Notes about Supermicro X11SCA-F


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On 1/28/2020 at 9:30 PM, jonathanm said:

Any chance you could take a close up photo from the same angle as this?

IMG_20190713_160740.jpg

I'm in the midst of building out my X11SCA-F Unraid server with a Xeon E-2278G.  I've installed my LSI HBA card in the first PCIE slot.  Here is a pic.

IMG_20200321_171106.jpg

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I don't use unraid yet, but I can confirm I have IPMI VGA remote console working alongside with working IGFX Quicksync or other 3D offloading tasks. This is working with either Windows physical mach

I can confirm that Plex hardware transcoding continues to work with the above settings. Very happy with my setup now.

Yes! I received the Intel E-2278G a week ago, and 4 no. 32Gb ECC UDIMMS. I just booted for the first time into ESXi showing 128Gb of memory. the DIMMS are: 4 no. "32GB (1x32GB) Samsung M391A4G43M

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39 minutes ago, bwnautilus said:

I'm in the midst of building out my X11SCA-F Unraid server with a Xeon E-2278G.  I've installed my LSI HBA card in the first PCIE slot.  Here is a pic.

The LSI part layout is different on your board, looks like it has slightly more clearance.

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  • 3 months later...
On 2/19/2020 at 1:10 PM, ramblinreck47 said:

Any chance you could upload a picture?

 

I'm getting closer to doing a build and the X11SCH-F is just really hard to find at the moment. I'll probably have to go with a X11SCA-F simply because it's easier to find.

So it looks like you ended up with the X11SCH-F after all.

 

Do you have IPMI (remote console) and iGPU ,working together?

 

I ask because I've seen someone mention that any of these X11 boards can be used for IPMI with iGPU but the X11SCA-F is the only board that specifically lists Intel UHD P630 graphic which makes it sound like it's the only board that might support IPMI/iGPU simultaneously.

 

I'd be more interested in the X11SCH-F or X11SCH-LN4F if I can get IPMI and iGPU working together (even though I don't really need iGPU for transcoding, but if I can have it why not get it..)  I would use IPMI console/KVM more than iGPU but the option for both would be good.

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On 7/11/2020 at 2:35 PM, Energen said:

So it looks like you ended up with the X11SCH-F after all.

 

Do you have IPMI (remote console) and iGPU ,working together?

 

I ask because I've seen someone mention that any of these X11 boards can be used for IPMI with iGPU but the X11SCA-F is the only board that specifically lists Intel UHD P630 graphic which makes it sound like it's the only board that might support IPMI/iGPU simultaneously.

 

I'd be more interested in the X11SCH-F or X11SCH-LN4F if I can get IPMI and iGPU working together (even though I don't really need iGPU for transcoding, but if I can have it why not get it..)  I would use IPMI console/KVM more than iGPU but the option for both would be good.

I haven't been able to get them working together at the same time. I have onboard graphics enabled and am doing a Legacy boot. As soon as the i915 loads, the iKVM cuts out. Adding i915.disable_display=1 doesn't help much. The screen freezes instead of goes away when i915 loads, but that's about it. The BIOS for the X11SCH-F is considerably different than the X11SCA-F, and the options are very different. I'm sure there is a setting that I'm not seeing but I don't know what it is.

 

If I can't figure it out sometime soon, I'll just make a script to load the iGPU when the array starts so that way the iKVM works all the way through the boot process. I think that might work best and would be perfectly acceptable for me since that is the only time I'll really want the iKVM working. At the very worst, I could just manually load the iGPU whenever I reset the server after it's already booted and the web GUI is back up.

 

Overall, it's not as straight forward as I would have liked, but at least it's not that big of a deal. The boot process makes it nearly 80% done before the iKVM cuts out.

Edited by ramblinreck47
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2 hours ago, ramblinreck47 said:

The BIOS for the X11SCH-F is considerably different than the X11SCA-F, and the options are very different.

