Supermicro X11SAT-F Thunderbolt 3 support

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by Vidmo, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. Vidmo

    Vidmo New Member

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    Does anyone else here have the Supermicro X11SAT-F? If so would you please respond and lets discuss what we need to do to get Supermicro off their butts and get this board certified for TB3. I've asked Supermicro multiple time over the past year when the certification will be completed, but they just keep saying eventually.

    For anyone who does not know, each motherboard with Thunderbolt need to be certified by Intel before the TB port can be turned on in the bios. Its been over a year since this board has been released and they still do not have it certified.

    Any ideas on how we can get this moving forward? I have a very large TB3 DAS that is waiting to get connected.

    Vidmo
     
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  2. IanD

    IanD New Member

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    No idea... The whole area around Thunderbolt support seems very poorly supported outside of Apple products.
    It is even hard to find out from Intel what is certified - see:
    List of Thunderbolt-compatible devices - Wikipedia
    Points to an Intel page -
    Products | Thunderbolt Technology Community
    Which has no mention of Supermicro in the drop-down list of companies, but does have three Supermicro products on their brochure -
    https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/Thunderbolt_Brochure_Siggraph_IDF.pdf

    I'd love to see TB3 on more server boards, as I'd use it for some small scale / local NAS connectivity, but the server world seems to pooh-pooh TB in favour of much more expensive 10GB Ethernet.
     
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  3. Stephan

    Stephan IT Professional

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    FWIW I have an X11SAT (without the -F, i.e. no IPMI) and tested DisplayPort Alternate Mode on the USB-C port two days ago. As cable I used a Plugable USBC-DP (1.8m) and with a Xeon E3-1275v6 using internal graphics that worked under Linux kernel 4.10. According to the standard this would be DisplayPort 1.2 hence capable of driving 4K at 60 Hz. Which makes this board one of the very very few C236-chipset based which can drive two 4K panels at 60 Hz. Plus it has even a third connector which is DVI that should do 2560x1600 at 60Hz. So that Alpine Ridge TB3 chip has a use after all, just not TB3 itself.

    Since TB3 is a very tiny niche I'd concur with IanD, you are better off selling that DAS and getting one that is using 10 Gbps ethernet over fiber or copper (more latency, more wattage for the latter).
     
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  4. Aestr

    Aestr Active Member

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    Not saying you need to, but if you end up abandoning TB3 and still want a DAS, SAS would make more sense for a DAS than 10gb ethernet as there's no point adding networking to the equation. You'll save a good chunk of money that way too.
     
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  5. IanD

    IanD New Member

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    Stephan, I was not supporting using 10Gb ethernet over TB3. I am looking for very small scale configurations rather than office wide NAS use. Two or three point to point connections would be useful. I'd be happy with either. But new laptops are coming out with TB connections, rather than 10Gb, and TB3 looks to be faster (and cheeper).
     
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  6. beaker7

    beaker7 New Member

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    Last time i spoke with SM support they were working on cerifying the Asus EX 3 card to be used on their x11 series boards.
     
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  7. Vidmo

    Vidmo New Member

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    Thanks beaker7.

    An update: I've been working with SM on the TB3 support and certification. They did get TB3 certification for this board from Intel last year and released a BIOS update along with a TB3 firmware update to get everything in place. These worked well. My thanks to SM for getting this done.

    Then I ran into another setback. Intel does *not* allow TB drivers to be installed into Windows Server. Without these TB drivers there is no guarantee that you're TB device will work and you have no way manage the TB authorization/handshake nor update the TB firmware. :mad:
    Thunderbolt support for Windows Server 2012 R2 ... |Intel Communities
     
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  8. beaker7

    beaker7 New Member

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    I see that board has the port built-in. No AOC support yet in the x11 boards and its getting kind of annoying. I am going to pester them some more.
     
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  9. beaker7

    beaker7 New Member

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    #9
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  10. trumee

    trumee Member

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    How does one get the TB3 firmware you are talking about?
     
