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spasszeit

Supermicro X8SIL-F - Level I test passed

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So far so good. Looks like Level I test has passed successfully.

Looking at the syslog I don't see any problems or compatibility issues.

 

The good:

- 3x PCIe slots can host 3x AOC-SASLP-MV8 card, along with 6 on-board SATA slots = 30 drives

If one wanted, a total of 34 drives can be connected to this board when also utilizing the PCI slot.

- IPMI, IPMI, IPMI! It's really useful, and it does work well. At least for me, as I know some have

had problems with it.

- ECC memory. Not sure how useful this is, but I want to believe that those occasional errors will

be caught and corrected.

- 2x Intel NICs. Don't need two now, but... 2 better than 1 I suppose. If one goes bad I can use the other one:-)

- Not exceptional, but very decent power consumption.

- Can take both Xeon and very affordable i3 CPU's.

- On-board USB slot. No more worries that one of my kids may decide to toy with the flash drive

 

The bad:

- None so far, or see "the weird" I guess

 

The weird:

- Making this board boot from USB was a hassle. What worked was formatting the stick with

HP utility and checking the "create a DOS startup disk".

- The board emits 4-6 short beeps during USB port initialization. No description of these in the manual.

Supermicro support has no comment on this.

I asked in my email if this was normal, but they ignored this particular question. I surmise it is not normal.

(edit: looks like this is a feature after all). Saw a post on another forum where someone had the same behavior, RMA'ed the board, and the new one did the same thing. Well, the USB flash works fine, so I am not too concerned about the beeps.

- My USB keyboard sometimes is not detected so I can't enter the BIOS. PS2 keyboard works fine. Emailed Supermicro,

they suggested flashing BIOS to the latest version. Will try that on the weekend. (edit: fixed, see below)

 

Configuration:

 

Motherboard - Supermicro X8SIL-F

Processor     - Intel Xeon X3430

RAM            - Crucial 2x2GB CT25672BA1339 Unregistered ECC

SATA Card   - Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8

 

 

Motherboard specs:

 

Supermicro X8SIL-F - http://www.supermicro.com/xeon_3400/Motherboard/X8SIL.cfm?IPMI=Y

 

1. Intel® Xeon® X3400 / L3400 series,

   Core™ i3 & Pretium® processors

   with LGA 1156 socket

2. Intel® 3420 Chipset

3. Up to 32GB DDR3 1333/1066/800MHz

   ECC Registered DIMM / 16GB

   Unbuffered DIMM

4. Dual Intel® 82574L Gigabit Ethernet

   Controllers

5. 6x SATA (3 Gbps) Ports

   RAID 0, 1, 5, 10

6. 2 (x8) PCI-Express 2.0,

   1 (x4) PCI-Express (using x8 slot),

   1 32-bit PCI slot

7. Integrated IPMI 2.0 with KVM and

   Dedicated LAN

8. 7x USB (2 rear, 1 on-board, 2 headers)

syslog-2010-08-25.txt

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Awesome that this had no problems with Level 1 (which I supsected anyway).  I'm still surprised by your issues with USB booting, because I really had no problems.  You know you can get to the BIOS via IPMI if you turn the "Quick Boot" option off.  That slows POST down enough for the virtual window to get a video signal so you can see when to press DEL.  I have Kingston ECC RAM set aside for this build, so hopefully that will work as well as your Crucial.  SM boards can be very picky about memory, usually based on the number of banks.  Looking forward to your Level 2!

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Thanks spasszeit,

 

I also want to build a unRAID box with a Supermicro board. Great your testing this. The IPMI feature looks really interesting, because i put my unRAID server in the basement.

 

I also read at servethehome that this board is very power efficent.

 

Looking forward to your level 2.

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Awesome that this had no problems with Level 1 (which I supsected anyway).  I'm still surprised by your issues with USB booting, because I really had no problems.  You know you can get to the BIOS via IPMI if you turn the "Quick Boot" option off.  That slows POST down enough for the virtual window to get a video signal so you can see when to press DEL.  I have Kingston ECC RAM set aside for this build, so hopefully that will work as well as your Crucial.  SM boards can be very picky about memory, usually based on the number of banks.  Looking forward to your Level 2!