Thanks for the follow up.  Looks like if I go ahead with an upgrade I would probably get the X11SCA-F because of availability.  The SCA is listed as a "workstation" board and all the other X11 C246 boards are "server" boards --- but nowhere to be found right now.  The SCA is available on Amazon and Newegg and has all of the "server" board features.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey guys,

 

i buyed also a X11SCA-F board - today i updated the BIOS to version 1.3. I buyed a E-2146G but a ES version (i dont see it and now its happen). In the pictures below you see that its not possible to use igfx as primary display. Do you see any chance to use igpu?

 

image.thumb.png.c9d160530653e95613645b3915332bf1.pngimage.png.b53067b3df51549b0b3d890b10b41f2d.png

 

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Hi,

Not sure that this is going to help you, but I am running the same motherboard and here the software versions I've got:

 

Firmware Revision: 01.23.04	
Firmware Build Time: 11/15/2019
BIOS Version: 1.1
BIOS Build Time: 08/14/2019
Redfish Version: 1.0.1

Thanks to Tybio post I was able to configure the motherboard to use IGPU by changing from "Auto" to "IGFX" in this bios version.

 

By the way, I also confirm that doing so allows for hardware transcoding with the Plex Docker, but it kills the IPMI video output. This is a small bummer but on the bright side the remote power on and power off features are still working.

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39 minutes ago, AL_Fonce said:

By the way, I also confirm that doing so allows for hardware transcoding with the Plex Docker, but it kills the IPMI video output. This is a small bummer but on the bright side the remote power on and power off features are still working.

If you review the earlier posts and do what is required, you should be able to have both active without issue. iKVM and QuickSync can work simultaneously if the right adjustments are made.

 

Edited by ramblinreck47
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3 hours ago, devros said:

Despite doing all the things in the post referenced above, my iKVM still cuts out when the OS takes over.  It worked great for me on the previous builds.

 

debating about trying 1.3

Same here. I had iKVM working simultaneously with a GTX1060 passed through to a gaming VM. However, when I added passthrough of the iGPU on my E-2288G to Plex, I lost iKVM. My BIOS settings, syslinux.cfg and go file are setup as listed in this thread.

 

Any ideas?

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Hey together,

anybody already got an update on the IPMI & GPU Settings?

I have following combination:

- X11SCA-F

- Xeon E2176G

- NVIDIA Quadro P2000

 

For a long time i had it working in the following way:

- Quadro P2000 was passed through to a Windows VM and worked perfectly fine

- IPMI worked also absoloutely fine

 

Then i had to reboot my homeserver and suddenly it just beeped and i had to reset the BIOS settings.

Since then only following is possible:

- IPMI shows, that an external graphic is not supported for iKVM

- Passthrough works


OR 

- IPMI works perfectly fine

- I can passthrough by ESXI the Quadro P2000, but it is always in fault state 43 in Windows and i cannot use it in any way

 

Tried all night to find again the proper settings, but no chance, even with all the mentions in the thread.

 

SuperMicro Support (which is btw. extremely fast) says: "It’s the limitation of IPMI feature support in BIOS.  After adding the external GPU or changing the primary display to iGFX , the onboard VGA will be disabled automatically.  As a result, the iKVM feature will be disabled."

The weird thing is just, that I am 10000% sure, that it worked! I was working by iKVM on the ESXI network-settings and i was hardware-transcoding in Plex. So, BOTH together was working!


Any more ideas, how to get it working again? IPMI & Quadro P2000 together?

 

Cheers

 

Edit:
As i told you, it definiately works!

Following i did:

- Remove Quadro P2000

- Reset BIOS to default

- Primary Display : PCI
- Internal Graphics: Enable

- Switch off

- Build in Quadro P2000 again

- Start

- IPMI & Quadro P2000 works (see the furmark)

 

The problem:

One reboot, without changing ANY settings and blackscreen. Not possible anymore to use both together. That's just weird. Ideas, comments?

 

 

 

 

IPMI.JPG

Edited by Beginner89
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On 8/11/2020 at 6:19 AM, Beginner89 said:

 

Then i had to reboot my homeserver and suddenly it just beeped and i had to reset the BIOS settings.

