Tyan Transport HX TN83B8251 B8251T83E8HR-2T-N GPU ServerMarch 26, 2021
Coming in with the entire alphabet in its model number is the Tyan Transport HX TN83B8251 B8251T83E8HR-2T-N server (SHOP HERE). Just to clarify, HX TN83B8251 is the general chassis, while B8251T83E8HR-2T-N is the rest of the model number. This GPU server supports two of the latest AMD EPYC 7003-series processors, with 16x drive bays in front. If you wanted to, you could also install dual AMD EPYC 7002-series CPUs. In addition, either 4x double width GPUs or up to 8x single width GPUs. It’s also PCIe 4.0 compatible.
First of all, we have to point out that Tyan does a wonderful job with their packaging. There are little foam cut outs for the heat sinks and the system comes with rack rails! A nice little cost savings. At 2U this is system also delivers powerful performance for AI and Deep Learning thanks to AMD’s EPYC 7003-series processors. These CPUs are capable of supporting up to 64 cores and 128 threads each. The Thermal Design Power (TDP) is limited on this chassis at up to 200W. Keep in mind high-end EPYC processors will support up to 280W of power! Still, even limited to 240W you can still install a processor with support for up to 64 cores and 128 threads. You also get 128 PCIe lanes, PCIe 4.0, and still more cores than you would get with a comparable dual processor Intel-based system.
Aside from the naming convention, which still lacks a certain simplicity, Tyan continues to knock out some very heavy-duty appliances. This one is actually a general-purpose server that can be used to support a number of business critical and high-performance computing workloads, depending on how it’s configured. It’s also a great scale-out option for cloud applications. Aesthetically, the system is fairly generic. You don’t get any fancy bezels to make it look all pretty. What it lacks in looks, it makes up for under the hood with a number of high-performance features. Is SPEED the new Black?
Down the center of the B8251T83E8HR-2T-N are 8x 3.5-inch storage bays. Above those bays are vents allowing more fresh air into the case to help reduce the heat given off by the dual EPYC CPUs and GPUs. The control panel on the right-side server ear offers tell-tale lights for LAN 1 and LAN 2, a warning LED, and an HDD LED. The color of the Warning LED provides health information for a number of different systems. And then you have the ON button, and the reset button. That last button is for the ID LED. In the other server ear, you get two Type-A USB 3.1 ports for at-chassis management.
The back of the B8251T83E8HR-2T-N has two 2200W redundant PSUs on the center bottom. On each side, there are four rows of PCIe slots. Above the PSUs are a few integrated ports, including a dedicated management port and two 10Gb/s Ethernet ports. Two more PCIe slots on top are for optional HBA Bus adapters or HD/RAID controller. That dedicated management port provides access to the integrated platform management interface (IPMI) through the AST2500 IKVM for local and remote management of the system. It is also compatible with Redfish API.
Inside the case you can see a clearly defined cooling structure with three main air flow paths. The motherboard occupies the center of the system and is cooled by three high-performance fans. Fan sensors and temperature sensors on the motherboard provide information for more granular control over the cooling. Two more air channels to either side of the motherboard are blocked off from the central air flow and have their fans set back a few inches to deliver cool air closer to those GPUs.
Down the center are the two CPUs, which in this case are AMD EPYC 7302 processors with 16 cores and 32 threads. Each operates at 3.0GHz and a 128MB cache. Each processor supports 8x memory module sockets, for 16x active memory modules total in a two-processor configuration. It will support up to 2TB using 3DS Registered DDR4 DIMMS or up to 4TB if you plan on using 3DS LRDIMMs. The modules are arranged for maximum airflow and there is even a plastic baffle funneling the air over the second processor and over the top PCIe slots.
To either side are the left and right GPU brackets, which again can support either 4x full-width GPUs with two on each side, or up to 8x single-width cards with four on each side. There are a few double-width GPUs to choose from on TYAN’s validated GPU list, which does get updated.
Currently you can choose from Nvidia’s Tesla A100, which is the new Ampere-based GPU from Nvidia offering 40GB of HBM2 memory with native support for ECC. There’s also the Tesla V100S or V100 32GB. The A100 card is billed as being 20-times faster than the 32GB volta-based V100. If you want a less expensive card, lower power consumption, and a single width form factor, then Nvidia’s Tesla T4 GPU is, so far, the only tested and approved single-width card. It’s also a great card for distributed environments. Additional cards include versions of the GeForce RTX 2080Ti 11GB from either PNY or Leadtek. You can also pop an Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000 into the B8251T83E8HR-2T-N, which offers superb ray tracing capabilities.
For those other two slots on top, you could have some superior network bandwidth for full advantage of the processing power. Maybe with a Broadcom or Melanox NIC supporting network connection speeds of up to 100GbE with one or two ports in a quad small form factor pluggable (QSFP+).
Which brings us back to the storage in that you can install a PCIe card with dual M.2 drives that can be RAIDed for either performance or redundancy. A discrete HD/RAID controller will also provide control over your storage plus support for SAS drives at 12Gbs.
The backplane on the B8251T83E8HR-2T-N supports up to 8x SATA or NVMe drives. AMD’s EPYC-series 7003 processors enable NVMe drives with a direct connection to the motherboard using appropriate cables and without all the switches or expanders. With the GPU and NVMe support, that’s probably why you only have the option for 8x NVMe storage devices, at least on the board. If you want to go with SAS drives you will need a discrete controller and there are a few to choose from.
The storage drive trays up front also feature tool-less installation and removal of 3.5-inch hard drives. There’s 4x screws if you want to use 2.5-inch drives. There’s also a Micro SD card slot on the system board for hypervisor support.
For general purpose computing to high-performance computing for AI and Deep Learning development, the Tyan Transport something, something, something. Kidding! The Tyan Transport HX TN83B8251 (not done yet) with specific chassis configuration of B8251T83E8HR-2T-N, DELIVERS. With support for third generation AMD EPYC series processors plus Nvidia’s AMPERE GPUs you will get what you seek in a 2U GPU server—and at a fairly reasonable price.