During the SC22 supercomputer held a year ago, Dell released three models of PowerEdge XE series servers to meet the needs of high-performance computing and artificial intelligence applications. The CPUs are Intel’s upcoming fourth-generation Xeon Scalable series, and the GPUs are divided into Paired with Nvidia H100 and A100 in SXM form factor, and Intel Data Center GPU Max in OAM form factor.
With the launch of Intel’s fourth-generation Xeon Scalable series in January this year, Nvidia H100 is ready for mass production, and these models will be launched one after another. The XE9680, which is equipped with 8 Nvidia H100 and A100 units in SXM form factor, was first unveiled in March. There were public launch events in Taiwan and Singapore. The product performance test data was published in MLPerf Inference: Datacenter 3.0, 3.1, and MLPerf Training 3.1; The XE8640 equipped with four Nvidia H100s in SXM form factor was launched in May. MLPerf Inference: Datacenter 3.1 also lists the performance test data of this model.
As for the XE9640, which is scheduled to be released in the first half of this year with the above two models, detailed specifications, internal structure and other related information were not released until September.
In November last year, Dell only outlined that it was a 2U-sized GPU server that would be equipped with an OAM form factor accelerator motherboard equipped with four Intel Data Center GPU Max series, and introduced a complete direct liquid cooling (DLC) heat dissipation mechanism; by this year In March, when Dell exhibited the actual machine in Taiwan, the appearance of this server was just like an ordinary 2U server. The most significant difference was that two water pipes were connected to the rear end of the chassis. Inside the chassis of the equipment on display, we The processor and memory configuration in the second half can be clearly recognized, but the first half is empty. It is very likely that the data center GPU is set here.
At the 2023 Dell Technology Forum held in Taiwan at the end of September, we saw Dell specially displaying three PowerEdge XE models equipped with GPUs. Through the staff’s explanation and unboxing display, we unexpectedly learned that the XE9640 is not only as previously announced, it can also be used with In addition to the Intel GPU, it can also be replaced with four Nvidia H100s in SXM form factor.
In terms of liquid cooling components, the XE9640 uses CoolIT products and can support the cabinet liquid cooling infrastructure provided by this manufacturer. It can provide XE9640 manifold settings for 42U and 48U size cabinets.
It is worth noting that in terms of overall resource configuration, we noticed that the technical specifications released by Dell in September pointed out that matching different GPUs will affect the number of memory slots supported by the XE9640. For example, with Nvidia GPU, a maximum of 32 memory slots can be used, and 2 TB of memory (single 64 GB) can be installed. With Intel GPU, a maximum of 16 memory slots can be used, and 1 TB memory (64 GB per stick). If the memory scalability of the entire server is limited due to different GPUs, it may seriously affect users’ willingness to use Intel GPUs.
Regarding the actual cases of XE9640 introduction and the performance of XE9640, the SC23 conference was held in early November and the ranking of the world’s 500 largest supercomputers was announced. There is a new system using XE9640 on the list, and that is the UK’s fastest supercomputer “Dawn” , ranked 41st in its first stage, was jointly developed by the University of Cambridge, UK Research and Innovation, Dell, and Intel, and uses Intel Data Center GPU Max 1550.
The AI performance test results MLPerf Inference: Datacenter 3.1 were also released at this time. The data of the XE9640 was revealed for the first time. The GPU it is equipped with is Nvidia H100. If compared with the Dell PowerEdge XE8640, which is also equipped with four Nvidia H100s, the XE9640 is almost the same. It only won in two large language inference projects, gptj-99 and gptj-99.9, perhaps because the XE8640 can be used with more solid-state drives.
Dell PowerEdge XE9640
●Original manufacturer: Dell
●Recommended selling price: not provided by the manufacturer
●Chassis size: 2U
●Processor: 2, fourth-generation Xeon Scalable series (up to 56-core model)
●Memory: 32 DDR5-4800 slots, expandable up to 2 TB
●Storage configuration: 4 2.5-inch NVMe SSDs + 2 M.2 NVMe SSDs (BOSS-N1)
●GPU: Nvidia HGX H100 4-GPU, 4 SXM5 form factor GPUs, or Intel Data Center Max GPU 1550, 4 OAM form factor GPUs
●I/O expansion interface: 4 PCIe 5.0 x16 (2 full-height and half-length, 2 low-profile and half-length)
●Power supply: 4 units of 2800 watts (supports 2+0, 2+1 backup, and 2+2 backup)
[Note: Specifications and prices are provided by the manufacturer and may change from time to time. Please contact the manufacturer for correct information]