Pros: It's kind of cheap, and it really is a server mobo (no sound card or anything else unnecessary).
Cons: It's REALLY picky about ram. Look up the model on SuperMicro's website, to see what models of ram are approved. You'll find about 4 approved ram models, and they're all hard to find. Don't bother using unapproved ram, it wont work right. It also does not come with a back plate for the cpu, so you have to buy one if you want to use a heatsink that screws down.
Other Thoughts: SuperMicro has a monopoly in server mobos with a single lga 1366 socket. I can't find any others.
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Good board, painful RAID
Pros: It supports i7 CPUs as well as Xeon's, though the site does not explicitly say so. The board has a clean layout; no problems getting all 6 DIMMs installed along with an i7-920 and stock Intel cooler, and all the headers and SATA connectors are accessible. There are six fan headers spread around the board perimeter, so it's easy to get to one from just about any side of the case.
Cons: Despite claims that the ICH10R SATA RAID (Intel codebase) works with Windows Server 2008, I was not able to get it running well. First, you cannot use the 8.9 driver version included in windows or you will get random crashes. You must instead use the non-WHQL and not-yet-public 9.5.0 version available on SuperMicro's FTP site. While that got me a stable install, the RAID1 mirror I had setup would try to rebuild itself on every reboot, so something was clearly still not quite right. Also, hotswapping disks in the mirror or adding a 3rd and 4th JBOD disk didn't work very well either. AHCI mode flat out didn't work, and I didn't want to resign myself to simple IDE/SATA mode and give up on the hotswap and RAID features.
Other Thoughts: I withheld an egg because of the problems I had with the ICH10R setup. I expect this kind of pain from a consumer board, but for a server board that was supposed to support that setup (Windows Server 2008 with the ICH10R Intel codebase), it was two days of frustration getting things working. A lot of people will avoid the problem entirely and go with a dedicated RAID controller for a server setup, but all I wanted was a simple RAID1 mirror for the system disk, and didn't want to spend $500 on an additional RocketRaid controller to accomplish that. Since I was able to get it working in the end with the Adaptec codebase, all's well that ends well.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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“It supports i7 CPUs as well as Xeon's, though the site does not explicitly say so. The board has a clean layout; ...”— Keith 1/8/2010
“It's kind of cheap, and it really is a server mobo (no sound card or anything else unnecessary).”— 1/16/2010