data/hardware health, along with booting a Windows VM.
    Sneek peek at the video. Yep, that's a Mac with OS X. Safari runs VMware's new HTML5 ESXi Host Client just fine!

    I'm also a bit rushed myself, with travel much of next week, but I really wanted to be sure this article made it into my 11pm EDT Wednesdays TinkerTry Weekly newsletter too. This way, my many subscribers will have the heads-up that this exciting exclusive sneak peek video is coming very soon!

    Note that I'm trying to get a 2.1GHz Xeon D-1567 produced, right in that sweet spot between the 2.1GHz Xeon D-1541, and the 16 core 1.7GHz Xeon D-1587. My heartbreak over the lack of such an offering during the February announcements wasn't exactly a secret.

    Patrick Kennedy said it best, over at Serve The Home here:

    The D-1567 looks extremely interesting with 12 cores and 24 threads but a higher clock speed. It may be the top option for someone looking for a low power high core count compact desktop replacement.

    Stay tuned!

    May 19 2016 Update 1

    Video editing still in progress and under review.
    Meanwhile, note the comparative estimated costs, should these bundles become a fully assembled reality one day:

    Estimated pricing (based on May 2016 prices)

    1. $2134 USD Xeon D-1541 08 cores "Amazing"
      High performance workstation/virtualization, many VMs and/or threads.
      Fully assembled and tested, just add storage. Available today as Bundle 2.
    2. $2750 USD Xeon D-1567 12 cores "Insane" (estimated price)
      Higher performance workstation/virtualization, many more VMs and/or threads. Assembled.
      Fully assembled and tested, just add storage. Not currently available anywhere.
    3. $3250 USD Xeon D-1587 16 cores "Ludicrous" (estimated price)
      Highest performance virtualization, very many VMs and/or threads. Assembled.
      Fully assembled and tested, just add storage. Not currently available assembled.

    Here's more specs and details:

    ProcPriceMfg Part#Mobo Part#DescriptionRAM
    1Xeon D-1541
    45 watt
    8 Core
    SYS-5028D-TN4TX10SDV-TLN4FSystem ordered from Wiredzone, just add storage.64GB of 128GB max
    2Xeon D-1567
    65 watt
    $2,750 (est.)
    12 Core
    (doesn't exist, yet)
    System ordered from Wiredzone, just add storage.64GB of 128GB max
    3Xeon D-1587
    65 watt
    $3,250 (est.)
    16 Core
    (just arrived in May)
    System ordered from Wiredzone, just add storage.64GB of 128GB max


    Vote for which Xeon D you'd like to see.

    Which would you buy, or which did you already buy, for your home office or lab or business? Let us know, by dropping a comment below, making sure to specify Xeon D-1541, Xeon D-1567, or Xeon D-1587, and optionally your reasons why.

    Alternatively, cast your vote right here, quickly and easily, no login required!

    The results could help product planners shape the future of SuperServers Mini-Towers that Supermicro makes available.

    Meanwhile, back to the here and now, also let us know if you'd like to see a new bundle where Wiredzone does the assembly and burn-in test work for you at a reasonable cost, albeit with individual component warranty, rather than the complete SYS-5028D-TN4T system warranty.

    Thank you!

    SR-IOV is shipped enabled by default, on all Supermicro Xeon D-1500 motherboards.

    Jul 01 2016 Update

    There's now a 1U version of this 16 core beast sold as a system, seen in this rather positive review:

    You may also be interested in the results of the SuperServer Preference survey:

    See also at TinkerTry

    Here's some of the articles mentioned during the video.

    See also

    Disclosure, LLC is an independent site, has no sponsored posts, and all ads are run through 3rd party BuySellAds. All equipment and software is purchased for long-term productive use, and any rare exceptions are noted.

    TinkerTry's relationship with Wiredzone is similar to the Amazon Associates program, where a very modest commission is earned from each referral sale from TinkerTry's SuperServer order page, or the links above. I chose this trusted authorized reseller for its low cost and customer service, and a mutual desire to help folks worldwide, including a new way to reduce EU shipping costs. Why? Such commissions help reduce TinkerTry's reliance on advertisers, while building a community around the Xeon D-1500 chipset that strikes a great balance between efficiency and capability.

    I personally traveled to Wiredzone near Miami FL to see the assembly room first-hand, and to Supermicro HQ in San Jose CA to share ideas and give direct product feedback.

    I'm a full time IT Pro for the past 23 years. I've worked with IBM, HP, Dell, and Lenovo servers for hands-on implementation work across the US. Working from home lately, I'm quite enjoying finally owning a lower-cost Supermicro solution that I can recommend to IT Pro colleagues, knowing it will "just work." That's right, no tinkering required.