Register for the iXsystems Community to get an ad-free experience and exclusive discounts in our eBay Store.
So, you’ve decided to buy a Supermicro X11 Xeon E (Coffee Lake) board...

So, you’ve decided to buy a Supermicro X11 Xeon E (Coffee Lake) board...

In case someone still doesn't get the reference, click here

Intel’s recent re-launch of the Xeon E line of processors, formerly known as Xeon E3, was accompanied by server motherboards, which were conspicuously absent during the initial launch. Much like the Supermicro X10 guide and the original Supermicro X11 guide, the purpose of this guide is to clarify the differences between the various options offered by Supermicro. Workstation boards and models designed for legacy applications (PCI and/or PCI-X slots) and boards with proprietary sizes are not considered, though some workstation models may be of interest, should a good deal be available.

Note that this document only covers motherboards with LGA1151 sockets and the C242/C246 PCH, which are compatible with Coffee Lake and newer CPUs, known as Xeon E and Core i3 8xxx, in addition to the matching Celeron and Pentium parts. These boards only support Coffee Lake and newer CPUs. Motherboards for older parts – known as Xeon E3 v5 and v6, Core i3 6xxx and 7xxx processors, as well as Celeron and Pentium parts of the same family – are discussed in a separate Resource. X11 motherboards for Xeon-W (LGA2066) or Xeon Scalable (LGA3647) are not included - the former because there are very few models to choose from and no server boards, the latter because it is a much more complicated platform with many more variables. If you have questions about either of these platforms, please start a new thread in the hardware section of the forum.

The full comparison is presented below, for prospective purchasers and for troubleshooting. For discussion, please use the forum thread for this resource, linked near the top of this page.

Baseline features

Fundamentally, the basic feature set of Supermicro’s C24x motherboards is very similar to the previous-generation C23x motherboards:
  • Standard four DIMM slots, for up to four DDR4 16 GB UDIMMs (64 GB total RAM); support for 32 GB UDIMMs (128 GB total RAM) is promised in a future firmware update
  • IPMI provided by an ASpeed AST2500 BMC, with dedicated IPMI LAN port
  • microATX form factor
  • Dual Intel I210-AT GbE adapters
  • One M.2 slot wired for PCIe 3.0 x4
  • 5x “USB 3.1 Gen 1” ports, commonly known as USB 3.0, capable of 5 Gb/s transfers (one of which a type A port for internal USB devices), and 4x USB 2.0 ports
  • Most boards provide 6x SATA 6 Gb/s ports
  • X11SCH-F/LN4F boards provide 8x SATA 6 Gb/s ports
X11SCL-F

The X11SCL-F employs a C242 PCH and is therefore limited to 6 SATA ports, like Haswell/Broadwell systems.

PCIe 3.0 connectivity is as follows:
  • One x16 slot (x8 electrical) from the CPU
  • Two x8 slots (x4 electrical) from the CPU
  • One M.2 slot (x4 electrical) from the PCH
The X11SCL-F also includes two additional USB 2.0 ports, for a total of six.

X11SCM-F

Unlike the older X11SSM-F model, the X11SCM-F is a compromised, cost-down version of a specialty model. It still employs the C246 PCH, but only presents six SATA ports, like the lower-end models. An additional SATA channel is available to the first M.2 slot, in addition to PCIe.

PCIe 3.0 connectivity is as follows:
  • One x16 slot from the CPU
  • Two M.2 slots (x4 electrical) from the PCH
The distinct lack of connectivity that the X11SCM-F suffers from is a result of it being a cost-reduced X11SCM-LN8F. The six PCIe lanes that the additional NICs would use are left unused, routed to the empty locations. SATA connectivity is presumably compromised by the networking focus of the parent model, whose applications would not benefit from additional storage.

X11SCM-LN8F and X11SCL-LN4F

These two models use the same PCB as the X11SCM-F and are thus nearly identical to it:
  • The X11SCM-LN8F has all eight Intel I210-AT NICs populated
  • The X11SCL-LN4F only has four Intel I210-AT NICs and eliminates the second M.2 slot
X11SCH-F

The X11SCH-F is the high-end Xeon E board from Supermicro. In practice, feature-wise, it is very similar to the X11SSH-F. In fact, the only difference is that the PCIe 3.0 x8 (x4 electrical) slot is exchanged for a second M.2 slot (4x PCIe 3.0).
It is also the first model in the range to expose all eight SATA ports.

PCIe 3.0 connectivity is as follows:
  • One x16 slot (x8 electrical) from the CPU
  • One x8 slot from the CPU
  • Two M.2 slots (x4 electrical) from the PCH
The X11SCH-F also includes two additional USB 2.0 ports, for a total of six.

X11SCH-LN4F

The X11SCH-LN4F is very similar to the X11SCH-F. The only difference is the addition of two Intel I210-AT GbE controllers (total of 4 I210s).

X11SCL-IF

The X11SCL-IF is mostly unrelated to all other boards covered here. It is, in fact, a miniITX model. This leads to several trade-offs, most notably the fact that it only has four SATA ports, making it extremely limiting for NAS use. It also has only two DIMM slots, limiting maximum memory to 32 GB with 16 GB UDIMMs, or 64 GB with 32 GB UDIMMs, once these are supported by the system firmware.

PCIe 3.0 connectivity is as follows:
  • One x16 slot from the CPU
  • One M.2 slot (x4 electrical) from the PCH
-O vs -B model numbers

Many people get confused with these model numbers when they can only find an X10SL7-F-O, instead of an X10SL7-F, or an X10SLM+-F-B instead of an X10SLM+-F.

All model numbers are exactly as printed in their respective sections. For real products, they get either an -O or a -B appended to them, for retail or bulk packaging, respectively.

An example:
A Supermicro X10SL7-F-O is a retail-packaged X10SL7-F motherboard
A Supermicro X10SL7-F-B is a bulk-packaged X10SL7-F motherboard.

What's the difference between them? With retail packaging, you get a box, with proper packaging materials. With bulk packaging, you get something along the lines of a static shield bag, a bit of protective foam and some cardboard to wrap it all up.
Author
Ericloewe
Views
306
First release
Last update
Rating
0.00 star(s) 0 ratings

More resources from Ericloewe

Top