Supermicro X11SDV-4C-TP8F, ESXi, Freenas, passthrough and cooling

Jul 29, 2019
16
2
3
Hi there everyone!

This is my first post here. I am considering building an ESXi/FreeNAS setup, and after reading a lot, I decided - almost - to buy the Supermicro X11SDV-4c-TP8F. I plan to install it on a Fractal Design 804. My original plan was to get a X11SDV-4C-TLN2F on a Fractal Design node 304, but I wasn't sure if that'd be future proof enough, specially because of the amount of PCI expansion and M.2 slots, so I decided to go for the bigger one, with the advantage of having more airflow.

My main concern here is regarding passthrough.

- Which controllers/devices are available for passing through to a VM under ESXi and this board?
- Will I need a HBA so that I can allocate disks directly to the FreeNAS VM? If not, if I manage to use passthrough of the SATA devices, will I still be able to boot from an M.2 SSD?

I am worried about being able to add SSD/HDD's in the future that are meant for the other VM's, so I won't want them allocated to the FreeNAS VM.

My other concern is cooling. I've read a lot of other users' experience with cooling it, but no one seems to have used some of the cooling heatsinks from Supermicro, such as this passive heatsink and also this active one. My question is, will they work with this board and keep the CPU cool? About the active one, is it too noisy?

Sorry for so many questions.
 

zer0sum

Active Member
Mar 8, 2013
389
144
43
I use mostly X9SRL and X10SRL boards, but I think you're experience will be pretty much the same on an X11.

Anything that will run in a PCIE slot at the right speeds can be passed through
As far as HBA's go, I like IBM M1015's if you just have HDD's and IBM M1215 12Gbps if you have SSD arrays

Supermicro active HSF's have been awesome for me so far, and are quiet as you like when you set cooling to standard or optimal in the bios/ipmi :D

upload_2019-7-29_15-34-26.png
 
Jul 29, 2019
16
2
3
I use mostly X9SRL and X10SRL boards, but I think you're experience will be pretty much the same on an X11.

Anything that will run in a PCIE slot at the right speeds can be passed through
As far as HBA's go, I like IBM M1015's if you just have HDD's and IBM M1215 12Gbps if you have SSD arrays

Supermicro active HSF's have been awesome for me so far, and are quiet as you like when you set cooling to standard or optimal in the bios/ipmi :D

View attachment 11619
thanks a lot!

I got an email from Supermicro today. They say that there’s no supported active cooling for the X11SDV-4C-TP8F. So I hope the preinstalled passive heat sync will be enough.
 
Jul 29, 2019
16
2
3
I use mostly X9SRL and X10SRL boards, but I think you're experience will be pretty much the same on an X11.

Anything that will run in a PCIE slot at the right speeds can be passed through
As far as HBA's go, I like IBM M1015's if you just have HDD's and IBM M1215 12Gbps if you have SSD arrays

Supermicro active HSF's have been awesome for me so far, and are quiet as you like when you set cooling to standard or optimal in the bios/ipmi :D

View attachment 11619
I got my machine yesterday, and loved it. I bought an HBA, but won't be using it, since it seems I managed to passthrough one of the SATA controllers.

I am not happy with the active cooler that I bought and had installed by Supermicro. Just too noisy, even with the optimal setting. I don't know if it's plugged incorrectly (it's on FANA), or if there's something wrong with my set up, as I don't see any temperature showing up (it says no sensors are present on the IPMI).