 

Aiden,

 

No more issues with USB, and I haven't flashed BIOS yet. Been testing last night, this AM and PM. Works like a charm.

I suspect that the issue was related to the initial inability to boot from USB. The post starts with SATA controller initialization,

then USB port initialization, then hard drives, etc. What was happening there, I think, was that even when I was hitting DELETE (perhaps a bit late some time?), the system was trying to boot from USB and would get stuck there without taking me to BIOS. That's my impression. Ever since I got the system to boot from USB I did not see that 'hang' and I can enter BIOS with the USB keyboard just fine.

 

As to the memory, I read lot's of feedback about how picky this board is about memory. I picked mine from the Supermicro's list of compatible memory and it worked without a hitch. Ran 10 cycles of memtest today and no errors. If yours is on the list of tested memory, you shouldn't have any issues. If not, let's keep our fingers crossed that you don't have any issues.

Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

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Thanks spasszeit,

 

I also want to build a unRAID box with a Supermicro board. Great your testing this. The IPMI feature looks really interesting, because i put my unRAID server in the basement.

 

I also read at servethehome that this board is very power efficent.

 

Looking forward to your level 2.

 

MvL,

 

Yep, I read that review as well. The author of the review did a good job at it too.

I took some measurements with a Kill-a-Watt tonight on my system, in case you and others are interested:

 

Configuration:

 

Motherboard - Supermicro X8SIL-F

Processor     - Intel Xeon X3430

RAM            - Crucial 2x2GB CT25672BA1339 Unregistered ECC

SATA Card   - Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8

Hard drives  - 3x 500GB Seagate drives, 2x 320 Seagate drives (7200rpm I believe), 1x 2TB WD20EARS green drive

Seagates are in the array, and the WD is outside the array for now.

PSU            - Corsair HX620W, rated up to 85% efficiency as per Corsair's spec sheet

 

OFF                       - 4W

Start                     - 235W (this is the highest spike I registered), then dropped off to 125W during post

UnRaid boot            - 139-141W

UnRaid Booted         - 95-97W, all 6 drives spun up

All drives spun down - 66W

 

 

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Also noticed that every time I hot plug a USB device the board emits a short beep sound.

Makes me believe that the short beeps during post when USB ports initialize are nothing more

than a feature of this board. And since this is not in the manual the "support" guy could not

tell me if it's normal or not... they need to update their on-screen help scripts:-)

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Added WD20EARS as parity and recalculated the parity.

 

 

Aug 25 20:09:59 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (379): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:09:59 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 25 20:10:00 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (383): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:10:00 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 25 20:10:26 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (388): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:10:26 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 26 03:00:46 Tower2 kernel: md: sync done. time=28083sec rate=69562K/sec

Aug 26 03:00:46 Tower2 kernel: md: recovery thread sync completion status: 0

 

 

A bit of improvement, vs the original sync rate using Seagate 500GB for parity:

 

Aug 24 22:41:27 Tower2 kernel: md: sync done. time=9469sec rate=51577K/sec

 

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Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

 

I have this board and am running it with a single 2GB UDIMM in slot DIMM1A.

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Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

 

I have this board and am running it with a single 2GB UDIMM in slot DIMM1A.

Brand?  Model?  Link?

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Added WD20EARS as parity and recalculated the parity.

 

 

Aug 25 20:09:59 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (379): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:09:59 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 25 20:10:00 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (383): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:10:00 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 25 20:10:26 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (388): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:10:26 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 26 03:00:46 Tower2 kernel: md: sync done. time=28083sec rate=69562K/sec

Aug 26 03:00:46 Tower2 kernel: md: recovery thread sync completion status: 0

 

 

A bit of improvement, vs the original sync rate using Seagate 500GB for parity:

 

Aug 24 22:41:27 Tower2 kernel: md: sync done. time=9469sec rate=51577K/sec

 

 

I'm assuming these are onboard SATA rates.  I wonder if there is any performance boost going through the SASLP-MV8.  My Atom averages about 55000K/sec on a parity check with 7200 rpm Hitachis, so I'm betting you could see 80 - 90 M/sec with non-green drives.

