Review: SuperMicro 5015A SuperServer

Manufacturer: SuperMicro
Model: SuperServer 5015A-EHF-D525
Web: SuperMicro
Place of Purchase: Newegg
Cost: $337.98

The SuperMicro series of model 5015 SuperServers fill a very specific niche.  Based on the Intel Atom processor, these computers are not powerful enough to act as a file server or enterprise application server.  It is powerful enough for router configurations, firewalls and  print servers to name but a few examples.

Supermicro_SYS5015A_01 Supermicro_SYS5015A_02 Supermicro_SYS5015A_04

This specific model, and previous,  older versions, are currently at use as remote support computer, print server, single application server (e.g. network licensing server for various applications).  They support software RAID, sever in use are configured with two 2.5″ drives in RAID 1 configuration.  This build is with a single drive.

The model being reviewed is running a single building security software application.

The server was purchased in a “bare bones” configuration, RAM and a hard drive are not included.  If a 2.5″ drive is used, notebook or SSD, then a drive adpater must also be purchased.  There are only two external USB ports, but there are USB headers on the motherboard.

Description Cost Link
SuperServer 5015A-EHF-D525 $337.98 Newegg
SuperMicro MCP-220-00044-0N Drive Adapter $7.99 Newegg
StarTech 4 port USB Slot Adapter $10.99 Newegg
G.Skill DDR3 1333 4GB RAM $44.99 Newegg
ADATA 64GB SSD $49.90 Newegg
Microsoft Windows 7 Pro 64bit $139.99 Newegg
Total $591.84

The assembly process is straight forward.  Remove the cover (there are five small screws, two on either side and one in the back) to gain access to the interior.

Supermicro_SYS5015A_05 Supermicro_SYS5015A_08 Supermicro_SYS5015A_06

The RAM are SO-DIMMS, the process is similar to installing RAM in a notebook computer.

Next up is the SSD installation, mount the drive in the adapter first noting the orientation of the drive connectors.

Supermicro_SYS5015A_09 Supermicro_SYS5015A_10 Supermicro_SYS5015A_11 Supermicro_SYS5015A_13 Supermicro_SYS5015A_14With the drive securely fastened to the adapter, install it in the server chassis.  Again, note the orientation of the drive connectors.  There are four insulating washers that should be removed so that there is a solid ground connection.  Connect the power and data cables.

Supermicro_SYS5015A_12 Supermicro_SYS5015A_15 Supermicro_SYS5015A_16 Supermicro_SYS5015A_18

Lastly, install the four port USB slot adapter.  That’s it, now install the OS, configure and deploy!

Supermicro_SYS5015A_23 Supermicro_SYS5015A_20 Supermicro_SYS5015A_21 Supermicro_SYS5015A_22

The SuperMicro SuperServer 5015A-EHF-D525 is a great buy, and comes highly recommended by The Workbench.

Pros Cons
Energy efficient Not very powerful – Atom Processor
Small – 1U Maximum supported RAM is 4GB
Inexpensive Lack of external USB ports
Very stable Power supply is noisy
Wide range of OS support




Comments please!