Inventec C202 Motherboards - 10Gbe and 4x SAS ports ~$20

chinesestunna

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Jan 23, 2015
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Older Xeon E3 boards, the seller has several models but I found one that's really interesting: Inventec Server Motherboard LGA 1155 DDR3 B421GA0 SAS & SATA plugs, SPF port | eBay

These seem to be specially OEM versions as model number doesn't yield any info on Google, I've also asked the seller. From just the image, the board seems to have a SFP+ 10gbe port, IPMI port, and quad SAS for 16 drives. Could be really neat for a low power NAS build :)
 
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Aestr

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Oct 22, 2014
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Interesting. Looks like you'd need a custom chassis with how widely space the rear IO ports are, but if you can make it work that's a very purpose driven board.

Edit: Looking at some Inventec servers it seems they do indeed have a custom chassis where IO spans most of the width.
 

jirijanata

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Mar 9, 2016
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It’s really SPF+ port? In the listing is mentioned just SPF.

I was also not able to find any information about this motherboard...

Also the holes are definitely not ATX..
 

abq

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May 23, 2015
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I'll second that thought - wish they included unique case, otherwise next to impossible for us to source at any reasonable price.
> These motherboards were pulled from working systems

Man, if they did pull these from working systems, and they have the chassis, selling them separately is really dumb. Even a weird, non-standard case would be much nicer then none at all.
 
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chinesestunna

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Jan 23, 2015
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It’s really SPF+ port? In the listing is mentioned just SPF.

I was also not able to find any information about this motherboard...

Also the holes are definitely not ATX..
The seller doesn't have any additional info but squinting hard at the 2nd picture the port seems to say "SFP+ 0" on the PCB. I can't be sure but judging from the heatsinks on the board, 1 is for C202, 2x for some LSI SAS controllers and 1x for a 10Gbe network chip makes sense.
 

chinesestunna

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> These motherboards were pulled from working systems

Man, if they did pull these from working systems, and they have the chassis, selling them separately is really dumb. Even a weird, non-standard case would be much nicer then none at all.
I'll second that thought - wish they included unique case, otherwise next to impossible for us to source at any reasonable price.
I completely agree, I posted this thinking some of the maker/fab guys on this board may be able to custom make a chassis for it. At $20 if I had an i3 or E3 chip I would've jumped just to find out what it is/does :)
 

fake-name

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Feb 28, 2017
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So..... uh, I'm now realizing I have no LGA1155 CPUs to stick in this thing.

I have an older Core-2 era processor, would that work? Or can anyone recommend a similarly priced ebay CPU for it?
 

chinesestunna

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Oh man that's what I held off being guinea pig, I believe Xeon E3 v1 and v2 are standard fare for C202 chipset and also some Sandy/Ivy Bridge i3 and Pentiums, I believe the latter two will be the cheaper choices
 

chinesestunna

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:p haha well this is definitely not 2000lbs... I made the reverse mistake last week and picked up a chip I thouigt I had board for haha.
And don't get me started when I mistook a child playset "workbench" as the real thing and almost went to pick it up
 

hmartin

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Sep 20, 2017
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@fake-name just pick up a socket 1155 processor like the G2020T for cheap (<$10 on eBay). Be sure to check that the CPU supports ECC though. A good bet is low-end CPUs shipped in the HP Microserver or similar, people typically upgrade them and you can find them cheap on eBay.
 

fake-name

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Feb 28, 2017
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@hmartin - This is going to be my backup NAS if it works, so I just went and bought a Xeon E3-1230V1.

I have a giant pile of 4 GB DDR3 ECC sticks from upgrading servers, so that together should leave me pretty well set. The only issue then is housing.

I can modify a existing case pretty easily, but I'd still need to shop for something like a SC846, or maybe one of those backblaze-pod-alikes.

The board should be here today, so more pictures later.
 

fake-name

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Feb 28, 2017
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Well, this is quickly turning into kind of an ordeal.

This goddamn board better work.
 

kapone

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May 23, 2015
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@fake-name if I recall correctly E3 xeons and C202 chipset takes ECC UDIMMs and not RDIMMs, while most ram from E5 servers are RDIMMs
Correct, they take ECC UDIMMs (expensive!) or non ECC RAM. If you use an E3 CPU, you need ECC RAM, an i5 or i5 can be used with non ECC RAM.

Note: Sometimes Apple 1866 ECC UDIMMs can be found pretty cheap...because..well most people think they will not work in non-Apple machines..which is baloney. They work just fine.

p.s. A fair number of Inventec boards have issues with Windows not even installing (the ACPI registers are configured differently and not compatible with Windows). I had these boards on watchlist for the longest time, but just couldn't bring myself to buy them, even at the rock bottom price. Too many unknowns.

That said, you rock...for making the effort! :)
 

chinesestunna

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Jan 23, 2015
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Correct, they take ECC UDIMMs (expensive!) or non ECC RAM. If you use an E3 CPU, you need ECC RAM, an i5 or i5 can be used with non ECC RAM.

Note: Sometimes Apple 1866 ECC UDIMMs can be found pretty cheap...because..well most people think they will not work in non-Apple machines..which is baloney. They work just fine.

p.s. A fair number of Inventec boards have issues with Windows not even installing (the ACPI registers are configured differently and not compatible with Windows). I had these boards on watchlist for the longest time, but just couldn't bring myself to buy them, even at the rock bottom price. Too many unknowns.

That said, you rock...for making the effort! :)
@kapone can you run i5 on these? I did some research and thought it was i3 and Pentiums only. Happy to be wrong, I have an i5-3550 looking for a home