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This review is from: SUPERMICRO MBD-H8SCM Micro ATX Server Motherboard Socket C32 AMD SR5650 DDR3 1333
Pros: I love this board. It works great in my home server and has been reliable for several months of uptime now. The build in Female USB slot on the motherboard is great for people that want to run an OS/Hypervisor off a bootable USB stick.
Supports 3TB HDD.
IOMMU passthrough works great with ESXi. I have been able to pass through several PCIe nics, and a M1015 Serveraid card.
Onboard Nics each came with their own PCIe channel.
Bios is basic and easy to work with. The heat alarm and automatic shutdown function great. I mismounted my CPU cooler originally and was pleasantly surprised to hear the alarm go off. Its good to know that if something goes wrong in the future this will shutdown before serious damage occurs.
I also love the range of available CPUs that work with this board. Newegg doesnt have a huge selection but the market is full of used C32 chips at very affordable prices.
Cons: Onboard RAID chip is software based RAID. It works fine if you are just putting something like Ubuntu on the machine, but ESXi will not recognize the array and will see each drive individually.
Successfully passedthrough a PCI wireless NIC to different VM's. Although PCI passthrough worked, I wouldnt recommend it, and I stopped using it because the PCI slot shares a channel with the onboard VGA. Not a big deal for me though. I just put in a PCI ethernet nic and use that for my ESXi management interface. PCIe passthrough works great.
Northbridge runs hot. I installed an aftermarket Enzotech NB cooler that I got on newegg and it works well. Some of the cheap heat tape on the stock cooler was stuck on the NB chip and wouldnt come off. I gently removed what I could and used some artic silver with the new piece and it works well.
Other Thoughts: I bought this board used from someone who was upgrading their equipment and am happy with my purchase. I would recommend this board for anyone looking at a budget priced server.
I am running using a 4171 HE CPU, and 8GB of Unbuff ECC RAM. Currently running ESXi 5.1u1 with a pfsense VM as my router, and Ubuntu 12.04 Server running PLEX for my media. Side VM's for testing include a LAMP server with Joomla, and several desktop OS's. My lack of RAM prevents me from running as many VM's as I would like.
All in all a great little box to serve my home needs, and test new stuff.
This review is from: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Black Silent EATX Full Tower Computer Case
Pros: Overall this case is great. I also have an R4 by the same company and the high quality of both products impresses me.
I use it for my home server, and it is dead silent with stock CPU cooler and 4 total case fans going. It sits in the living room in the corner and is great.
Cons: Rear fan clicks when case is on uneven ground. I have it on a carpeted floor which is not perfectly level. The case warps a little bit from the uneven weight distribution and causes the blades to hit the plastic mounding bracket.
I shoved a shim under the one side and its fine now.
Other Thoughts: I imagine this case will last me for over a decade. In 5 years when I upgrade my media server I can see reusing this case. Its so big that it makes it seem future proof.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I waited a month to write this review. The drive works well in my media server and I have no complaints. If anything changes Ill post an updated review.
Cons: none so far
Other Thoughts: Im very paranoid of these large drives failing. Hopefully my fears are unfounded.READ FULL REVIEW