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Some of low-end models could see pickup as specialized gamer rigs

We caught up at SuperMicro Computer, Inc. (SMCI) at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.  SuperMicro (the common shortening) has always thrived on a bread-and-butter of highly reliable servers.

At CES 2012 the manufacturer announced a series of barebones all-in-one workstations, which include the power supply, motherboard, and case.  All of the line carries a 3-year warranty.

The lineup primarily targets render farms, allowing editing and rendering to occur consecutively, in the highest end models.  Particularly beastly is a 4 GPU-long case, which SuperMicro believes differentiates its lineup from the competitors.  The model is target towards $16k-$18k rendering rig solutions, which incorporate an arbitrary mix of up to four of NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) Quadro/Tesla graphics cards.

Supermicro's long 4 GPU case
SuperMicro's long 4-GPU case

The full lineup includes 5 members -- "Entry Level", "Mainstream", "Compact Dual Skt.", "Full Size Dual Skt.", and 4 GPU.  The Entry Levels has 1 PCIe x16 slot, the rest of the line has 2, except for the 4 GPU, which has 4.  Entry and Mainstream have 4 HDD bays, while the rest have 8 HDD bays.  The power supply is 500 W in Entry and Mainstream, 865W in Compact Dual Skt., and 1400W (redundant) for the Full Size Dual Skt. and 4 GPU.  A 2800 W non-redundant power supply is also available for the top models.  A number of energy efficiency grades are available.

Server family

The Entry Level system accommodates Core i3, i5, and i7 chips from Intel Corp. (INTC), while the rest of the line relies on Sandy Bridge Xeon (server) chips.

While SuperMicro is exclusively selling the models through resale channels (no direct sale), it expects the Entry Level to possibly be sold by vendors as a high end gaming rig-cum-video streaming suite.  Specifically, professional gamers often like to rebroadcast their games online (as in the cult phenomenon of StarCraft as a spectator sport).


To prove its point, SuperMicro had two of the world's top professional League of Legends players (one was named Ocelot for any League of Legends gamers out there).

UPDATE:
+Clarified Quadro cards are used in the workstations, not GeForce GPUs.
+Added info on non-redundant power supply.

All images © of Jason Mick and DailyTech LLC.




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