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Super Micro primes 'Magny-Cours' Opterons

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SC09 Super Micro may not be a name-brand, tier-one server maker, but it's the motherboard and whitebox maker behind scads of tier two, three, and four server sellers around the globe. And that's because Super Micro gets out in front - and stays there - whenever a new technology is coming to market.

A year ago, at the SC08 supercomputing trade show, Super Micro was way ahead of the pack with motherboards supporting Intel's "Nehalem EP" Xeon 5500 processors, and it wasn't shy about showing off its wares a full four month before the Xeon 5500s were launched. Fast forward a year, and Super Micro was at SCO9 in Portland showing off two motherboards based on AMD's forthcoming "Magny-Cours" Opteron 6100s, their G34 socket, and the homegrown chipsets supporting them.

The Opteron 6100s and the G34 sockets are due at the end of the first quarter of 2010. Their "Lisbon" Opteron 4100 brethren and the C32 sockets are due later in the second quarter. So there is no point going over that ground again. There are a bunch of different ways to skin the future Opteron cats. What's interesting is how Super Micro is coming out of the gate with Opteron products and once again making a commitment to being first to market.

"We are definitely excited about the year coming up," says Don Clegg, vice president of marketing and worldwide business development, who took El Reg into the belly of the ginormous Super Micro booth at SC to show off the first of what will no doubt be many G34 mobos.

Technically speaking, the Opteron 6100s are aimed at two-socket and four-socket servers - and larger, if companies want to do their own chipsets - but Super Micro is being crafty and will actually deliver a uniprocessor mobo based on the Opteron 6100s. By doing so, the company can deliver a single-socket box with lots of memory and I/O, since the C32 socket is crimped compared to the G34 socket.

Supermicro 1P G34 Mobo

The Super Micro H8SGL-F Opteron 6100 G34 uniprocessor mobo

The lighting was poor inside the Super Micro booth, and I had not quite got the hang of using my new Droid phone's camera, so these pictures are pretty crappy. But as you can see in the picture to the left, the G34 uniprocessor board has eight memory slots, for a total of 64 GB of DDR3 main memory, and what looks like three PCI-Express 2.0 slots (two x8 and one x16) and three PCI-X slots.

With eight or twelve processor cores, this will make a pretty peppy workstation or entry server, depending on if you plunk a video card or a RAID disk controller into that x16 slot. This board is called the H8SGL-F, and the -F part of the name means that it has an IMPI management server embedded on the system board, which means it does not have to eat up a peripheral slot, as it does on other mobos.

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