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TYAN Transport GX28 B2880T1S (1U AMD Opteron Barebone)
By Vijay Anand
Category : WorkStations/Servers
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 7th November, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


In areas where exceptional computing power is required such as massive database processing, video or 3D rendering fit for the media, arrays of servers are the only feasible solution to meet such demanding tasks in a reasonable time frame. Depending on the server type and build of each system, a server farm can quickly gobble up floor space. Rackmount servers are generally preferred in compute intensive environments because of the stackable nature of each system. The rack is basically a tall sturdy frame (or skeleton) while the actual building blocks are the servers that are stacked on top of each other – a crucial element for saving precious floor space.

There are two categories of servers that can be mounted in these racks: rack capable servers and rack designed servers. Rack capable servers look similar to traditional stand-alone tower systems, but their dimensions and fittings allow them to also double as rack-friendly systems just by switching their orientation. Rack designed servers have very much reduced chassis height and are usually deep and wide so as to make enough space for other components. Their reduced heights allow many of such rack-designed servers to be installed and thus, maximizing the rack height. The standard terminology used to describe rackmount server size, or more specifically, height, is in terms of 1U, 2U, 4U, etc. where each U corresponds to a unit height of roughly 1.75-inch.

Rackmount servers in the 1U form factor are considered to be a recent entry in comparison to 2U and 4U form factors, but they have made a strong impact in the server market due to the fact that two 1U servers can be installed in the space of a single 2U server. Therefore in scenarios where computing power supercedes storage and feature expansion needs, 1U servers are very much sought after. Saving on a few inches and trading off expandability may not sound like much but if you think in the scale of server farms, the savings in space is phenomenal (although it won't be able to beat blade servers). For example, if you require 300 2U rackmount servers and have 30U height racks, you’ll need 20 of these racks. If a 1U server of equivalent computing power is available to replace each 2U server, then you’ll need 10 of these racks and that's a 50% savings in floor space. Not to mention that each rack will have the capability to store double the server quantity.

So much for the primer portion, so let's take a look at a 1U rackmount server solution from none other than TYAN who specializes in workstation/server solutions and have carved themselves a solid reputation for their high-end motherboards. The AMD Opteron series of processors launched this year are prime candidates for high performance 32-bit and 64-bit computing although 64-bit AMD64 applications are still rather limited right now. TYAN already had AMD Opteron 2-way motherboards some time back and offering them as a rackmount barebone was a natural extension given the services and solutions that they offer. With us today is the TYAN Transport GX28 B2880T1S, a 2-way SMP AMD Opteron 1U rackmount server. The table below details its complete specifications and we will focus on different aspects of this server in the following pages.

TYAN Transport GX28 B2880T1S Technical Specifications
Chassis Specifications
  • Form Factor: Industry 19" 1U rack-mountable chassis
  • Height : 43mm (1.7")
  • Width : 432mm (17")
  • Depth : 705mm (27.8")
  • Accepts Extended-ATX motherboards.
System Board
  • TYAN Thunder K8S S2880UGNR
    • AMD-8111 HyperTransport I/O Hub
    • AMD-8131 HyperTransport PCI-X Tunnel
Processor Support
  • 2 x mPGA 940-pin ZIF Sockets for dual AMD Opteron processors
    • Supports AMD Opteron 240/242/244
Memory Support
  • Memory controller integrated within AMD Opteron
  • 6 x 184-pin DDR Memory slots
  • Supports up to 12GB of Registered DDR200/266/333 RAM
  • Only Registered ECC memory modules supported
Storage Subsystem
  • 4 x Hot-Swappable 1" HDD drive bays (utilizing SCA Backplane with 4 SCSI ports)
  • Option for 1 x slim-line CD-ROM drive
  • Option for 1 x slim-line FDD
Storage SubsytemControllers
  • Integrated LSI 53C1030 U320 SCSI controller
    • Dual-channel U320 SCSI
    • Integrated Zero-Channel RAID (ZCR) support
    • Connected to PCI-X Bridge
  • Integrated Promise PDC20378 SATA/IDE RAID controller
    • Supports 2 x SATA HDD
    • Supports 2 x IDE ATA-133 HDD
    • RAID 0, 1, 0+1
  • Integrated IDE Controller
    • Supports 4 x EIDE devices, up to ATA-133
    • Connected to AMD-8111 hub
Graphics Subsystem
  • Integrated ATI RAGE XL 8MB PCI graphics controller
  • Integrated Broadcom BCM5704C dual-channel Gigabit Ethernet controller
    • With teaming features
    • Dual RJ-45 LAN connectors with LEDs
    • Connected to PCI-X Bridge
I/O Expansion Slot
  • 1 x PCI-X expansion slot on riser card
    • PCI-X and legacy PCI 2.2 compliant
    • Supports 133/100/66MHz transfers in PCI-X mode. 
    • Supports 66/33MHz transfers in PCI mode.
External I/O ports
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x COM (serial) port
  • 1 x VGA port
  • 2 x RJ-45 ports
  • 4 x USB ports (2 x Rear + 2 x Forward)
Chasis Cooling
  • 2 x CoolJag JAC083C Copper heastink with skived fins for AMD Opteron processors
  • Specially designed CPU fan duct
  • 3 x 9cm blowers with tachometer monitoring
  • 1 x 40x28mm ball bearing exhaust fan  
  • 7 x 3-pin fan headers with tachometer monitoring
  • EMACS P1M-6400P, 400W EPS PSU (with active PFC)
  • Input Rating switch full range 95V-264V, 47-63Hz
  • 3 x 40mm fans built into PSU
Other Features
  • Optional: Intelligent Platform Management via TYAN Server Management Daughter cards

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