Gigabyte R182-NA0 Server ReviewApril 14, 2022
The Gigabyte R182-NA0 Server rev.100 is a 1U Gigabyte networking rack server. Since there’s a rev.100 on this system, we can be pretty sure there will be an update to the processor at some point, but let’s not dwell on that. In its current configuration, this server supports dual 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors for improved memory capacity, improved throughput, and a hybrid backplane for support of SAS, SATA, and NVMe drive formats.
Intel’s 3rd generation Xeon Scalable processor delivers significantly more performance than the 1st and second-generation CPUs. For starters, Platinum processors will deliver up to 40 physical cores and 80 virtual threads. Although, that’s only at the Platinum level. Gold tops out at up to 32 cores, and Silver at up to 20 cores. They also deliver PCIe 4.0 for that improved throughput we mentioned. And more PCIe lanes too, with 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes instead of 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes on previous generations. This particular platform is targeted at networking applications, like file storage, hosting an intranet, file access via VPN, for use as a shared internet connection, or as a virtual server.
There are 8x other R182 chassis configurations in this family all 1U with half offering 7003-series AMD EPYC processors and the other half with 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors and supporting different storage options and I/O connection speeds among other things.
As a 1U server, the Gigabyte R182-NA0 does have a low profile, with 10x 2.5-inch drive bays on the front of the chassis. Those bays can support either SAS, SATA or NVMe U.2 4.0 drives, either hard disk drives or solid state. A small control panel on the left-hand side features a few tell-tale lights, plus a reset button. There’s also a Non-Maskable Interrupt button, On/Off button, and an ID button. The LEDs just below the buttons indicate HDD status, System status, plus LAN one and LAN two status. The LEDs change color or blink to indicate the health status of specific components.
On the back of the Gigabyte R182-NA0, starting on the left, there are two 1+1 redundant 1300W (240V) 80 Plus Platinum PSUs. The PSUs are more power efficient too, thanks to Gigabyte’s Cold Redundancy power management. On servers with 1+1 redundant PSUs, Cold Redundancy will automatically place one of the PSUs in standby mode if the system load falls below 40%.
Beyond the PSUs there are two PCIe slots on top, a VGA port, a Mezzanine card slot, 2x USB 3.0, 2x 1GbE LAN ports, a dedicated management port, ID button with LED, and another OCP card slot. The covers on the OCP mezzanine card slots look different because one is for an OCP 2.0 card with a PCIe Gen 3 x8 bandwidth supported by the CPU_1. This card is not as easily removed as an OCP 3.0 Mezzanine card which occupies that other slot. The OCP 3.0 mezzanine slot features a PCIe Gen4 x16 connection and is supported by CPU_0. The new OCP 3.0 card is the next generation of add on cards and can be removed without opening the server or using any tools, just a few thumb screws and then just slot it in. Whereas that OCP2.0 card you will need to open the case.
That dedicated mLAN port on the back of the Gigabyte R182-NA0 provides access to the Aspeed AST2500 baseboard management controller module located on the system board. It utilizes and AMI MegaRAC SP-X controller. The Gigabyte Management Console comes pre-installed for managing single server or small cluster of servers and uses an HTML5 graphics user interface.
Gigabyte Server Management or GSM is another animal entirely and enables management of large clusters of servers in real time simultaneously. It enables remote monitoring and management. You will need to install the GSM agent on each server to retrieve information. GSM complies with integrated platform management interface (IPMI) 2.0 and Redfish standards so you can interact with other third-party applications. There’s even a mobile app! Both applications are free of charge with no licensing fees. Now that’s something you won’t find with some of the other manufacturers.
Inside the case, it looks very dense. Starting at the front of the Gigabyte R182-NA0 there’s the hard drive cage connecting to the hybrid backplane and then a row of 8 fans. The fans feature automatic fan speed controls to reduce individual fan speeds based on the temperature readings of sensors placed at key locations around the system board. You can even create custom fan speed profiles using the Gigabyte Management Console! Beyond that, there are the CPUs and memory modules. Fan ducts right on top of the CPUs with heatsinks ensuring they benefit from a constant stream of cooler air. The processors in this case are where the magic happens as we have dual intel Xeon Scalable processors from the 3rd generation, code name Ice Lake. We hate saying “new” because that never ages well in these reviews, so let’s just move on.
These 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors offer up to 40 cores at the Platinum level, 32 cores at the Gold, and up to 20 cores using Silver 3rd Gen Scalable processors. Double those values for the number of virtual cores produced using Intel’s hyper-threading technology.
This processor family also supports PCIe 4.0 for twice the throughput compared to PCIe 3.0, not to mention up to 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes. In a 2x processor configuration, like we have here, there’s up to 128 PCIe lanes. It’s the PCIe 4.0 aspect that provides the improved throughput for I/O and storage for better overall performance. More lanes and twice the bandwidth, definitely a winning combination.
To either side of the dual CPUs, there are 32 memory module slots that can be outfitted with either standard registered or load-reduced DIMMS, which will provide up to 4TB at maximum capacity using 128GB memory modules in all slots. If you plan on using 3DS RDIMMs or LRDIMM modules you can double that capacity, for up to 8TB of memory using 256GB memory modules in all slots. Memory speeds of up to 3200GHz are supported but 2933MHz and 2666Mhz module speeds are also supported.
The drives connect to a hybrid backplane capable of supporting SAS, SATA and Gen4 NVMe drive options in all bays. Although, you will still need a SAS controller if using the SAS option.
Intel Virtual RAID On CPU (VROC) is an enterprise RAID solution for SSD NVMe drives. It offers RAID of 0, 1, 5, and 10 using the integrated Volume Management Device, VMD, inside the CPU PCIe root complex. This allows for a direct connection to the CPU for superfast storage potential. It’s also a low-cost alternative to a standard hardware Host Bus adapter, plus offers better power consumption, and performance with that direct connection to the CPU. There may not be any M.2 slots on the system board, but there are two slots for SATA DOM or Disk on Module that can be used to support the OS in mirror mode. Options include 64GB and 128GB.
As mentioned, there are two PCIe risers, each supporting a x16 riser slot that can be used to support a number of options for RAID cards, Host Bus Adapters and high-performance I/O. For I/O you can choose from 10Gb, 25Gb, 40Gb, 100Gb and 200Gb Ethernet options. And then there’s the optional OCP cards, which can provide even more I/O options that won’t take away any of those PCIe slots.
Although, that PCIe Gen3 mezzanine card slot supporting the OCP 2 card will require removal of the Riser 2, and securing it with a few screws. The OCP 3 card is much easier to deal with and you don’t even have to remove the cover to replace or upgrade that one. It just slides in once you unscrew what they said in the service manual were thumb screws, but it came with regular screws.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot to show and tell for the Gigabyte R182-NA0. That said, it does have some impressive features and at only 1U and with 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. This server can be a more-than-worthy addition to your network! As mentioned, there are several chassis in the R182 family, each of which has a separate SKU, but that’s just the way Gigabyte does it.
If you’re interested in this server, or maybe a different one, give IT Creations a call, or check out all the other systems and hardware on our website, here.