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Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

 

I have this board and am running it with a single 2GB UDIMM in slot DIMM1A.

Brand?  Model?  Link?

 

Micron MT18JSF25672AY from eBay. It was on Supermicro's tested memory list.

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Added WD20EARS as parity and recalculated the parity.

 

 

Aug 25 20:09:59 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (379): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:09:59 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 25 20:10:00 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (383): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:10:00 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 25 20:10:26 Tower2 kernel: mdcmd (388): spinup 0

Aug 25 20:10:26 Tower2 kernel:

Aug 26 03:00:46 Tower2 kernel: md: sync done. time=28083sec rate=69562K/sec

Aug 26 03:00:46 Tower2 kernel: md: recovery thread sync completion status: 0

 

 

A bit of improvement, vs the original sync rate using Seagate 500GB for parity:

 

Aug 24 22:41:27 Tower2 kernel: md: sync done. time=9469sec rate=51577K/sec

 

 

I'm assuming these are onboard SATA rates.  I wonder if there is any performance boost going through the SASLP-MV8.  My Atom averages about 55000K/sec on a parity check with 7200 rpm Hitachis, so I'm betting you could see 80 - 90 M/sec with non-green drives.

 

Actually, 2 are on board, and 4 connected to the SASLP card. Wanted to test the card

and left it like that afterward.

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Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

 

I have this board and am running it with a single 2GB UDIMM in slot DIMM1A.

Brand?  Model?  Link?

 

Micron MT18JSF25672AY from eBay. It was on Supermicro's tested memory list.

 

Interesting. It refused one stick of my Crucial memory. Did you get the long beep at all?

 

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Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

 

I have this board and am running it with a single 2GB UDIMM in slot DIMM1A.

Brand?  Model?  Link?

 

Micron MT18JSF25672AY from eBay. It was on Supermicro's tested memory list.

 

Interesting. It refused one stick of my Crucial memory. Did you get the long beep at all?

 

 

No long beep. Did you use slot DIMM1A as it states in the manual? Also what revision is your board?

Mine is 1.02.

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Also, I tried booting the board with only one stick and it won't boot. Gives me a long beep, which means memory problem according to the manual. My other boards work with one stick just fine. As a matter of fact, my P5BVM-DO doesn't like two sticks, so I have been running it with just one 2GB stick.

 

I have this board and am running it with a single 2GB UDIMM in slot DIMM1A.

Brand?  Model?  Link?

 

Micron MT18JSF25672AY from eBay. It was on Supermicro's tested memory list.

 

Interesting. It refused one stick of my Crucial memory. Did you get the long beep at all?

 

 

No long beep. Did you use slot DIMM1A as it states in the manual? Also what revision is your board?

Mine is 1.02.

 

Not sure. It's quite possible I stuck it in DIMM2A. I did not reference the manual for that.

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Thanks adelias for the info on the 1 stick of memory, i don't really want to get 2 sticks straight off, spasszeit any chance of testing with 1 stick again? :P

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Thanks adelias for the info on the 1 stick of memory, i don't really want to get 2 sticks straight off, spasszeit any chance of testing with 1 stick again? :P

 

No problem. Channel 1 (blue) slots don't work with one stick, all I get is long beeps and no post.

Channel 2 (black) slots each work with 1 stick. I from the get go put sticks (both and 1 at a time)

into channel 1 slots and assumed the same behavior for channel two slots... Now looking at the manual

I see a reference to one channel taking 2 populated slots and one channel also taking 1...

but I am a typical guy, I hate reading manuals:-)

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Thanks very much for testing that, that's put my mind at ease :)

 

I'm still unsure what CPU to use, originally I was going to go with a Core i3 530, but you have to use ECC memory with this motherboard anyway, and the ECC only works with Xeon processors apparently, but the X3430 is nearly double the price (£156 for the X3430 vs £83 for the i3 530).

