Supermicro cases and compatibility issues

luckylinux

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
209
I just contacted Supermicro asking for explications on why they require a revision "M" (mandatory !) for all their lga2011 boards. I don't understand: if E-ATX and ATX are standards, then why? I'll buy a tower case (4u, standing vertically) so ventilation should not be a problem. AFAIK the standoff holes' position should be standard too.

Here's part of they replies
For X9D mainboard Series (any form factor) revision “M” is indeed mandatory, any older chassis revision is 100% not compatible

There are differences in mainboard mounting, heatsink mounting and powersupply revisions
They're very gentle, they suggest me to buy a case which is almost the same except the price is > 50% (something like 900$ instead of 600$)!
X9DRi-LN4F+ (or any other X9D board) requires revision “M” chassis

The SC745TQ-R800B is not validated (PSU is not tested) but you can use CSE-745TQ-R920B which is officially supported
The only advantage is the PSU rated as platinum ... but 300$ for that? I don't think so.

My reply to them: they haven't answered in 2 days [YET] (normally they answer in less than 2 hours). I'm a little bit concerned that this case will become a piece of junk in 2015 or something when it won't be compatible anymore anyway ...
>> Can you clarify this ?
Sure. I mean that although you list your MB as E-ATX, ATX or other non-proprietary form factor (which should be "standard"), an E-ATX lga2011 will not fit in any E-ATX case. Similarly to ATX. It is you who said that revision "M" is not only reccomended but mandatory. Therefore instead of E-ATX these motherboards should IMHO be listed as "proprietary" form factor. As a customer if I buy a E-ATX motherboard I'd expect it to be able to run in any E-ATX case, even more if it's a case of the same brand as the motherboard. Is this not true ? When the next INTEL socket will come out, even this chassis will be deprecated since cannot be used anymore or what ?

Thank you very much.
Will let you know if/when I get an answer.

Does anybody have an idea why? Does Supermicro change position of standoffs every 2 years or something?
 

Tiporaro

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
1,151
Hm, so they're claiming officially that their e-atx and atx boards won't work in a standard form factor case?

That's quite a joke. If its true, than its a blatant disregard for standards and complete misrepresentation marketing them as anything but proprietary. If its false, it sounds like a contrived ploy to get the unsuspecting consumer (ironic trying to find that type of person in a rather well educated market share) to spend extra for their case.

In either instance, it's pretty disappointing. I had thought of supermicro as one not to pull this kind of crap - pricey, sure, but this is just a sad tactic.
 

luckylinux

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
209
Hm, so they're claiming officially that their e-atx and atx boards won't work in a standard form factor case?

That's quite a joke. If its true, than its a blatant disregard for standards and complete misrepresentation marketing them as anything but proprietary. If its false, it sounds like a contrived ploy to get the unsuspecting consumer (ironic trying to find that type of person in a rather well educated market share) to spend extra for their case.

In either instance, it's pretty disappointing. I had thought of Supermicro as one not to pull this kind of crap - pricey, sure, but this is just a sad tactic.
You're free to believe me or not.

I think exactly the same thing. Though my reply was a bit "aggressive", I think the point is that they're trying to sell their motherboard as "standards" (ATX, E-ATX) while they say you HAVE TO use - not only their cases - but a specific model of them of a certain revision.

If they fixed some bugs in the backplane or something may be worth it, but it surely doesn't look that way to me.

That's really a joke. IMHO it's more related to air ducts and cooling efficiency, because if it's E-ATX it has to fit in ANY E-ATX case, if it's ATX then it has to fit in ANY ATX case, otherwise its a proprietary format. I can agree to buy one case from them (see above in my quote) - the one they claim is not compatible - because price-wise its still kind of a deal (if you consider a single [non redundant] power supply is ~ 200$ [Gold efficiency], a tower case is like ~ 150$ you could do that in 350$. I may still want to pay ~ 600$ if they provide me a redundant PSU and hot-swap capabilities. But 900$ for exactly the same case of another revision? That's too much IMHO. Only pro of that is the PLATINUM efficient PSU (while the other is not specified).