 

On 8/11/2020 at 6:19 AM, Beginner89 said:

 

One reboot, without changing ANY settings and blackscreen. Not possible anymore to use both together. That's just weird. Ideas, comments?

 

 

Now that I think of it, this is what happened to me as well. I had iKVM working with GPU passthrough to a VM. I rebooted to get the E-2288G iGPU working with my Plex docker and got that working as well. Then, on a subsequent reboot got the beeping. I can't remember if I had to reset the BIOS settings or not to get it back to unRAID (I don't think so) but since then I have no iKVM access.

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On 12/28/2019 at 11:48 PM, devros said:

 

Looks like there is a new BIOS/IPMI Firmware out very recently:

 

BIOS: 1.1

IPMI: 01.23.04

 

No real release notes unfortunately.

 

Currently I'm running unRAID 6.8.0, have a VGA display, IPMI/LOM console, and Quick Sync with my Plex docker all working great.

 

My BIOS setting are the same as above, except there no longer seems to be a "Primary PCIE" option since I did the BIOS upgrade.

 

I have "i915.disable_display=1" in syslinux.cfg

 

and the following in my "go" file

 

modprobe i915
chown -R nobody:users /dev/dri
chmod -R 777 /dev/dri 

 

Happy to have been the guinea pig here.  Aside from the "Primary PCIE" option disappearing I'd be curious to know if anyone else notices any other differences with the upgrades.

After a while of living with the iGPU disabled (my HT PLEX device has ethernet and didn't need transcoding) I decided to start playing around with the BIOS settings to enable the iGPU because I wanted to watch my PLEX content on wireless devices.

 

Here is what I have:

Supermicro X11SCA-F, BIOS 1.1

Intel Xeon E-2278G

128GB RAM

 

Following the advice in this thread I set my BIOS as follows:

 

image.png.d285eb335e5e093ba2a3e735b10324ec.png

 

With i915.disable_display=1 in syslinux.cfg

and the following in my go file

  • modprobe i915
  • chown -R nobody:users /dev/dri
  • chmod -R 777 /dev/dri 

After the system POSTs the BMC VGA goes blank as well as the HDMI on the MB.

I installed a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 but the HDMI is blank on that as well.

 

After enabling transcoding in PLEX I can see that the iGPU is being utilized properly.

My problem is that I can no longer connect to the remote IPMI console.  I just see a green screen.

Others here say they have both IPMI and iGPU working.

 

What am I doing wrong?  Should I update the BIOS to 1.3?

 

image.thumb.png.4cf3658a60ae2cc063e27bd2c842a743.png

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@bwnautilus

Do you have monitor plugged? try unplugging it, it was the solution for me, although i was running baremetal, not unraid.

 

@Beginner89 I believe you need to set svga to false under advanced option > edit configuration

 

Btw, for those who got IGPU + IKVM working on unraid, does it also disable the console display? 

It seems to be case for esxi, svga needs to be set at false, otherwise IGPU passthrough wont work, it means i can only rely on rdesktop.

Not ideal for 24/7 server though

Edited by cemaranet
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/19/2020 at 2:28 AM, cemaranet said:

 

@Beginner89 I believe you need to set svga to false under advanced option > edit configuration

 

 

I can't find this option in my BIOS. I checked all the pages, but it doesn't appear anywhere.

 

I get IPMI working, but then the P2000 remains in Error 43 state and doesn't work. 🙄
cpuid settings etc. don't make any change.

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12 minutes ago, Beginner89 said:

I can't find this option in my BIOS. I checked all the pages, but it doesn't appear anywhere.

 

I get IPMI working, but then the P2000 remains in Error 43 state and doesn't work. 🙄
cpuid settings etc. don't make any change.

