Boston Quattro 1264-T01 review

This multi-node server packs a massive rack processing density and at a shade under £10,000, it's a highly cost effective alternative to blade servers.

Price
£9,995

Blade servers usually provide the best processing density for rack cabinets but are increasingly coming under attack from multi-node servers. The new Quattro 1264-T01 highlights this as for less than ten grand it delivers a record breaking processor count.

The system is based on Supermicro's Twin rack server system, which combines four server nodes in a low profile 2U rack chassis. The basic system isn't new as it was introduced a few years ago but Boston has brought it bang up to date with Intel's latest Xeon E5-2600 processors

The system on review includes four nodes each equipped with a pair of 2.2GHz E5-2660 Xeons. These are the 8-core variants so each node has 16 physical and 32 logical cores. The system count goes up to 128 logical cores allowing 21 systems to cram a mind boggling 2,688 cores into a standard 42U rack cabinet.

The nodes function as independent hot-swap servers and can be easily removed from the rear by releasing small locking tabs and pulling them out using the grab rings on each side. Each node has its own monitor, network, serial and USB ports and even squeezes in a dedicated remote management port.

Boston Quattro 1264-T01 - Rear

The Quattro presents its four server nodes at the rear and each is hot-swappable so can be removed without affecting the others

Node specifications

The nodes are fitted with Supermicro's proprietary X9DRT-HF motherboards which have been designed to maximise air flow and avoid hotspots. The processors are mounted with chunky passive heatsinks and flanked down the sides by four groups of two DIMM slots.

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Each node includes 32GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RDIMM memory which can be expanded to a maximum of 256GB. If you want more then consider specifying the X9DRT-HF+ boards which have twice the number of DIMM slots.

There's room to expand as the nodes have a small riser with a 16X PCI-e Gen3 slot that accepts a half-height, half-width card. Supermicro also offers two variants of this board that have an embedded Mellanox InfiniBand CX4 port for high speed server clustering links.

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