Gigabyte R182-M80 Server Review

May 3, 2023 0 By Lorena Mejia

The Gigabyte R182-M80 server has a unique storage configuration on the front with a combination of 4x SAS/SATA bays paired with 4x SATA/NVMe storage bays (SHOP HERE). It also features dual 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors supporting 32x DIMM slots for a quite large compliment of memory in this 1U chassis.

Gigabyte R182-M80 server

Dual 3rd gen Intel processors, up to 8TB of DDR4 memory, or more using Intel Optane PMem series 200, plus an interesting front hybrid storage condition. It still only has dual integrated 1GbE but that’s easily remedied using one of the PCIe slots or one of those OCP card slots if that’s not sufficient. And all in a 1U chassis! That’s pretty impressive actually! The Gigabyte R182-M80 Server is designed for use as a networking server delivering a shared Internet connection, use as a file server, for remote file access via VPN, a virtualization server or a host of other applications. Only you can decide that. We do like the color-coded drive bays too from both a functional and aesthetic standpoint.

Gigabyte R182-M80 front drive bays

On the bottom 4x 3.5-inch drive bays with blue drive tray release tabs support SAS or SATA drive formats. The 4x 2.5-inch drive trays on top with green tabs support 7mm SATA or NVMe drive options. So potentially two tiers of storage with larger capacity but slower SAS/SATA drive on the bottom and faster more resilient NVMe drives on top.

Gigabyte R182-M80 server front panel buttons

To the left of the storage bays a control panel has a USB 3.0 port and a few buttons and LEDs including; non-maskable interrupt button, reset button, ID button, and power button with LED. Next to that status LEDs for Lan 1 and Lan 2, Hard drive status, and general system health status.

On the back of the system, there are two redundant 1300W PSUs, with two externally accessible PCIe slots on top. Below that, a VGA port, mezzanine card slot for an optional OCP 2.0 card providing 2 to 4 network ports and various connection speed options. Next to that two USB 3.0 ports, Gb Ethernet Lan ports 1 and 2, a dedicated management port, system ID button with integrated LED and another optional OCP mezzanine card slot this time for an OCP 3.0 card.

Like the other OCP card this one too is optional. However, this one occupies a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for greater bandwidth, compared to the OCP 2.0 card, which occupies a PCIe 3.0 x8 slot. The OCP 3.0 card is also easer to access from the rear of the chassis, while the OCP 2.0 card is installed internally and you have to remove the cover and PCIe riser to access that one.   

Remote management of the Gigabyte R182-M80 Server is through the dedicated RJ45 management port on the back of the system. It enables access to the onboard ASPEED AST2500 baseboard management controller or BMC. Preloaded on the system is Gigabyte’s Management Console which leverages the MegaRAC SP-X firmware developed by AIM for a browser-based web interface to manage the system. The Gigabyte Management Console is for management of this single server or for a small server cluster. For more robust management features, there’s Gigabyte Server Manager or GSM. With GSM you load the GSM Agent on each platform to be managed and it accesses the Gigabyte Management Console in each system to provide status and server inventory. There are a few other tools to make managing the system a little easier for Administrators like the GSM Server, the command line interface, the plugin for VMware, and the mobile app for use with a tablet or smartphone.  

R182-M80 server DIMMs

Once we take the cover panel off, you can see the density of the system layout. Dual processors with 16x memory module slots, each, provide for 32x active slots with both CPUS installed. With 8x memory channels and 16x DIMM slots per socket, up to 2x DIMMs can be loaded per memory channel. The system supports Registered, Load Reduced, and 3DS versions of RDIMM and LRDIMM modules offering greater DRAM density on the module for a larger memory footprint. In fact, it’s those 3DS LRDIMM or RDIMM modules that will provide the highest capacity at up to 8TB using 256GB modules in all slots. However, the Gigabyte R182-M80 Server will also support Persistent Memory series 200 modules, commonly referred to as Intel Optane PMem 200. At least in Geek speech.

Up to 16x 512GB PMem series 200 modules can be installed in the system. Each PMem module must be paired with an RDIMM with a capacity of up to 128GB. With both PMem and RDIMMs, this system can support up to 10TB of memory. You may be asking yourself what are the advantages of PMem modules? PMem modules can be used in 3 different modes. App Direct which uses the memory modules as storage with persistence enabled. This allows for storage closer to the CPU that may be a little slower than standard memory modules but faster than up front NVMe or SAS/SATA options and also offers persistence. The other is Memory Mode. Memory Mode treats the memory as just that, memory—without persistence. So still a little slower but a large memory footprint. The last mode is Combo Mode utilizing a combination of the two options.

Gigabyte R182-M80 server processors

And again 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. With a configurable thermal design point of up to 270W, this system supports Platinum level CPUs with up to 40 physical cores and 80 virtual threads each. Gold CPUs are capped at up to 32 cores, while Silver Scalable processors will only provide up to 20 cores. Platinum and Gold also provide the fastest memory at up to 3200MHz compared to a top speed of 2933MHz supported on the Silver CPUs. Of course, memory speed is dependent on a few factors, not the least of which might be the supported speed of the memory modules itself. Speed differences can also result from two DIMMs per channel instead of just one DIMM per memory channel. 2666MHz system memory is also supported.  

There are three options for support of the NVMe drives. Either virtual RAID on CPU, also known as vROC, the GRAID SupremeRAID SR-1000 card or a Broadcom MegaRAID 9560-16i with Tri-mode. vROC offers a hybrid solution that uses a hardware key installed on the mother board and Intel’s integrated volume management device which is part of the CPU architecture to support non-volatile NVMe drives in an enterprise RAID. The GRAID SupremeRAID SR-1000 features a and is a hardware/software-based RAID alternative that uses a PCIe 3.0 interface to provide for up to 32x NVMe storage devices. It offers supported RAID levels of 0, 1, 5, 6, or 10. The benefits of using the SupremeRAID card is that it frees up CPU compute resources that might otherwise be relegated to managing your NVMe RAID. Last is the Broadcom MegaRAID Tri-mode controller, in this case the 9560-16i. It is PCIe 4.0 compatible with a RAID on Chip design and can support up to 240 SAS/SATA or 24x NVMe devices. It offers a cacheVault flash cache protection plus performance RAID capabilities for 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and 60 or “Just a bunch of Disks” JBOD at RAIDs 0, 1, and 10 for software defined storage environments.

Gigabyte R182-M80 server 32x active DIMM slots

For a small platform, The Gigabyte R182-M80 rack server delivers some impressive performance. I mean come on… dual Intel Xeon Scalable processors, tiered storage with options for SAS, SATA and NVMe storage devices, plus up to 10TB of memory if using PMem with RDIMMs. Not bad… For networking applications, this is a great little unit at 1U that offers quite powerful performance and would be a nice addition to your network.

If you are looking for this server, check out IT Creations. We are a distributor of Gigabyte and can get one of these little gems for you, or perhaps something else. There are a lot of Gigabyte servers and that’s not the only brand we carry. Contact us today!