Its not on the bios, its under esxi's advanced option. Once you disable svga you'll lose access to console view though, which is basically the "ipmi" for the VM. Thats why i said its not ideal in my previous post

Edited by cemaranet
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On 8/28/2020 at 2:31 PM, cemaranet said:

Its not on the bios, its under esxi's advanced option. Once you disable svga you'll lose access to console view though, which is basically the "ipmi" for the VM. Thats why i said its not ideal in my previous post

Ah okay, now i understand. That's neither a nice option.

 

Just it is weird, it definately worked for months in my Supermicro-Server in the way i wanted, like shown in the screenshot above.

I hope someone finds the proper settings, to get it working. I spent another half day of trying all the settings and now I am fed up about spending my time in it.

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9 hours ago, Beginner89 said:

Ah okay, now i understand. That's neither a nice option.

 

Just it is weird, it definately worked for months in my Supermicro-Server in the way i wanted, like shown in the screenshot above.

I hope someone finds the proper settings, to get it working. I spent another half day of trying all the settings and now I am fed up about spending my time in it.

My bad, i didnt read your first post in this thread, if you're using gpu card then its different with my case. I'm relying on intel igpu alone. I'm pretty sure i read somewhere your setup should work. Do you have monitor plugged,? and following the bios setup recommended in this thread?

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  • 1 month later...

Alright guys, i think i have good news for everyone!

There is a new BIOS out (on the official website of SuperMicro) for the X11SCA-F, version 1.4.

 

I installed it and did following:

- Remove Quadro P2000

- Reset BIOS to default

- Primary Display : PCI
- Internal Graphics: Enable

- Switch off

- Build in Quadro P2000 again

- Start

- IPMI & Quadro P2000 works

 

So, now i can passthrough my P2000 to my Windows Plex VM AND use at the same time IPMI with all its features.

I did several reboots, disconnected the power cord and started again -> everything works! The last times it worked only for the first boot after setting it up as mentioned, now it seems to work always!

 

Have fun, maybe someone can double-check, if i don't have hallucinations.

 

EDIT1:

Okay, i ran again into the fault 43 state, but I think I could solve it.

Problem is, when also the PCH SLOT2 PCI-E 3.0 X4 is in use, then the GPU always went in state 43 and windows crashed.

Now i removed the Intel Quad Port network interface from the Slot2 and it works again.

 

So looks like, that you only can use PCH Slot 6 and PCH Slot 4, but NOT also PCH Slot 2. 

Another GUESS: nvme M.2 #1 in use could result in the same problem, because it is shared with the PCH Slot 2 (If an M.2 #1 is installed, PCH Slot 2 is deactivated anyway). Maybe not sufficient lanes free or whatever? But now i removed the network interface and it works again. IPMI and the GPU for hardware acceleration.

Edited by Beginner89
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19 minutes ago, Beginner89 said:

Alright guys, i think i have good news for everyone!

There is a new BIOS out (on the official website of SuperMicro) for the X11SCA-F, version 1.4.

 

I installed it and did following:

- Remove Quadro P2000

- Reset BIOS to default

- Primary Display : PCI
- Internal Graphics: Enable

- Switch off

- Build in Quadro P2000 again

- Start

- IPMI & Quadro P2000 works

 

So, now i can passthrough my P2000 to my Windows Plex VM AND use at the same time IPMI with all its features.

I did several reboots, disconnected the power cord and started again -> everything works! The last times it worked only for the first boot after setting it up as mentioned, now it seems to work always!

 

Have fun, maybe someone can double-check, if i don't have hallucinations.

Thats great news! Are you by any chance using external monitor?

 

Ive been trying to get ipmi working with external monitor but they always cancel each other, any chance you could test it with this new bios?

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9 minutes ago, cemaranet said:

Thats great news! Are you by any chance using external monitor?

 

Ive been trying to get ipmi working with external monitor but they always cancel each other, any chance you could test it with this new bios?

Hey there,

external monitor on the P2000? If yes, unfortunately not. I don't have an DP cable / adapter here, I only use the GPU for hardware transcoding.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Together,

based on this thread in the Unraid forum and on other hints, I was finally able to make IPMI + IKVM work together with Transcoding of the IGPU of my I3-9100 CPU on a X11SCA-F mainboard, bios version 1.5.
My setup is not based on Unraid, but on Proxmox with Emby running in a Debian LXC.


