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 Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F 
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 33
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Post Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
Motherboard: Supermicro X8SAX
Chipset: Intel x58
CPU: Intel i7 920
Memory: 2G*6 DDR3 1333
SATA: Onboard Intel ICH 10 AHCI
NIC: Onboard dual Intel 82574L
Addon: Qlogic 2460 4Gb Fiber Channel
VT-d enabled in BIOS

Motherboard: Supermicro X8ST3-F
Chipset: Intel x58
CPU: Intel XEON W3520
Memory: 2G*6 DDR3 1066 ECC
SATA: Onboard Intel ICH 10 AHCI
SAS: Onboard LSI 1068e in IT mode (flash firmware)
NIC: Onboard dual Intel 82574L
Addon: Qlogic 2460 4Gb Fiber Channel
VT-d enabled BIOS

Works for both ESX 4.0 and ESXi 4.0 out of box. BIOS is stock.


Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:25 pm
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
Thanks for the basic config - I'm just starting out speccing out a tower-based ESXi host, and I used your configuration as the template - does this seem about right for parts?

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SAX-O
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield x2
COOLMAX ZP-750B
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) x2
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB x5
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP
LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X

I'm hoping to run a "few" vms at once :) I'm not terribly good with piecing together hardware though.


Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:29 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 33
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
foobar wrote:
Thanks for the basic config - I'm just starting out speccing out a tower-based ESXi host, and I used your configuration as the template - does this seem about right for parts?

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SAX-O
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield x2
COOLMAX ZP-750B
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) x2
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB x5
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP
LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X

I'm hoping to run a "few" vms at once :) I'm not terribly good with piecing together hardware though.


As with all Supermicro boards, it is very picky on RAM. I always use Kingston for Supermicro as they have a list of tested config.

If you can afford, get a separate storage server to store VMs and data. You can also use RAID to protect data. This way, you can add another node to form HA cluster later. If you don't have HA, what you are virtualizing is application, not data. I like my data on easily accessible format like native filesystem on storage server (not inside vmdk). If my VM becomes nonrecoverable, I can still get my data.


Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:17 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:25 pm
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
dilidolo wrote:
As with all Supermicro boards, it is very picky on RAM. I always use Kingston for Supermicro as they have a list of tested config.

If you can afford, get a separate storage server to store VMs and data. You can also use RAID to protect data. This way, you can add another node to form HA cluster later. If you don't have HA, what you are virtualizing is application, not data. I like my data on easily accessible format like native filesystem on storage server (not inside vmdk). If my VM becomes nonrecoverable, I can still get my data.


Ah, thanks - didn't know that about the ram. As for the storage, I'm only interested in virtualizing the applications - so I think I can forgo the external storage box for now. Thanks!


Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:45 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:35 pm
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
I am running the following configuration:

Motherboard: Super Micro X8SAX
CPU: Intel Xeon W3520
Memory: 4Gx3 DDR3 1333 Un-buffered ECC
RAID: HP P400i 512MB BBWC
NIC: Onboard Dual Intel 82574L

The only way I could get VMware ESXi 3.5 or 4 to install and boot is with ACPI disabled. Server is now running fine with VMkernel.Boot.ACPI option disabled but no hyperthreading.

I've blogged about my experience here: http://blog.samkendall.net/2010/03/20/m ... ver-build/


Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:43 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:47 am
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
I had the same issue, same board w/Core i7-930. Bios version 1.1. Downgrading the bios to 1.0c solved all of the issues I was having with it. Power management and hyperthreading work.

xeon wrote:
The only way I could get VMware ESXi 3.5 or 4 to install and boot is with ACPI disabled. Server is now running fine with VMkernel.Boot.ACPI option disabled but no hyperthreading.


Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:36 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 33
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
mgove wrote:
I had the same issue, same board w/Core i7-930. Bios version 1.1. Downgrading the bios to 1.0c solved all of the issues I was having with it. Power management and hyperthreading work.

xeon wrote:
The only way I could get VMware ESXi 3.5 or 4 to install and boot is with ACPI disabled. Server is now running fine with VMkernel.Boot.ACPI option disabled but no hyperthreading.


I currently use X8SAX as my workstation. After I upgraded BIOS to 1.1, the system felt extremely slow. downgrading to 1.0c also fixed the problem. 1.1 is very buggy.


Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:23 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:35 pm
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
Just an update guys...

I only just checked this thread again this morning which spurred me on to download the 1.0c BIOS version. I couldn't find 1.0c available for download on SuperMicro's website, but what I did find was 1.1a!

1.1a was released on 29/04/2010. I have now updated my system to this version, have enabled ACPI and am finally in business! No issues so far!

I did notice my RAM is now only running at 1066Mhz in the BIOS when I swear it was running at 1333Mhz in 1.1 but this a sacrifice im prepared to make if that's the case!


Fri May 14, 2010 8:06 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:47 am
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
I've also had no problems with the 1.1a bios. So far it looks like they've fixed the issues.

Also, the i7-930 is only capable of running up to 1033mHz ram.


Sat May 15, 2010 6:36 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:19 pm
Posts: 1
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Post Re: Supermicro X8SAX and X8ST3-F
I have the 1.1a bios, but find it impossible to enable VT-d. If it's disabled, the system boots and runs fine. If I enable it, it hangs for 15+ minutes in "Initializing ACPI..." before it gives a purple screen of death.

Does anyone have a working X8SAX + VT-d + 1.1a? Can you post your bios settings?

Thanks!


Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:23 pm
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