Asrock C226 ITX soon

RimBlock

Member
Sep 18, 2011
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I have one with our distributors awaiting my collection.

Unfortunately it is for one of my customers though so cannot open the box. Will take a pic when it is in.
 

Fusionhost

New Member
May 24, 2013
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I can't wait for the reviews and the UK release so I can finally upgrade my NAS box to a low powered home server!
 

okashira

New Member
Oct 4, 2013
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Does anyone know if this motherboard supports bifurcation?
I would like to divide PCIe slot with the splitter, something like that.
Good luck getting confirmation on that.

It may be part of the PCI-e spec, meaning it *should work* if you can confirm that.
 

modernist

New Member
Aug 28, 2013
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For those who are curious about more details, I ended up taking the plunge and ordered one of these from Superbiiz this week.

ASRock E3C226D2i
Xeon e3-1240v3 OEM
Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/16G DDR3-1333 16GB(2x 8GB) ECC Unregistered CL9
Scythe Big Shuriken v1 with full-size 120mm fan (SY1225SL12LM-P)
Seasonic SS-300SFD Power Supply
Lian Li PC-Q25 case
IBM BR10i SATA card
Plus a bunch of 2.5 and 3.5 hard drives

Overall, everything worked pretty well out of the box. The motherboard comes in a retail box with 6x SATA cables and, curiously, what appears to be a backplate for a CPU heatsink. The manual doesn't mention that part at all.

Idle power, ESXi 5.5 (CPU, RAM, and 3 fans at low rpm): 23W
Idle power, ESXi 5.5 (with RAID card and drives in standby): 40W

These idle power numbers are pretty similar to what I was getting with my i5-2390t, except this CPU has a broader "range" and is much snappier overall.

The whole IPMI function is new to me and looks pretty cool. I like being able to see the temperatures and fan speeds independent of whatever OS is running. You can even log in via ssh into a little BusyBox shell, which looks promising for some customization.

I did encounter some issues that people might want to know about:
1. The fan controls are pretty minimal. You can choose either manual or "SmartFan" for each of 3 fans. However, there's no ability to set thresholds, fan speed warnings, etc. The default profile seems to allow the CPU to get over 50C before it ramps up the fan speed. I'll probably submit a support request and see if they can add some more granular control in a future BIOS version (one can hope!) This may not be a big issue in a datacenter environment, but for a quiet home server I'd like to have a lot more control over the fans.
2. ESXi 5.1 is on the supported OS list. However, with a fresh install, something about the partitioning scheme causes the motherboard to lock up in a way that it won't boot when the drive is connected. Google 'runweasel formatwithmbr' for the workaround if you plan to use ESXi.
3. I had been using OpenMediaVault as my main OS with VirtualBox VMs, but the 2.6 kernel seems to not support the latest Haswell power saving features, so the system was idling over 60W. So, make sure whatever OS you run is running a relatively new kernel if this is a concern. ESXi 5.5 seems fine with Power Saving set to "Low Power".
4. The i210 network adapters are relatively new, so getting drivers can be a bit of a pain. However, Patrick has a nice article that explains how to do this for ESXi.
5. I'm a little confused about the "dedicated IPMI interface" - the BIOS only allows you to configure management services on the two main i210 interfaces, and the manual is next to useless. Anyone have an idea how this is supposed to work?
 
Last edited:

okashira

New Member
Oct 4, 2013
8
0
0
For those who are curious about more details, I ended up taking the plunge and ordered one of these from Superbiiz this week.

ASRock E3C226D2i
Xeon e3-1240v3 OEM
Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/16G DDR3-1333 16GB(2x 8GB) ECC Unregistered CL9
Scythe Big Shuriken v1 with full-size 120mm fan (SY1225SL12LM-P)
Seasonic SS-300SFD Power Supply
Lian Li PC-Q25 case
IBM BR10i SATA card
Plus a bunch of 2.5 and 3.5 hard drives

Overall, everything worked pretty well out of the box. The motherboard comes in a retail box with 6x SATA cables and, curiously, what appears to be a backplate for a CPU heatsink. The manual doesn't mention that part at all.

