August 7th, 2019 by Michael Rink
Lenovo Releases Servers Running New AMD Rome 7002 Series CPUs
Today Lenovo released two new server platforms in tandem with AMD's unveiling of their EPYC 7002 "Rome" series processors. Both the ThinkSystem SR635 and ThinkSystem SR655 server platforms run on the brand new AMD EPYC7002 series processors. Lenovo was founded in 1984 is well known for its endpoint solutions as well as their infrastructure solutions like ThinkSystem servers and the ThinkAgile software-defined portfolio.
Lenovo's choice of name for their new servers is interesting. Lenovo already has a ThinkSystem SR630 and a ThinkSystem SR650, but they both use Intel CPUs, not AMD CPUs like the new SR635 and SR655 server platforms. It looks like Lenovo is offering parallel systems running Intel and AMD processors. That they would go to the expense of duplicating their server lineup like that shows how far AMD has come since Intel CPU development slowed down. It is even more surprising since Lenovo acquired IBM's Intel-based server business just a few years ago in 2014.
One of the coolest features of the new ThinkSystem servers is that the AMD Rome processors are the first PCIe 4.0-capable x86 server processor. PCIe 4.0 supports twice the bandwidth per channel of PCIe 3.0 boards like the SR630 and SR650. This means twice the performance from attached devices like NVMe drives, graphics processors, and even custom FPGAs if the customer chooses to go that route. This makes Lenovo's choice to implicitly place the new systems on the same level as their older Intel units even odder. The reality of the situation is, the new ThinkSystem SR635 and ThinkSystem SR655 server platforms should perform radically better than their older cousins.
Other new features include a physical intrusion switch that Lenovo claims can detect and prevent tampering. This should make the SR635 and SR655 server platforms more attractive to video monitoring and other security-minded organizations.