Supermicro X8SIL-F Compatibility with Intel Core i3′s / i5′s

16
Posted May 3, 2010 by Patrick Kennedy in Servers

Just as a quick note. I purchased a Supermicro X8SIL-F (mATX LGA 1156 server board with IPMI 2.0 and dual Intel gigabit NICs) last week, along with two 2TB Western Digital Green EARS drives using advanced format, and two Hitachi 2TB drives. First off, I was very excited about the X8SIL-F because it is a great mATX motherboard with IPMI 2.0, three PCIe x8 and one PCI slot with two onboard Intel NICs. My plan was to use those expansion slots for:

  1. PCIe #1: Areca ARC-1300
  2. PCIe #2: Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual
  3. PCIe #3: HP SAS Expander
  4. PCI #1: Intel Pro/1000 GT

That would give me well over 30 SATA ports (since there would be onboard SATA also) and five gigabit network ports (all Intel), and an option to expand to seven assuming I swapped the dual Intel NIC for a quad. I wanted to have a ZFS test box for FreeNAS/ OpenSolaris and for a physical or secondary Hyper-V installation of Windows Home Server v2 VAIL in the future. I had also ordered 4GB of ECC DDR3 1333 since I wanted lots of cache for ZFS.

Once everything was installed, I received a loud long beep from the Supermicro motherboard. I removed all expansion cards and the loud beep remained. I removed all but one stick of RAM, tried different RAM, tried different slots, and still one long beep.

I did some Google research and found that there have been issues with the Supermicro X8SIL-F and the Core i3 and Core i5 series CPUs if the motherboard is version 1.01. I checked my board and sure enough, it was v1.01. I contacted Supermicro support, and they suggested I RMA the board to try getting v1.02. Here is the response I received:

Patrick,

You need to have latest PCB revision of the motherboard. You might need to check with RMA department to see what they can help.

Thank you

Supermicro is pretty good when it comes to getting back to you. This was no exception. The response came 10:12AM Monday morning from a Sunday tech support request. I am excited about the board, but this is a lot of hassle for something that is supposed to work according to the spec page. Interestingly enough, I was told that there was no BIOS update that would work with the i3′s and i5′s with the X8SIL-F v1.01 board. Something must have changed electrically.

Also of note, the Hitachi drives came in retail packaging and were fine. The WD Green EARS drives were both wrapped with bubble wrap (they were OEM drives) and then inserted into the box alongside the Hitachi boxes with some peanuts placed between. Sadly, one of the drives was laying horizontal in the box so instead of there being packing peanuts between the bubble wrap and the box wall, there was only bubble wrap. After the 450 mile ride with UPS, the bubble wrap between the drive and the box wall was completely deflated. Newegg’s OEM drive shipping has clearly gotten better (there was bubble wrap), however even in 2010 there still leaves a bit to be desired. I marked that drive so I will know if it survives burn in.


About the Author

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

16 Comments


  1.  
    Paul

    I feel your pain. Hate receiving hardware that doesn’t work right away.




  2.  

    Yea, it works with the i5-750, i7′s and Xeons, but not with the Clarkdale chips with v1.01 PCB. On the plus side, Supermicro is one of ther better companies to deal with regarding RMA’s. They have a 1 business day response time, and will do things like cross-ship if a product fails early.




  3.  
    Paul

    Damn that’s quick. I remember I RMA’d a CoolerMaster power supply, and I received it nearly two months later. When I got the package I didn’t even remember for what it was until I got inside the box




  4.  

    Yea Supermicro has been great. They got the cross ship RMA approved yesterday. I even received a note the day before where I was informed of the progress of the RMA (it needed manager approval). You pay a significan premium for Supermicro products, you don’t get overclocking features, but they are a great company to work with.




  5.  
    David

    i am in the UK.
    i order a X8SIL from a UK reseller in feb
    i still haven’t received it
    not impressed




  6.  
    Matt

    You said, “I had also ordered 4GB of ECC DDR3 1333 since I wanted lots of cache for ZFS.” I believe you won’t actually get the ECC functionality of that memory unless you use a Xeon processor, correct?




  7.  

    That is true. I also ordered 8GB now but 4GB is here. Of course, after I had 4GB and the i3-530 installed, I also ordered an X3440 to go along with it. The reiview later this week will likely only be with the i3-530 though.




  8.  
    Benjamin

    Actually, according to the specs on supermicro’s website,

    * Supports up to 16 GB DDR3 ECC Un-Buffered memory (UDIMM)
    1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz
    * Dual Core processors of Ci5, Ci3 and Pentium: support ECC UDIMM only

    So you do get the benefit of ECC memory in unbuffered (UDIMM) configuration.

    Source: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/xeon3000/3400/X8SIL.cfm?IPMI=Y




  9.  
    Adam

    Hey Patrick, have you used your ARC-1300 with FreeNAS before? Does FreeNAS support it out of the box (ie fresh install)
    Cheers




  10.  

    I have not done a bare metal installation of FreeNAS with the ARC-1300. If you want something along the lines of an ARC-1300 cost wise the Intel SASUC8I is a really good choice. You can use either LSI or Intel firmware with it and it is a LSI 1068e based card so it has OS support from just about everything including OpenSolaris. For reference the Supermicro X8ST3-F I use in the Big WHS has one of these LSI 1068e controllers onboard.




  11.  
    Adam

    I’m not to worried about the cost of the arc 1300′s, i’m just not a linux guru and freenas is a great starting point for people (me) wanting to try out zfs, I’m hoping its supported straight out of the box as installing drivers from terminal is not my strong suite. :)




  12.  
    Stefan

    Hi!

    You wrote that the X8SIL supports the Core i5 CPU. I’ve an X8SIL Rev 1.02 Board with latest 1.0c Bios but it always tells me that the Core i5 CPU is unsupported.

    Stefan




  13.  

    How does it tell you the i5 is unsupported? I have used an i5-650 with the X8SIL-F no problem. What is unsupported is video from the Clarkdale onboard GPU. The Clarkdale and Lynnfield CPUs do work though.




  14.  
    Kamran Qureshi

    Patrick – just wondering if I can start out with ECC ram (the same set as describe above) and an I3-530? and later on upgrade to a xeon cpu without having to upgrade the ram again. thnx




  15.  

    Yes. I have done that on my board (and gone from a Xeon X3460 to a i3-530). ECC functions will not work on the i3-530 though.




  16.  



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