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  11. Stephan

    Stephan IT Professional

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    Contact support
     
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  12. Aegwyn11

    Aegwyn11 New Member

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    Can anyone specify what firmware version for the X11SAT enables TB3?

    Also, where can you download the Windows drivers for it? The only ones I could find on Supermicro's site for the X11SAT were in the driver CD and they're ancient (don't allow Windows 10, only for Win7/8).
     
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  13. Stephan

    Stephan IT Professional

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    TB should work out of the box and more devices should work after updating to "Revision 100" aka X11SAT_TBT_FW_R100.bin.

    Only boards with DSL6540 need the update, DSL6340 won't.

    To update on Linux I used these instructions as a blueprint: Dell XPS 13 (9360) - ArchWiki Basically either connect a TB device or force the chip to power on, load firmware SPECIFIC to your board (nothing else) into non-active non-volatile memory, trigger update process, verify version, power off, power on, done.

    As for Windows 10 drivers, look for Intel TBT_WIN10_64_17.2.71.250.zip. The only reasonable chance of getting TB to work without jumping through hoops right now except for MacOS appears to be Linux or Windows 10. Win7/Win8.x is getting old and that is more and more of a problem.
     
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  14. Aegwyn11

    Aegwyn11 New Member

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    A couple of questions...

    Where do I get that firmware file? A Google search returned nothing.

    For the Win10 Thunderbolt drivers, something on my system doesn't seem to play nice. I installed a similar version of drivers I poached from Dell's XPS 13 support page and when I connect my TB3 device (Aja Io 4k Plus), I get a message from Windows that my TB device might not work properly, it only gets added in Device Manager as a USB device, and nothing happens with the TB driver. When I first connected it to an actual XPS 13, the TB driver came up right away asking me if I wanted to connect it. How do I get the TB driver to actually do something (force the TB chip to power on I guess like you mentioned)?


    Nick
     
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  15. Stephan

    Stephan IT Professional

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    Contact Supermicro support and ask for SFTP login to download that file. No idea about your TB3 device. Sounds like it goes into a USB via USB-C connector fallback mode, instead of talking TB via USB-C connector.
     
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  16. Aegwyn11

    Aegwyn11 New Member

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    As I mentioned, the device works fine on a Dell XPS 13...comes up as TB and is totally happy. Its like TB never even turns on for me on the X11SAT. Even if I had the firmware file, I can't use it because the firmware update utility will just tell me to connect a TB device, which doesn't help me since doing so doesn't actually power on TB. Any suggestions to force TB to power on?
     
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  17. Stephan

    Stephan IT Professional

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    There is a BIOS option under Advanced->Thunderbolt(TM) Configuration named "GPIO3 Force Pwr". Set to enabled, save with F4, poweroff, poweron then check if it stayed enabled and if so the TB-chip does not go to sleep any longer. Other than that I suggest to contact Supermicro support, they are fast to reply and really helpful in a technical way, compared to most other manufacturers. Make sure to have a 2.0 BIOS as well before updating the TB firmware.
     
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  18. Aegwyn11

    Aegwyn11 New Member

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    After working with Supermicro support, I was able to get the Thunderbolt FW updated, but it still doesn't work with my Aja box.

    FWIW, the drivers I had to use were TBT'16 SW2 PV_16.2.52.250_WHQL.zip, FW updater was X11SAT_Thunderbolt_FW_Update_Tool&SOP.zip, and firmware file was X11SAT_TBT_FW_R100.bin. Other drivers didn't work.

    I'm waiting on Supermicro for next steps, but any interim suggestions would be appreciated.
     
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  19. Aegwyn11

    Aegwyn11 New Member

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    I finally got it working! The thing that did it was a full power reset...shut the PC down, physically unplug it for five minutes, then boot back up. Now my Aja recognized and is working ok.

    The odd thing is I did full power downs previously and they didn't help, but I didn't physically unplug it. That seems to have done the trick for whatever reason.
     
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  20. Xtr3m373

    Xtr3m373 New Member

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    Hi,
    I have some problem to work with it. Can you write me the bios version, slot pcie used and the bios parameter that you use to work with it please?
     
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