Gigabyte R180-F34 1U Server (2011-3) $94-109 + Shipping

ptcfast2

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Now that's a bummer. I was going to considering doing that in the future to run my boot drive and vSAN cache drive from the same PCI slot. I'm not sure how I'd feel about a modified BIOS to enable that.
Luckily it's just a hidden setting option that can be shown. Gigabyte hid a bunch of stuff in this BIOS, as well as not really putting much thought into the general layout.

Ideally I was thinking of just applying the microcode updates (we're missing a few) and getting some of the settings back in the BIOS that can be quite helpful for those facing issues with board stability. That and fixing some of the horrible grammar and spelling...

Only downside is you would need to force the flash via a bootable USB drive as you won't be able to flash via the BMC due to signing issues. I technically don't need it for my usage (microcode would be good to have though) but if there's enough interest I can dig out my AMI tools and actually author a proper R16_STH BIOS revision. :p
 
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eptesicus

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Luckily it's just a hidden setting option that can be shown. Gigabyte hid a bunch of stuff in this BIOS, as well as not really putting much thought into the general layout.

Ideally I was thinking of just applying the microcode updates (we're missing a few) and getting some of the settings back in the BIOS that can be quite helpful for those facing issues with board stability. That and fixing some of the horrible grammar and spelling...

Only downside is you would need to force the flash via a bootable USB drive as you won't be able to flash via the BMC due to signing issues. I technically don't need it for my usage (microcode would be good to have though) but if there's enough interest I can dig out my AMI tools and actually author a proper R16_STH BIOS revision. :p
That'd be awesome. I'll be getting my servers setup at the end of the week. If I decide that will be nice, I'll maybe request that of you, but don't do it for my possible benefit!
 

kfriis

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Luckily it's just a hidden setting option that can be shown. Gigabyte hid a bunch of stuff in this BIOS, as well as not really putting much thought into the general layout.

Ideally I was thinking of just applying the microcode updates (we're missing a few) and getting some of the settings back in the BIOS that can be quite helpful for those facing issues with board stability. That and fixing some of the horrible grammar and spelling...

Only downside is you would need to force the flash via a bootable USB drive as you won't be able to flash via the BMC due to signing issues. I technically don't need it for my usage (microcode would be good to have though) but if there's enough interest I can dig out my AMI tools and actually author a proper R16_STH BIOS revision. :p
I agree - would be a great to have the modded BIOS available!
 

eptesicus

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Also, ptcfast2... How are you powering those SSDs in the optional optical slot? Am I seeing them powered via the front USB drives? I'm contemplating going with a small capacity SSD for boot instead of a tiny flash drive. I'm wondering where I can properly get power for an internal SSD. Are there any molex connections anywhere?
 

ptcfast2

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Also, ptcfast2... How are you powering those SSDs in the optional optical slot? Am I seeing them powered via the front USB drives? I'm contemplating going with a small capacity SSD for boot instead of a tiny flash drive. I'm wondering where I can properly get power for an internal SSD. Are there any molex connections anywhere?
I'm using a temporary (I hope) cable to power them via the front USB ports. This is technically my Plan B - using the onboard USB 3 header to power the drives.

There's a small optical drive power header which, in theory, can be split out to full size SATA ports and that's Plan A. I had to custom order the cable from China, and it should be here in a week or two. Otherwise, no Molex connectors anywhere - everything on the board that is power related is 12v direct and will fry any SSD you connect to it. It also sucks that they used a proprietary power cable for the backplane connection vs a SuperMicro Molex-style solution - so you are SOL there unless you want to modify a cable that more than likely has 0 replacements available. And I'm pretty sure the backplane takes care of some of the voltage stuff as well, but didn't play around too much/care enough to probe.

When I get the cable in I will report back if it works or not. If it does, will provide a link here - $20 each - breaks the ODD power into two full size SATA power connectors. Kind of crazy compared to the price of the server itself, but it's an odd connector for a very odd scenario. I just hope I got the measurements of the connector right else all my waiting will be for nothing!
 