 

Whatever I get is going to have more processing power than I have now (an old AMD FX55) so really its just a case of trying to justify getting a Xeon, is the ECC worth the extra?  I believe the Xeons also open up some options for VM hyperviser or something, but not sure I'd have any need for this.

 

Any opinions?

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Thanks very much for testing that, that's put my mind at ease :)

 

I'm still unsure what CPU to use, originally I was going to go with a Core i3 530, but you have to use ECC memory with this motherboard anyway, and the ECC only works with Xeon processors apparently, but the X3430 is nearly double the price (£156 for the X3430 vs £83 for the i3 530).

 

Whatever I get is going to have more processing power than I have now (an old AMD FX55) so really its just a case of trying to justify getting a Xeon, is the ECC worth the extra?  I believe the Xeons also open up some options for VM hyperviser or something, but not sure I'd have any need for this.

 

Any opinions?

 

Another alternative for you would be L3406. Albeit it is also priced much higher than the i3.

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I could have swore i saw a response in this thread (maybe it was a different one) saying the i3 530 will work and is compatible with ECC memory, just that the ECC functionality won't be used. It included several links, one to a rather nice tested review too.

 

I'm not sure if this is it, but it seems to indicate that the board is compatible with i3/i5 CPUS as long as you have board revision 1.02 -- http://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-x8sil-f-compatibilitycore-i3s-and-i5s/ and http://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-x8silf-motherboard-v102-review-whs-v2-diy-server/

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I could have swore i saw a response in this thread (maybe it was a different one) saying the i3 530 will work and is compatible with ECC memory, just that the ECC functionality won't be used. It included several links, one to a rather nice tested review too.

 

LOL... that was me... I misread Kode's post and thought he'd said he wasn't sure if i3530 would work with ECC memory.

 

Since you mentioned it, here is the link to that review. It really is very thoughtful and nicely written:

 

http://www.servethehome.com/supermicro-x8silf-motherboard-v102-review-whs-v2-diy-server/

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As for deciding if ECC functionality is worth it, that all comes down to personal preferences. I haven't had issues with memory glitches that I am aware of, but then my server doesn't get the workout that enterprise production servers do.

 

I thought I was continuing to lose my mind, as I was also responding to a message, only to have the entire thread (only the original post) up and disappear on me too. I guess I kind of misread Kode's post as well, as I wasn't certain if he meant the i3 wasn't compatible.

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Thanks very much for testing that, that's put my mind at ease :)

 

I'm still unsure what CPU to use, originally I was going to go with a Core i3 530, but you have to use ECC memory with this motherboard anyway, and the ECC only works with Xeon processors apparently, but the X3430 is nearly double the price (£156 for the X3430 vs £83 for the i3 530).

 

Whatever I get is going to have more processing power than I have now (an old AMD FX55) so really its just a case of trying to justify getting a Xeon, is the ECC worth the extra?  I believe the Xeons also open up some options for VM hyperviser or something, but not sure I'd have any need for this.

 

Any opinions?

 

My basic reason for going with Xeon was that since I am buying a server grade mobo with ECC memory, I might as well buy a server grade CPU and take advantage of ECC. I've read somewhere that ECC memory provides greater stability and reliability, hence it is a must for mission critical applications. My unRaid has become pretty mission critical for the members of my family:-) Whenever it is down for maintenance or break-fixing, I get bombarded by complaints.

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As for deciding if ECC functionality is worth it, that all comes down to personal preferences. I haven't had issues with memory glitches that I am aware of, but then my server doesn't get the workout that enterprise production servers do.

 

I, on the other hand, have had my share of problems with standard RAM sticks on my first unRaid built on P5BVM-DO.

Still not sure what went wrong there. All of a sudden I started seeing numerous errors in the log, system freezes, etc.

Eventually I narrowed the problem down to RAM, and ended up exchanging it, but running only one stick as with two sticks

of new RAM the system wouldn't boot. Took me two weeks to get the server stable and problem free. But from what I

see on the forums the issues I experienced are very uncommon.

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Core i3 can work with ECC memory, but only with unbuffered ones. Xeons can use ECC memories, both buffered or not.

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