Now I see the price difference may be only 100$ (750$ instead of 650$) but it's NOT indicated whether the seller can actually supply it and how much time it'll take. I'm not in a hurry but still ...
It's more a question of principle if you want. Don't want to buy it now and have a 30kg piece of junk of 800$ to throw away in a few years. And it makes me think what actually a standard is to Supermicro ...

Do you think a redundant PSU + E-ATX case for 700$ is a deal ? At that point a SWTX case might be better for the future (cost only 100$ more). But could they accommodate E-ATX motherboards or only SWTX (this one says it can, but not so sure about it considering the whole matter of compatibility in Supemicro's opinion)".

What about backwards and standards, Supermicro?
 

luckylinux

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
209
I also contacted Noctua and today got a reply VERY FAST.
Here it is if anybody else was wondering about the same thing.

The Xeon coolers for LGA1366 are not compatible with the LGA2011 due to a completely different mounting specification.

For the X9DR3-F we have no solution at all, because the mainboard has the LGA2011 socket with the Narrow ILM. For the X9DRi-LN4F+ the situation is better, as you can basically use all standard coolers from our lineup in combination with the NM-I2011 Mounting-Kit.
 
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Topweasel

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,509
Supermicro Mobo's have always used proprietary solutions for their boards. For starters most are made to support 2u chassis, for that reason none of them are standard. Second even when they refer to E-ATX. There is no standard for it. Heck half the companies out there switch between calling it AL-ATX and E-ATX, the major issue and will always be an issue with Supermicro is they will always choose willy nilly the position of the connector panel in comparison to mounting points, and that there motherboard can extend higher then ATX above the top mounting point.

So unless you are getting an ATX workstation designed mobo from SM, don't buy a case till you have called the case manufacturer and checked with them on actual support for the particular SM mobo.
 

luckylinux

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
209
Supermicro Mobo's have always used proprietary solutions for their boards. For starters most are made to support 2u chassis, for that reason none of them are standard. Second even when they refer to E-ATX. There is no standard for it. Heck half the companies out there switch between calling it AL-ATX and E-ATX, the major issue and will always be an issue with Supermicro is they will always choose willy nilly the position of the connector panel in comparison to mounting points, and that there motherboard can extend higher then ATX above the top mounting point.

So unless you are getting an ATX workstation designed mobo from SM, don't buy a case till you have called the case manufacturer and checked with them on actual support for the particular SM mobo.
Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately it's a bit difficult to not buy SM since there is pratically no alternative (in my country).

Tyan motherboards are not available here (and most of them are non -ATX as well).


ASUS has some nice g34 motherboards but without IPMI for the same price as SM. Their support is said to be not as good as SM's either. Those quad g34 sockets look quite good though, unfortunately it's a dead socket and idle power consumption is high.
I own lots of ASUS motherboards without any problems (yet), but I don't think their servers boards are better in quality & support compared to SM. The Z9PE-D8-WS is out for 500$ which is a lot less than EVGA's.

EVGA made the SR-2 (lga1366) and SR-X (lga2011) but I'd not trust that for servers. No overclock furthermore is a minus. Furthermore it requires another large format.

Aren't there "plain" INTEL (from INTEL) boards? There are some but not for "standard" cases:
- Intel Workstation Board W2600CR2 (700$ !!) with IPMI 2.0 though but custom size
- Intel Server Board S2600CP2 (520$) with IMPI 2.0 but size is SSI EEB 12'' x 13''
- Intel Server Board S2600CP4 (600$) with IMPI 2.0 but size is SSI EEB 12'' x 13''
- Intel Server Board S2600COE (600$) with IMPI 2.0 but size is SSI EEB 12'' x 13''
- Intel Server Board S2600CP2IOC (650$) with IMPI 2.0 but size is SSI EEB 12'' x 13''
- Intel Server Board S2600CP4IOC (680$) with IMPI 2.0 but size is SSI EEB 12'' x 13'' - rack friendly they say, however planning on using it in standard tower-like case
- Intel Server Board S2600COEIOC (700$) with IMPI 2.0 but size is SSI EEB 12'' x 13''
Therefore it probably is a no-go :(.

Did I miss anyone above?

The issue is not on the size: SM chassis support E-ATX boards with all the same physical dimensions, however they don't tell you why it is not compatible. Just wondering because I saw some case modding (designed for E-ATX, XL-ATX or HPTX) here and wondered how they could fit the heatsink if the SM not compatible board of the same size can't. Or did they drill holes an create some mechanical support for that to work?

