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.

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.

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.