The Supermicro X8SIL-F mATX motherboard is becoming a favorite for home servers, especially those built upon Core i3’s and Core i5’s because it provides lots of expandability in a small form factor, and has IPMI 2.0. The Supermicro X8SIL-F’s supported processors can easily handle a network attached storage (NAS) virtual machine as well as additional virtual machines for other purposes. As I eluded to in my previous post, the major difference between the revision v1.01 and v1.02 boards, at least as far as I have seen, is the support for the Intel Core i3 and i5 CPU’s as well as the Intel Pentium G6950 in the v1.02 X8SIL-F versus support only for Intel CPU’s in v1.01. With the virtualization support and hyperthreading in the Intel Core i3 and i5’s as well as the low power consumption of Intel’s 32nm process, it is a great, low cost and low power combination.
Since I did an advance RMA with Supermicro to get the v1.02 board for my v1.01 X8SIL-F, I took a few screenshots to show the physical differences I spotted in my 5 minutes of searching (there are likely many more, but these stuck out to me as the most obvious.
The #1 difference I would suggest looking for is the screened revision number on the board. Here is the v1.01 versus v1.02:
Here is the X8SIL-F Rev 1.01 full motherboard shot:
Here is the X8SIL-F Rev 1.02 full motherboard shot:
Probably the first two things I noticed from the above that a lot of the capacitors changed. If you look around the CPU socket and memory slots, you can see that Supermicro updated their design in this area. The next big thing I noticed is that there is a new multi-pin header or set of jumpers just behind the VGA and Serial ports. The capacitor count and types also changed between that new header and the PCIe slots.
Another thing I noticed is that if you look just to the left of the ATX power connector on the top of the boards, there is a capacitor removed on the v1.02 PCB. Here is a quick shot of those side-by-side:
Mysteriously, at least two new jumpers appeared along the edge of the new X8SIL-F rev 1.02 PCB.
I have no idea what these jumpers do, but they are present in the new revision.
The biggest and most meaningful difference is of course the X8SIL-F’s support for the Intel Core i3 and i5 CPU’s as well as the Intel Pentium G6950. With the changes you can see in the PCB above, it seems like the v1.01 PCB was the reason for the incompatibility with Intel’s 32nm chips necessitating a PCB re-spin versus a simple BIOS update that many consumer grade boards used to support the new 32nm chips.
I will post a full review later, but needless to say, I like the X8SIL-F enough that I am strongly considering replacing the current Core i3-530 in there with an Intel Xeon X3440 to make a slightly higher-powered VMware ESXi box.