Today we have another dual socket Intel Xeon Scalable workstation motherboard in the lab, this time the Supermicro X11DAC. For those professionals that need the power and RAM capacity of a dual socket platform, this is an excellent platform. The Supermicro X11DAC has a different expansion configuration than the Supermicro X11DAi-N we reviewed previously. The X11DAC also offers SAS3 connectivity for enhanced storage. Like the X11DAi-N, the X11DAC offers setup flexibility with its built-in IPMI and iKVM which we see on many Supermicro motherboards. Let us take a look at what the platform has to offer.
Supermicro X11DAC Key Specifications
Here is the quick spec screenshot from the Supermicro website:
Some of the highlights are:
- Intel Xeon Scalable Processors., Dual Socket P (LGA 3647) supported, CPU TDP support 205W, 2 UPI up to 10.4 GT/s
- 16x DDR4 DIMM slots for up to 2TB 2666/2400/2133 MHz ECC DDR4 RDIMM or LRDIMM
- 3x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 3x PCI-E 3.0 x8
- IPMI remote management
- 7.1 audio connectivity
- Intel C621 controller for 8 SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports and LSI Broadcom SAS3008 HBA
- Dual 1GbE LAN
- E-ATX form factor 12″ x 13″ (30.48cm x 33.02cm)
The keys here are that this platform offers a high level of storage connectivity with dual LGA3647 sockets all in a standard E-ATX form factor.
Supermicro X11DAC Workstation/Server Motherboard Overview
As an E-ATX motherboard, the Supermicro X11DAC will fit into a number of industry-standard cases. Since this is a workstation product, with many server features, it has the versatility to fit into a number of standard cases. Options include standard tower or rackmount variants making this a flexible platform for high-end users, even if it is not going to sit desk-side.
The X11DAC appears to be very similar to other dual processor boards from Supermicro, the main difference we spot is the heat sink for the LSI SAS 3008 controller below the C621 chipset heatsink.
A pair of SFF-8643 mini-SAS connectors installed at the edge of the front of the motherboard proved easy access when cabling up your system. Eight additional SATA ports line the left side for other storage devices. That means a total of 16 drives can be directly attached to this motherboard.
For the PCIe expansion, there are a total of six slots. Three are PCIe x16 physical slots and three are PCIe x8. Unlike some competitive offerings we have seen, Supermicro keeps the rear of the x16 slots relatively clear which means most longer GPUs should fit. The spacing of the x16 slots also facilitates using double width cards like GPUs. With only one CPU installed a PCIe expansion card should be in Slot 1 or Slot 2 which are closer to the motherboard edge. Like other modern platforms, both CPU sockets need to be populated to enable all PCIe connectivity.
Moving to the rear of the motherboard, we find more I/O than we typically see on server platforms to customize the platform for the workstation market.
Looking at the rear IO ports, we find:
- 1x VGA D-Sub
- 4x USB 3.0
- 1x PS/2 Combo
- 7.1 HD Audio
- 2x LAN Ports
Consumer-level platforms often come with a much larger array of USB(-C) ports and similar features. This I/O is a cross between what we would see in a server platform but adds features like more USB 3.0 ports and audio connectivity which makes this a platform just as suitable to sit desk-side.
Next, we are going to look at the BIOS and remote management. We are then going to look at the block diagram. Finally we are going to share performance results and give our final impressions.