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:
- PCIe #1: Areca ARC-1300
- PCIe #2: Intel Pro/1000 PT Dual
- PCIe #3: HP SAS Expander
- 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:
You need to have latest PCB revision of the motherboard. You might need to check with RMA department to see what they can help.
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.