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eptesicus

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Jun 25, 2017
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I'm using a temporary (I hope) cable to power them via the front USB ports. This is technically my Plan B - using the onboard USB 3 header to power the drives.

There's a small optical drive power header which, in theory, can be split out to full size SATA ports and that's Plan A. I had to custom order the cable from China, and it should be here in a week or two. Otherwise, no Molex connectors anywhere - everything on the board that is power related is 12v direct and will fry any SSD you connect to it. It also sucks that they used a proprietary power cable for the backplane connection vs a SuperMicro Molex-style solution - so you are SOL there unless you want to modify a cable that more than likely has 0 replacements available. And I'm pretty sure the backplane takes care of some of the voltage stuff as well, but didn't play around too much/care enough to probe.

When I get the cable in I will report back if it works or not. If it does, will provide a link here - $20 each - breaks the ODD power into two full size SATA power connectors. Kind of crazy compared to the price of the server itself, but it's an odd connector for a very odd scenario. I just hope I got the measurements of the connector right else all my waiting will be for nothing!
Thanks for the info. That optical drive header would be the bomb if it works out. Do you have a link to that cable?

Edit: Also, there's a number of open 4-pin fan headers on that mobo. Do you think something like this could work to power SATA SSDs? Supermicro 30cm 4-Pin (Fan) to Straight SATA 15-Pin Power Cable (CBL-PWEX-0696)
 
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ptcfast2

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Thanks for the info. That optical drive header would be the bomb if it works out. Do you have a link to that cable?

Edit: Also, there's a number of open 4-pin fan headers on that mobo. Do you think something like this could work to power SATA SSDs? Supermicro 30cm 4-Pin (Fan) to Straight SATA 15-Pin Power Cable (CBL-PWEX-0696)
I didn't like the idea of feeding power off of fan headers due to the BMC and not generally having control over the fans/power/what it's doing with them. If we had independent control of some of the headers just to rule out any BMC shenanigans (not that any would exist, I just believe in using the right tool for the job) I would be more comfy feeding off of them. If I recall correctly, the fans are fed off the backplane on this server, most of the actual fan headers on the board are not used.

However, it would be an option, but would likely require extension cables, etc.... due to the placement of the fan headers on the motherboard. So I'm pulling for the optical drive connector to work out since it's generally the tidiest solution of the available options and designed to provide stable 5v power. Also here's the link to said cable! If you can manage to find something local to the USA please let me know - this was the only cable I was able to find that seemed to match the pitch and also came pre-split.
 

eptesicus

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Jun 25, 2017
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I didn't like the idea of feeding power off of fan headers due to the BMC and not generally having control over the fans/power/what it's doing with them. If we had independent control of some of the headers just to rule out any BMC shenanigans (not that any would exist, I just believe in using the right tool for the job) I would be more comfy feeding off of them. If I recall correctly, the fans are fed off the backplane on this server, most of the actual fan headers on the board are not used.

However, it would be an option, but would likely require extension cables, etc.... due to the placement of the fan headers on the motherboard. So I'm pulling for the optical drive connector to work out since it's generally the tidiest solution of the available options and designed to provide stable 5v power. Also here's the link to said cable! If you can manage to find something local to the USA please let me know - this was the only cable I was able to find that seemed to match the pitch and also came pre-split.
Thanks! How about a picture of where the floppy 4-pin header connection is?

I only need 1 SATA drive there, and it looks like this would work for me. 2.54mm 4pin 4 - pin SATA Power cable | eBay

Edit: This may also work - Amazon.com: (2-Pack) COMeap 3.5" Floppy Drive FDD 4 Pin to SATA Hard Drive Power Adapter Cable 7.3-inch(18.5cm): Computers & Accessories
 
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ptcfast2

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Feb 1, 2021
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Thanks! How about a picture of where the floppy 4-pin header connection is?