Basically, from the BIOS side, it is as described by Beginner89 and others before:
- Set Internal Graphics to "Enable" & Primary Display to "PCI".

The biggest issue for me was to get the "i965-va-driver" running properly and being able to pass it through to the LXC container.

A big thank you to all the guys who contributed in this thread!

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  • 3 months later...

Hey guys,

 

I just got the X11SCA-F and put in an E-2146G. It came with bios version 1.4.

 

I followed all the advice and directions in this thread and nothing seems to let me have ikvm and /dev/dri at the same time. And there is one specific change that locks me out of all video output (even bios) and forces me to clear cmos and start over. Perhaps this bios version is really buggy.

 

Here are my general observations:

  • By default, boot is set to "dual", which should allow both legacy and uefi.
  • When boot is set to "dual" or "legacy", most everything else is also automatically set to legacy (including the onboard video oprom option mentioned in this thread).
  • When boot is set to "uefi", most other options also switch to uefi automatically (including onboard video oprom)

Here is a list of what happens with different settings:

  • Boot set to "dual", trying to load unraid with legacy, it gets into a boot loop where it goes through all the steps of the boot process and when it's time to boot into unraid, it resets. When I tried to boot unraid in uefi with that, same thing happened unless I selected the boot option manually, in which case it booted fine. Something about the "dual" boot setting just doesn't seem to work.
  • Boot set to "legacy", primary display in bios set to pci, primary pci set to onboard and internal graphics set to enable, unraid boots via legacy just fine. ikvm works right up until modprobe and then it drops (tried with and without monitor attached)
  • Boot set to "uefi", primary display in bios set to pci and internal graphics set to enable, unraid boots via uefi just fine. ikvm works right up until modprobe and then it drops (tried with and without monitor attached). One interesting thing is that when boot is set to uefi, the options "primary pci" and "primary peg" disappear from graphics settings, very strange.
  • Now if boot is set to legacy, and I follow this thread's advice and set onboard video oprom to uefi, I can see the boot process with the Supermicro background, but it goes to a black screen (sometimes green and sometimes red) when it tries to boot into unraid or bios. This I tried with and without a monitor attached, and the same thing happens. I can no longer go into the bios because hitting "Del" results in the same black screen. The process goes on in the background (because unraid web gui does come up if I wait long enough). But I have no display. I tried hdmi as well, which displays nothing. And vga displays a faulty signal (according to a monitor). The only solution to this is to clear cmos and start over. I eveb tried this without ever plugging a monitor in at all after resetting cmos, so that's not it.

So in a nutshell, legacy booting with onboard video oprom set to uefi completely breaks vga display, requiring a cmos clear.

Legacy booting with bios set to pci and, pci default set to onboard and onboard video enabled, ikvm works up until modprobe.

Uefi booting with bios set to pci and onboard video enabled (no option for default pci), ikvm works right up until modprobe.

 

So I'm going with the final option for now, at least I can see to boot process and get into bios, and utilize hw transcode.

 

But, it irks me that with uefi boot, the option for default pci is not there. I'm not sure what will happen when I plug in another gpu for passthrough. It will perhaps switch to that for output and make me lose ikvm for boot process? Who knows.

 

In any case, this board looks awesome on paper, but the bios and the settings (and the bugs) are incredibly annoying and time consuming to try and figure out.

 

I wish there were more options for affordable server boards with ipmi/ikvm.

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As a last ditch effort, I tried to bump the memory limits under graphics settings to see if it would fix the black screen issue with onboard oprom set to efi, but now it is getting stuck on PCI enumeration before you can get into bios.

 

I officially give up. Going back to legacy boot with everything else legacy and pci primary set to onboard. At least I'll have bios access and most of the boot process on ikvm (modprobe is the last line in the go file). I don't have it in me to clear cmos and start over one more time.

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