The single-socket server used to be the lowest end of servers, but potent new chips are raising its value.
For the longest time, single-socket servers were the bottom of the server hierarchy, using “server” chips weaker than what you might find on a desktop. There were even servers that used the Atom processor. These were departmental servers doing the most menial of tasks, like file and print serving.
But that’s changing. Driven by high-core-count processors, and no doubt a desire to reduce costs, single-socket servers are getting some hefty workloads. AMD has led the way on this with its 32-core and 64-core EPYC processors that can do more with one chip than what a five-year-old dual-socket server can do. Dell has the servers available.
In the process you shave off some cost. Server processors run in the thousands of dollars, and a dual-socket motherboard costs more than a single-socket board, so it’s a win all around.
Supermicro’s new single-socket servers aren’t quite on the level of a 64-core server, but the new servers can do some decent work. The new systems are based on the new Intel Xeon E-2300, a low-end chip, and 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and they’re meant for a wide range of vertical markets.
For example, with the Intel Xeon Scalable processor, the 6U SuperBlade is targeted at high-density, multi-node applications, while the SuperServer E403 wall-mount edge server is aimed at telco environments.
The single-socket systems based pm the Intel Xeon Scalable processor support up to 16 DIMM slots, enabling up to 4TB of DRAM or 6TB of DRAM plus Intel’s Optane Persistent Memory. That’s a hefty memory footprint for a single-socket processor. The Xeon E-2300 systems are a little more modest: up to 8 cores and 128GB of DDR4 memory at 95 watts TDP.