Supermicro SuperServer 7046GT-TRF; The Ultimate Workstation

Recently I had the opportunity to spend 2 weeks evaluating this system. It arrived at my home in what can only be described as “one huge box” that weighed in at 82lbs and was 27”x13”x38” in size.

After getting over the shock of the size of the box and opening it you start to understand why it needs this size shipping box. The case is in a fitted foam container protected in every direction and the case itself is far from small. In fact it’s the deepest case I’ve run into ever.

Case dimensions are 18.25”Hx7”Wx27.25”D
Inside the box are the following:
Case with preinstalled SM X8DTG-QF motherboard
2 boxes with heat sinks inside

A box with 2 power cords, the cdr with all the drivers, a bag of asst screws and 2 keys for the lockable front faceplate.

Next I started to take a close look at the construction and the best way to describe this is that Supermicro seemed to have told a group of engineer’s to “make the best possible and use nothing but the best in parts. Everything is top end on this from the steel used to make the case to the fans to the excellent job done with the wiring and layout.

Panels fit perfectly and the black painted finish is excellent quality. Behind the drives and before the motherboard area is a bracket with 4-92x38mm San Ace fans and at the back of the case are 2-80x38mm exhaust fans. All six of these are hot swappable and with a simple push of the lever they come out easily.

Behind the drive area is a SAS/SATA backplane with SES2 support for up to 6 hot swappable drives in removable cages. There are also two 5.25” bays and one 3.5” fixed bay.

Then we come to the motherboard and what an incredible piece this is.
It’s a Supermicro X8DTG-QF and if it’s missing any features I’ll be darned if I can find one. When you see the board you’ll understand why the case is as deep as it is. The board itself is app 15” tall by 13” wide. It has every feature one could ask for.
  • 4-PCI-e X16 slots
  • 2-PCI-e x4 in x16 slots
  • 1-PCI-e x4 in a x8 slot
  • 2-pci 33mhz slots
DUAL Intel 5520 chipset and that’s 72 pci lanes available versus the normal 36 so it is possible to run up to 4 video cards with each receiving a x16 signal 12-DDR3 DIMM slots capable of up to 192 gig total.

Next we come to the power supply or should I say power supplies.
  • 2-1400w 80 PLUS Gold Certified units that are hot swappable.
These have an efficiency rating of 93%. Like all the other parts, removing and replacing is a breeze with just a lever to activate.
  • 1100w on 110 power here in the USA and 92A on the +12 line.
  • 1400w for you folks on 240v power.
Enough to do anything you want and then some. Also worth mentioning here is the leads from the PSU.
Everything is well thought out and all the additional power leads you will need for your vid cards are already in place waiting to be connected.

A little bit on the heat sinks that are included.
Most companies when they do include heat sinks which isn’t common include what could be best described as “CHEAPIES”. I don’t know who made these but they look very much like the Thermalright Ultra 120’s except of better quality in fit and finish using 92x38mm fans vs the ThermalRight’s 120x25mm fans.

Last thoughts;
I always try and look at things with a clear and open mind.
If I see flaws in a piece of equipment I do mention them to the manufacturer but honestly, I can’t find any flaws in this design. 
Everything and I mean everything is made of the highest quality.
You couldn’t ask for better. 
It is expensive in todays world but not really when you break it down and see what you’re getting for that money.
The case is built like a tank and should provide years of service.
Those power supplies are worth their weight in gold.
The board by itself is one hell of a good design with every feature one could ask for.
Put this all together in one package and your getting excellent value for the money spent.
I did run some benchmarks with this system but they were with cpu’s that are still under NDA .
I can say this, you won’t be disappointed.
More info can be found here for the system:
An old line crossed my mind while spending time just looking at how this was all put together:
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” and that fits so well here.
You’ll still be enjoying the system long after you’ve forgotten the money spent for it.
I’d like to thank Doug Herz from Supermicro for the loan of this system.
Thanks for reading.
Dave Hunt
Movieman at XtremeSystems forum


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