I only need 1 SATA drive there, and it looks like this would work for me. 2.54mm 4pin 4 - pin SATA Power cable | eBay

Edit: This may also work - Amazon.com: (2-Pack) COMeap 3.5" Floppy Drive FDD 4 Pin to SATA Hard Drive Power Adapter Cable 7.3-inch(18.5cm): Computers & Accessories
It's not actually a floppy power connector for the ODD port. Which is why it's a bit odd. The first one might work though.
 

ptcfast2

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Feb 1, 2021
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Thanks! Have you checked the voltages of that header? I'm curious about the pin layout.
I did not, but it should be 5V since a slim ODD would be as well. It's actually missing the pin for 12V even (only has 3 pins and the 4th location is there, but not populated), so just going by process of elimination and design purpose.

1613599806958.png
 

Default User?

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I'm using a temporary (I hope) cable to power them via the front USB ports. This is technically my Plan B - using the onboard USB 3 header to power the drives.

There's a small optical drive power header which, in theory, can be split out to full size SATA ports and that's Plan A. I had to custom order the cable from China, and it should be here in a week or two. Otherwise, no Molex connectors anywhere - everything on the board that is power related is 12v direct and will fry any SSD you connect to it. It also sucks that they used a proprietary power cable for the backplane connection vs a SuperMicro Molex-style solution - so you are SOL there unless you want to modify a cable that more than likely has 0 replacements available. And I'm pretty sure the backplane takes care of some of the voltage stuff as well, but didn't play around too much/care enough to probe.

When I get the cable in I will report back if it works or not. If it does, will provide a link here - $20 each - breaks the ODD power into two full size SATA power connectors. Kind of crazy compared to the price of the server itself, but it's an odd connector for a very odd scenario. I just hope I got the measurements of the connector right else all my waiting will be for nothing!
I am also interested in doing something like this.
I was considering going pcie to sata m2adapter and using one of the 10 onboard sata ports.
 

ptcfast2

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I'm happy to report the cable I ordered works! Just came in today, plug and play solution. :D

Also, it looks like the eBay seller just drastically reduced the quantity of servers available for purchase. They only have 1 left now, last night it was still 40+ but they didn't actually sell 40 overnight. The reason I know this is because I ordered another last night.

I've asked the seller what happened and will let you all know if I hear anything back. I'd love to make sure as many people can snag one of these that want to.
 
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eptesicus

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I'm happy to report the cable I ordered works! Just came in today, plug and play solution. :D
That's awesome! What was the turnaround for you on the cable?

I'm considering the one I found on ebay if the red and yellow can be flipped to ensure I get 5v. But if not, the one you got would be better.
 

RayNelson

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Feb 8, 2020
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I'm happy to report the cable I ordered works! Just came in today, plug and play solution. :D

Also, it looks like the eBay seller just drastically reduced the quantity of servers available for purchase. They only have 1 left now, last night it was still 40+ but they didn't actually sell 40 overnight. The reason I know this is because I ordered another last night.

I've asked the seller what happened and will let you all know if I hear anything back. I'd love to make sure as many people can snag one of these that want to.
I think I snagged the last one. Once I completed my order, they showed ‘out of stock’. I looked earlier today and they apparently had 12+ available, and I don’t think that many disappeared all at once. Hope they actually fulfill my order.
 

eptesicus

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I think I snagged the last one. Once I completed my order, they showed ‘out of stock’. I looked earlier today and they apparently had 12+ available, and I don’t think that many disappeared all at once. Hope they actually fulfill my order.
Hopefully none of ours show up damaged or DOA!
 

ptcfast2

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Seller replied to me - said they are relisting the other servers but without drive sleds. So, makes them a bit useless unless compatible ones can be purchased somewhere else.
 

eptesicus

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Seller replied to me - said they are relisting the other servers but without drive sleds. So, makes them a bit useless unless compatible ones can be purchased somewhere else.
Interesting. At least they have some on hand if some of us have issues. I'm curious if someone made them an offer on a number of drive sleds.

Without the sleds, I could hopefully even pick another up for spare parts even cheaper.