Review: Opteron for Servers

AMDs Opteron challenges Intel in the market segment of entry level and midrange servers. Newisys' dual-Opteron machine has to prove its capabilities against Xeon-based systems by Dell and IBM.

It was late, but not too late: Just before the Easter holidays a review system by Newisys hit the tecChannel labs - arriving fresh from Austin, Texas. Despite its 1U form factor the Newisys 2100 (codenamed "Kephri") can hardly be called a pizza box: Ranging almost 30 inches deep into the rack, this server will not fit into everybody's environment.

Party Pizza: The rack mounted Newisys 2100 features two Opteron CPUs in 1U, but at a length of almost 30 inches.
Party Pizza: The rack mounted Newisys 2100 features two Opteron CPUs in 1U, but at a length of almost 30 inches.

Apart from the two 1800 MHz CPUs, model numbered Opteron 244, our review system features 2 Gbytes of registered DDR-333-SDRAM and two 36 GByte hard drives with an Ultra320-SCSI interface, which can be configured as a mirror set. These drives are controlled by an LSI logic chip on the motherboard, which also features a graphics controller by Trident and two Gigabit Ethernet controllers by Broadcom. The system can be expanded through two PCI-X-Slots with dedicated bus systems. There is enough space for one full sized and one half sized card.

Neat and tidy: The interior of the Opteron system is cleanly arranged.
Neat and tidy: The interior of the Opteron system is cleanly arranged.

The management of the server is handled by a dedicated service processor, which, among other tasks, controls the numerous sensors for temperatures, voltages and fans the board is equipped with. This processor communicates over a dedicated Fast-Ethernet-Port via HTTPS or SSL. Thus, the administrator can comfortably shut down or reboot the system remotely.