Idle power, ESXi 5.5 (CPU, RAM, and 3 fans at low rpm): 23W
Idle power, ESXi 5.5 (with RAID card and drives in standby): 40W

These idle power numbers are pretty similar to what I was getting with my i5-2390t, except this CPU has a broader "range" and is much snappier overall.

The whole IPMI function is new to me and looks pretty cool. I like being able to see the temperatures and fan speeds independent of whatever OS is running. You can even log in via ssh into a little BusyBox shell, which looks promising for some customization.

I did encounter some issues that people might want to know about:
1. The fan controls are pretty minimal. You can choose either manual or "SmartFan" for each of 3 fans. However, there's no ability to set thresholds, fan speed warnings, etc. The default profile seems to allow the CPU to get over 50C before it ramps up the fan speed. I'll probably submit a support request and see if they can add some more granular control in a future BIOS version (one can hope!) This may not be a big issue in a datacenter environment, but for a quiet home server I'd like to have a lot more control over the fans.
2. ESXi 5.1 is on the supported OS list. However, with a fresh install, something about the partitioning scheme causes the motherboard to lock up in a way that it won't boot when the drive is connected. Google 'runweasel formatwithmbr' for the workaround if you plan to use ESXi.
3. I had been using OpenMediaVault as my main OS with VirtualBox VMs, but the 2.6 kernel seems to not support the latest Haswell power saving features, so the system was idling over 60W. So, make sure whatever OS you run is running a relatively new kernel if this is a concern. ESXi 5.5 seems fine with Power Saving set to "Low Power".
4. The i210 network adapters are relatively new, so getting drivers can be a bit of a pain. However, Patrick has a nice article that explains how to do this for ESXi.
5. I'm a little confused about the "dedicated IPMI interface" - the BIOS only allows you to configure management services on the two main i210 interfaces, and the manual is next to useless. Anyone have an idea how this is supposed to work?
Thanks for your report. That is the first time I saw idle power numbers.

How did you measure?

Hoping mine will come in lower. I ordered a G3220 and will use a Kill A Watt


EDIT: I saw before your edit idle power 30W. 23W is better!
 
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MiniKnight

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2012
2,997
907
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NYC
Really low! Fans usually take a few watts each then add DIMMs, drives (still consume a little spun down) and the motherboard + processor and power loss from the PSU. 23w is much better than I would expect. I would consider 30 good.
 

modernist

New Member
Aug 28, 2013
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Yes, I think the range was actually something like 23W to 30W depending on fan speed. I chose to report the 23W number, as it's more representative of a fully-idle system with the fans turned down.
 

georgec

New Member
Nov 16, 2013
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I did encounter some issues that people might want to know about:
...
1. The fan controls are pretty minimal. You can choose either manual or "SmartFan" for each of 3 fans. However, there's no ability to set thresholds, fan speed warnings, etc. The default profile seems to allow the CPU to get over 50C before it ramps up the fan speed. I'll probably submit a support request and see if they can add some more granular control in a future BIOS version (one can hope!) This may not be a big issue in a datacenter environment, but for a quiet home server I'd like to have a lot more control over the fans.
...
4. The i210 network adapters are relatively new, so getting drivers can be a bit of a pain. However, Patrick has a nice article that explains how to do this for ESXi.

5. I'm a little confused about the "dedicated IPMI interface" - the BIOS only allows you to configure management services on the two main i210 interfaces, and the manual is next to useless. Anyone have an idea how this is supposed to work?
This does not help with ESXi, but FWIW, with a testing version of Debian installed (see separate post) the fan becomes extremely smart/quiet and the i210 nics are supported.

Re the IPMI, I was confused about how to get this working too, and I agree that the doc could be better.

