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This review is from: TYAN S5365G3NR ATX Server Motherboard Dual 479 Intel E7520 DDR2 400
Pros: - arguably the best motherboard for the Sossaman platform
- ATX form factor, fits any standard case, unlike the Intel mobo which is EATX.
- compared to the Intel & Supermicro Sossman mobos, this board has many more slots for expansion.
I run mine with the SL8WT CPUs (2.00Ghz, dual core). Also running 4x 2GB DDR2-3200 ECC+REG. I have had various expansion cards installed: video cards, PCI PCI-X & PCIE NICs of all sort (including 10GbE cards), sound card, TV tuners etc. OS's that I know work are: Windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008 (all 32-bit, see cons), PfSense. I've always run mine with a SSD (Intel of some sort) - this combined with the 8GB & 4 cores makes it rather snappy!
I highly recommend updating the BIOS - I needed a floppy drive to do this. Doing so allowed better RAM compatibility as well as running a GPU in the first PCIEx8 slot. (see cons) I actually cut out the end of the first PCIEx8 slot to allow installation of PCIEx16 cards - works 100%! :)
At time of writing, mine is configured as such:
Tyan Tiger S5365G3NR
2x Intel Xeon SL8WT (2Ghz, each a dual core)
2x Dynatron i65G heatsinks (listed here on Newegg, has one review by a clutz named Eric B. - ignore his review, clearly didn't do his product research!)
4x 2GB DDR2-400/PC2-3200 ECC+REG (Hynix I think)
XFX 550W PSU
2x Chelsio 320 10GbE PCIEx8 NIC
2x Intel Desktop 1000/Pro PCI NIC
2x Intel 6-port GbE PCI-X NIC
Intel 520 60GB SSD
Lian Li PC-A7110B
pfSense 2.3.2_1 (latest x86/32-bit release at time of writing (05-01-2017)
Cons: There are minor cavets, both with the Sossman platform and this mobo:
- no PCIEx16 slot
- the Sossman platform does NOT do x64 - 32-bit (x86) ONLY!
- very finicky with RAM, apparently will only take speed 3200 (ie DDR2-400/PC2-3200) ECC+REG. The ECC+REG is non-negotiable - desktop RAM will /not/ work, don't even bother trying! I have only ever tried to run 400/3200 RAM, always had success. Apparently others have used 667/5300 RAM in the Intel mobo successfully, but personally I wouldn't bother risking it with the hassle.
- depending which mobo you get, heatsinks are hard to come buy - especially for the Tyan mobo! The Intel mobo has the standard s771 mounting holes, but this Tyan mobo is proprietary. Can't recall what mounting system the Supermicro mobos use.
- The Northbridge chipset heatsink gets quite toasty on the Tyan, highly recommend a fan pointed at it!
Other Thoughts: This motherboard is for the Intel platform, code name, 'Sossaman' (google it). It's nearest desktop relative is Core Duo - /not/ Core 2 Duo, Core Duo (CD). CD was so short-lived, if you blinked, you would have missed it. There is a massive thread over at XtremeSystems forums, have a read if interested! (The thread spans about 7 years!) There are only three different CPU models available. I have forgotten the stepping codes(?) for all but the most readily available model: the 2.00Ghz one. All three models are dual core. The slowest runs at 1.66, the fastest at 2.13. The 1.66 can still be found probably on fleebay, but there has only ever been found a single 2.13 on fleebay (go read the XS thread!). I think the code for the 2.13 is SL9HM.
Sossaman's biggest drawback is that it only does 32-bit/x86. It's also losing (if not already lost) it's appeal as a low power platform. The CPUs that are used are glorified laptop CPUs - they only have a TDP of 31W. Unfortunately with only 4 cores total in a system running at a meager 2Ghz, they are lacking in oopmf in more demanding tasks. With a SSD and enough RAM (4GB min.), yes, it can easily do your word processing etc & if you drop in a GPU that off-loads HD content, should play any video media/Youtube content etc. I have kept mine for nostalgic and personal reasons but also didn't want to have the system sitting idle; well..it is..I have installed pfSense, but I need to learn it first before actually 'putting it into production'.
This review is from: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8STE-O LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Xeon Server Motherboard
Pros: specs are good... on paper
Cons: Worst support & documentation ever. SM website says this motherboard supports Xeons. No where is it mentioned that you need revision 2.0 motherboard (not BIOS!) to have this compatibility. If anything other/older, only desktop variety s1366 CPUs will work. And don't expect SM to replace the motherboard if it is not rev.2.0 - essentially false advertising!
Other Thoughts: Oh it only gets worse - SM have 1 year warranty on parts - other manufacturers have 3, ie Asus - even on their desktop boards. Overall, I'm unsure why the big fuss about SM - overrated & under-performing if I ever saw a company.READ FULL REVIEW