It gives me a bad feeling buying a 700$ case without knowing it will be still usable in the future. The best I could get for it would then be something like 50$ (or the steel). THAT'S A JOKE FROM SM !! They didn't say anything about compatibility. Their cases aren't backward compatible and maybe even forward compatible :mad::mad::mad:

The only reason I'd buy a case from them would be the redundant PSU. Otherwise I'd just get any standard E-ATX case, but without knowing if it'll work ... Any suggestions or experiences with these new lga2011 SM boards ?
Should be a tower case (I saw one post with one Xigmatek Elysium which looked good, was a quad g34 if I recall, otherwise one of my Fractal Design Define XL should do fine - pretty big and silent enough). Redundant PSU not really needed (this is "only" a visualization server).

At this point I'm open to other suggestions, like other brand, other board, case modding (I'm not a good driller though :D:D) or something else.

Last line: SM cases aren't always compatible with SM boards, SM boards are not always compatible with SM cases, but sometimes SM boards can be fitted in standards cases. What about a standard board fitting in a SM case :rolleyes: ?

Edit: I just discovered INTEL also makes some nice cases, like the Intel Server Chassis P4308 for instance (there are many others). This may be a better standard alternative (do you have any opinions), or does INTEL do the same trick of switching dimensions / positions / ... ?
 

jlong

n00b
Joined
Aug 30, 2010
Messages
7
I came across this post while doing some research and I know it's kind of old but I thought I would reply. I contacted supermicro support and this is the reply I got.

-----------------------------------------------------------
I am looking at purchasing this motherboard X9DRI-LN4F+.

I have this board currently X7DWN+, which I am going to replace, in a SC836 case and was wondering what power supply I need to buy to upgrade it and make it compatible with the X9DRI-LN4F+ motherboard.

Thanks
-----------------------------------------------------------
Hi John
Unless this chassis is a revision M chassis, there will need to be more modifications to the chassis (such as altering fixed standoffs, changing the air shroud, changing the PDB, etc.) If this is a revision M chassis, it is compatible.

Best Regards
-----------------------------------------------------------
So I replied:

It’s not an M chassis. I don’t mind making some modifications to the chassis if it’s possible. I kind of assumed I would need a whole new power supply and pdb. I didn’t think about the air shroud but I’m sure I can purchase the parts separately right?

Do you know what kind of modifications I would need to make? I actually need to do this for 2 systems and if I could save a almost $1,500 that would be awesome!

Thanks
-----------------------------------------------------------
And this is the final reply:
Hi John,

Unfortunately, Supermicro does not support the modifications of our chassis in any ways, so I do not have any documentation on what needs to be changed. I believe there is a fixed standoff near the I/O maybe, but I do not have a board and a revision M chassis to test this on. Other than that. We’ve done validation on 836BE16-R920B (http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/3u/836/sc836be16-r920.cfm) so you might want to try to match up the parts on this page in order to upgrade your chassis to revision M.

Power Supply - PWS-920P-SQ - 2 - 920W 1U Redundant PWS W/ Quiet Mode

Power Distributor - PDB-PT826-8824 - 1 - PDB with longer 24pin for SC826B

Air Shroud - MCP-310-39001-0N - 1 - SC835/836/936 Intel DP X9, X8 PC air shroud 1368x13/12x13MB
-----------------------------------------------------------
Any thoughts?

I have always heard stories about supermicro support being horrible but I have always had good response from them.
 

Aseras

2[H]4U
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
2,789
The actual mounting holes should line up. Supermicros' heats sink mounting is usually what's off especially if it needs to bolt down through the board to the metal. On 1u you need it, on 3u and 4u you can usually use a regular retail heatsink if it comes with the rear mounting bracket.

Most of the lga2011 boards want a dual 8 pin eps connectors. Most super micro power supplies only provide one, you can find a splitter easily.

I use supermicro almost exclusively for my servers at work. I love them they are awesome and their support is good, but ignorant sometimes. Get the manuals and look at the standoff and see if it lines up with your board.

