Questions about Intel P-8136

jasonsansone

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Sep 15, 2020
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I was going to send a direct message to @RolloZ170 but then I decided the entire community would be better served by making it a public post.

This board, and @RolloZ170 specifically, appear to be the gurus of the planet on Skylake SP B1 stepping processors. There isn't any discussion outside servethehome on the subject, which is rare. I made a low ball offer to an eBay seller for three P-8136 which was accepted. I am hoping I don't regret the purchase. I intentionally went with the P-8136 because it does not require any VRM mods. To my understanding, the only barrier to functionality is microcode, but I am hoping to get more clarity on these chips from the community.

I have three Supermicro X11SPL-F motherboards. I know how to use MMTool and UBU Bios editor. I have opened and studied every BIOS released for the SM board from 1.0 to the present 3.6. None of the releases include 50653 microcode for the P-8136's B1 stepping. ES support for B0 stepping was removed beginning with 3.0. 2.1 is the last release with pre-production 50650, 50651, and 50652 microcodes. Of course, that doesn't really matter to me since I am not using a 50650, 50651, or 50652 ES chip. I can easily inject the 50653 microcode into either 2.1 or 3.6 bios... but my question is if support ends at 2.1. I have read on this forum that CPU initialization changed with 3.0 BIOS which blocks B0 stepping chips from working on BIOS after 2.1, even if you mod the BIOS to re-add the microcode, but I am not sure if the same is true for B1 stepping. Somewhat shockingly, Intel is still fully supporting the B1 chips with a new microcode released as recently as 03-14-2022.

Questions:

1. Do I need to do anything other than add 50653 microcode to BIOS for the P-8136 to work on an X11SPL-F motherboard?

2. What is the newest BIOS revision which will function with injected microcode, ie 2.1 or 3.6?

3. Is there anything I am not thinking about or missing? What else do I need to know about these chips?

4. Does anyone know what changed from B1 to H0? I realize stepping changes can vary from minuscule to significant. Curious if anyone had any insight at all as to what was changed or improved from the OEM-only B1 stepping prior to retail release H0.

Thank you all in advance!
 

RolloZ170

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Apr 24, 2016
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1. Do I need to do anything other than add 50653 microcode to BIOS for the P-8136 to work on an X11SPL-F motherboard?
no
2. What is the newest BIOS revision which will function with injected microcode, ie 2.1 or 3.6?
3.6 but not tested
have P-8124 running on X11SPM BIOS 3.4 (with VRM modd and BIOS TDP modd)
4. Does anyone know what changed from B1 to H0?
good question !
chinese seller sayd B1 is not as stable than H0, but in the meantime intel provided some microcode updates so this may changed today.
 
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jasonsansone

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Sep 15, 2020
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Thank you! I will report back and keep this thread updated with what I also learn after everything arrives and I begin testing.
 

RolloZ170

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Apr 24, 2016
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I know how to use MMTool and UBU Bios editor.
what todo is only replace the microcodes with at least the following with a Hex Editor.
50653 <- your P-8136
50654 SKL H0
50656 CLX B0
50657 CLX B1
amount of bytes not more than before, do not move any other stuff in the BIOS.
update the _FIT_ table ( search for "_FIT_" ) UEFITool can give you a hint what it is.
 

jasonsansone

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Sep 15, 2020
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what todo is only replace the microcodes with at least the following with a Hex Editor.
50653 <- your P-8136
50654 SKL H0
50656 CLX B0
50657 CLX B1
amount of bytes not more than before, do not move any other stuff in the BIOS.
update the _FIT_ table ( search for "_FIT_" ) UEFITool can give you a hint what it is.
Pardon my ignorance. Why a hex editor or UEFITool as opposed to MMTool?
 

jasonsansone

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Sep 15, 2020
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Status Report (09-21-2022):

Installed motherboard and new processor to the chassis. Updated IMPI and BIOS. Using newest 3.6 BIOS with injected 50653 microcode. Running Proxmox 7.2 with 5.19 kernel. I haven't experienced any weird quirks. Everything works like a normal CPU. All core and single core boost go to 2.7 and 3.5. AVX-512 runs at base 2.0. Highest observed temp with Prime95 was 61C with even temperatures across all 28 cores.

1x P-8136 (28C/56T):
Geekbench 4: 4,542 / 69,089
Geekbench 5: 942 / 18,344
Passmark: 35,273

2x E5-2697 v4 (36C/72T):
Geekbench 4: 4,000 / 65,500
Geekbench 5: 840 / 18,500
Passmark: 40,000
 
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jasonsansone

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Sep 15, 2020
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Comparison of Compiling Handbrake from source:

2x E5-2697 v4:

Time: 181.65s
Power Consumption: 374W

1x P8136:
Time: 148.71s
Power Consumption: 271W