However, it turns out that when you use > UEFI > Server Mgmt > BMC network configuration > Lan channel 1 > to configure an address, this configures the dedicated IPMI nic and enables the onboard megarac web server.

Then you can simply connect to the BMC using a web browser at the address you have configured. Once I got over this hump, I found that the management software works flawlessly and is pretty obvious!
 

georgec

New Member
Nov 16, 2013
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ASRock E3C226D2I + iStarUSA S-0512-DT = Happy Camper

I do systems biology and I need a couple linux servers at home.

I just built my first one using the ASRock E3C226D2I mini-ITX board and the E3 1240 V3 in the iStarUSA S-0512-DT case.

I have no prior experience with IPMI, and no experience commissioning linux boxen. I found that after I enabled the BMC in the UEFI I could easily do everything else remotely. WOW!

I am extremely happy with the E3C226D2I motherboard & associated software. Highly recommended!

The iStarUSA S-0512-DT case is the smallest box (8"W x 6"H x 9"D) that I could find that would accomodate the stock intel fan with space for a 5.25" hotswap rack. I found it to be well designed and beautifully made of (possibly too) thick aluminum (e.g., might become a jack stand in a later life). Also highly recommended.

BTW, I prefer Debian. At first I tried stable (wheezy) planning to build the intel i210 driver from source. But it turned out to be such a pain to get the packages together in order to compile the source with no nic working that I decided to use the weekly build of debian testing (jessie) (which supports the i210) from here:

Index of /cdimage/weekly-builds/amd64/iso-cd

debian-testing-amd64-netinst.iso 2013-11-11 19:54 210M

Other than needing to use the advanced install in order to sort out a minor glitch with the mirrors, I can report that this installs and runs flawlessly.
 

modernist

New Member
Aug 28, 2013
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This does not help with ESXi, but FWIW, with a testing version of Debian installed (see separate post) the fan becomes extremely smart/quiet
I've been running for a while longer with the fans set to "SmartFan" and it seems to actually be working pretty well. The e3-1240 idles around 50C with fan at low speed and goes to about 80C and full fan when running folding@home. Initially, I was getting under-speed errors on the fans in the IPMI console, but that seems to have subsided. Not sure if it's smart enough to auto-sense the RPM range of the fans, or maybe it's just a matter of everything warming up a bit to reach a steady state. Currently, the CPU fan is 1000 RPM and case fan at 300 RPM and overall things are pretty quiet. At this point I think I would like to retract my concern about the fan controls as it seems to be working well enough.
 

Aluminum

Active Member
Sep 7, 2012
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BTW, I prefer Debian. At first I tried stable (wheezy) planning to build the intel i210 driver from source. But it turned out to be such a pain to get the packages together in order to compile the source with no nic working that I decided to use the weekly build of debian testing (jessie) (which supports the i210) from here:

Index of /cdimage/weekly-builds/amd64/iso-cd
FWIW, if anyone is using ubuntu or derivatives (I call them the non-crap UI versions) the 3.11 kernel in 13.10 is a new enough igb driver for the i21x NICs.

It also just barely made it in time to get the iwlwifi drivers for intel 7260 wireless and has better haswell gpu support for those of you getting brand new laptops, both types of hardware that are frequent sources of pain for early hardware adopters trying to run *nix.
 

georgec

New Member
Nov 16, 2013
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iStarUSA S-0512-DTcase, STHbench.sh

I like that case very much! May have to get one.

Just wondering, does STHbench.sh run on that build?
A particularly brilliant feature of the iStarUSA S-0512-DT case is that the bottom plate (with power supply attached) removes with 4 screws. So you can install and populate the MB and test the build with all the connectors in place outside of the case. Way easier than any other case I have ever used.

Re STHbench.sh, I needed to add wheezy to sources.list to find hardinfo and phoronix-test-suite, at which point it runs with one exception:

The following tests failed to properly run:
- pts/openssl-1.7.0: RSA 4096-bit Performance