I have a few 2011 servers that I shoehorned into sc743 cases that are way old but still great.
 

jlong

n00b
Joined
Aug 30, 2010
Messages
7
After looking at the manuals the board mounting holes appear to be in the same location for both boards. The only thing would be the heat sink mount. I can't remember if the heat sink mount is part of the chassis, ships with the mother board or ships with the processor.

Can you confirm this? I think it ships with the mother board. If that is true I really don't see why my current case wouldn't work and why I couldn't split the processor power cable like you said. I have dual 800w PSU's and 14 sas drives.

If I only run 1 processor would I even need to connect both 8 pin power connectors?
 

luckylinux

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
209
If I only run 1 processor would I even need to connect both 8 pin power connectors?
No. 1 should do just fine if you plan on using only 1 CPU socket.
The issues I was debating was more of fitting a supermicro MB (supposedly a standard ATX/E-ATX factor) into a non-supermicro case.

The issue seems to be related to:
- Mounting holes positions
- CPU mounting system (bracket, holes, ...)
- Thermal flow (this is also what changes between their revisions which is NOT listed on the retailers site !!!)

The 2nd EPS connector can also be obtained through the use of a MOLEX -> EPS adapter.

In the end I think I'll use my enclosure as JBOD and just buy another server. Kind of sad though ...
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
4
I finished my build. I did not need to do any modifications to the case. The case was 100% compatible.

The only issues I have are:

1. Wish I bought a slightly larger case. Would've made installing everything much easier.

2. Front panel USB 2.0 is not working. May need some light troubleshooting. Not a big deal. This machine will run headless as it is going to be used as Hyper-V test environment.

3. The rear 120mm SuperMicro fan is really annoying. It's constantly power-cycling to it's highest setting. I will be replacing it in the next few days with a Noctua unit. Aside from the rear SuperMicro fan, this thing is silent.

I spoke with the Fortune 500 dev/engineer who inspired this build regarding the Unbuffered non-ECC RAM - and he firmly stated that it doesn't matter in this application.

I will post any instability after further testing.

SuperMicro

Qty. Image Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price
1
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Sandy Bridge-EP 2.0GHz (2.5GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 2011 95W Six-Core Server Processor BX80621E52620
Model #:BX80621E52620
Item #:N82E16819117269
Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$414.99 $414.99
1
G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9Q-32GAO
Model #:F3-1333C9Q-32GAO
Item #:N82E16820231557
Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$149.99 $149.99
1
OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:VTX4-25SAT3-128G
Item #:N82E16820227791
Return Policy:Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
In Stock
$149.99 -$50.00 Instant $99.99
1
SUPERMICRO SNK-P0050AP4 Heatsink for Supermicro X9DR3-F Motherboard
Model #:SNK-P0050AP4
Item #:N82E16816101683
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$39.99 $39.99
2
Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Case Fan
Model #:NF-F12 PWM
Item #:N82E16835608026
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$29.99 $59.98
1
SUPERMICRO CSE-732D2-865B Black Pedestal Server Chassis
Model #:CSE-732D2-865B
Item #:N82E16811152171
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$214.99 -$20.00 Instant $194.99
1
SUPERMICRO MBD-X9DRI-F-O Extended ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600
Model #:MBD-X9DRI-F-O
Item #:N82E16813182349
Out Of Stock
 

joltman

n00b
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
31
This gives me hope that the SM 942S-600B (With non-redundant 650W PSU) that I bought of CraigsList for $25 will be compatible with my SM X8DTH-6F motherboard. I'll have to jury rig some 120mm fans to the inside chassis as the hot swap fan clips are broken and I can't seem to find any online. That will probably be my project for tonight.
 

wildpig1234

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Messages
321
I finished my build. I did not need to do any modifications to the case. The case was 100% compatible.


1
Model #:CSE-732D2-865B
Item #:N82E16811152171
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$214.99 -$20.00 Instant $194.99
1
SUPERMICRO MBD-X9DRI-F-O Extended ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600
Model #:MBD-X9DRI-F-O
Item #:N82E16813182349
Out Of Stock
I am considering building a 2011 workstation. the supermicro board looks nice. but seems like the case is a bit of a problem?

This is the MB I am considering:

Supermicro Server Motherboard X9DR3-LN4F+ I/O LGA2011 Dual Socket DDR3 SATA3

is the case that you got the cheapest one that will work for that MB?
 
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