Gigabyte R182-Z93 Rack Server Review

June 15, 2022 0 By Lorena Mejia

The Gigabyte R182-Z93 server supports dual AMD EPYC 7002 or 7003 series processors with Rev A00 and has a large memory footprint with 32x DIMM slots on the system board. It has 10x 2.5-inch drive bays up front for NVMe storage and is used for general networking applications. 

At only 1U, the Gigabyte R182-Z93 can easily slide into one of those empty slots in your server enclosure for extra compute and fast resilient storage with NVMe drives up front. By the way, there is a long list of these R182 rack servers in Gigabyte’s line up, including the Gigabyte R182-NA0 server we did a few weeks ago. Very similar to this one but with support for dual 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and you can see that video here. Both designed for networking applications, including File storage, hosting an Intranet, file access via VPN, use as a shared Internet connection or as a virtual server.

Should we talk about the naming of the systems? No, let’s move on. One thing we will point out is that the AMD EPYC based options have a Z in the chassis name, like this one! Nuf said. On the front of the chassis the system supports all NVMe U.2 drive bays indicated by the green drive tray release levers. And they can be RAIDed together, but we’ll get to that soon! There is also a small control panel on the right with a few buttons for Reset, non-maskable interrupt, power, and an ID button. Then a few LEDs for general system status, plus LAN1 and LAN2. 

On the back of the Gigabyte R182-Z93, starting on the left, there are dual, redundant 80 PLUS Platinum 1200W PSUs. 2x PCIe card slots on top, and below that, a VGA port 2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x 1Gb Ethernet ports with a dedicated 1Gb LAN management port beside those. The ID button on the ID LED.

The other two covers are for an Optional OCP 2.0 mezzanine card slot on the left and an optional OCP 3.0 card slot on the right. Both can provide additional network connection options and link speeds with the OCP 3.0 mezzanine card providing better performance through the PCIe 4.0 connection. 

Management of the system really depends on what you want, just this single server node or multiple servers. If it’s the former, then Gigabyte offers the Management Console. A browser-based, intuitive and easy to use graphical user interface with a dashboard overview, temperature, system inventory, logs and reports, power controls and a few other features. The gigabyte Server Management or GSM is for multiple server remote management and both are free-of-charge. There are several other subprograms, including the GSM Agent, which you will have to install on all the servers to access all of the same features on the Management Console plus a few more utilities specific to running a more complex deployment. So, you get Global remote monitoring and management plus a few other features like GSM mobile for remote management via a tablet or Smart phone, either Android or iOS. 

Lifting the cover on this system, you can see it’s really packed in there! Each of the two CPUs have 16 memory module slots for a total of 32 active memory slots with both processors installed. Supported memory includes Registered and Load Reduced memory modules for both 2nd and 3rd generation processors. However, with the 3rd Gen processors you get the 3DS version RDIMMs and LRDIMMs which have a stacked die for the DRAM and with stacking comes greater density. That greater density at up to 256GB per memory module is supported by those 3rd Gen processors with support for up to 4TB per socket for 8TB total. With 2nd gen processors you get half that for a maximum memory capacity of only 4TB with both CPUs supporting 2TB of memory.

In addition to the increase in supported memory, you also get a performance increase of 19%! Both still support 8 memory channels, and 8x to 64x physical cores and 128 virtual threads each CPU. In a two-processor configuration, you also get up to 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes. The configurable thermal design power of the CPUs are limited to 240W with provisional support for 280W CPUs. 

And about those PCIe lanes, this chassis offers 2x PCIe Gen 4.0 x16 expansion slots in two risers. There are also two slots for expanded network connections with either an OCP 2.0 or OCP 3.0 mezzanine card. The 2.0 uses a x8 PCIe Gen3 mezzanine connection and the 3.0 version is supported in a x16 PCIe Gen 4.0 mezzanine slot. Both are optional, if you have other plans for the PCIe slots instead of installing a highspeed I/O controller. All the NVMe drives up front will plug directly into the board and be recognized through BIOS. However, you could also install an optional GRAID SupremeRAID SR-1000 NVMe/NVMe-oF RAID Card in one of those PCIe slots. 

That’s right, RAID your NVMe drives with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, or 10. It works by installing a virtual NVMe controller on the OS in conjunction with the PCIe hardware outfitted with a high-performance AI Processor.

There is also a PCIe gen 4.0 x4 port on the system board for an M.2 drive which can be used to support the OS. Although, if you do add the M.2, CPUs are limited to only 225W.

The Gigabyte R182-Z93 chassis has a lot of siblings with each offering a slightly different set of components. Remember, if you are going with a 1U networking server, then there are 8 other choices in this lineup. Check out the R182-NA0 server based on the Gen3 Intel Xeon Scalable processors we did a few weeks back.