Supermicro X11SPH-nCTF

JSNAS

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Dec 26, 2016
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Isn't this one the SM server they reviewed with the elongated model name?
Yes, Patrick already reviewed it here back in August.

Summary: 2 x 10Gb LAN, 18 SATA/SAS (on DMI3+PCIe x8 to the PCH instead of just DMI3 on previous gen, so a lot more bandwidth for LAN/drives/USB/etc.), 6 channels DDR4 @ 2666 (8 DIMM slots), up to 256GB RDIMM (or more for other DIMM types), 4 PCIe slots, M.2, and Oculink NVMe. And all of this at lower power than previous gen. Street price $500-550. Of course, the cost for motherboard+cpu can add up, but as Patrick points out, entry price (with low end Bronze cpu) is about $750, a pretty good deal since you won't ever need to add any SAS or 10Gb cards.
 
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bitrot

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Aug 7, 2017
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It's an excellent board. I have one in my homserver and I'm really happy with it, even considering to buy another one for a new backup Intel Xeon Silver sytem which I'm planning. The price premium compared to the other socket 3647 Supermicro boards is relative, considering the features it has (SAS3, OCuLink, 10Gbe etc. on board).
 
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JSNAS

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Dec 26, 2016
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Ok, so I have my X11SPH-nCTF and have tested nearly everything out, but I'm uncertain how to configure the LSI 3008 controller's SFF-8643 "SAS0-7" ports to work with plain old SATA drives. (The SFF-8087 "SATA0-7" ports work fine.) Should I configure each SATA drive as its own individual RAID0 array? I'm going to be running FreeNAS which has ZFS so I don't need any hardware RAID capabilities.
 
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K D

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Dec 24, 2016
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I'm uncertain how to configure the LSI 3008 controller's SFF-8643 "SAS0-7" ports to work with plain old SATA drives. (The SFF-8087 "SATA0-7" ports work fine.)
I'm confused. The board has no 8087 connectors. to directly connect to sata disks, you will use a 8643 to sata breakout cable. If connecting to a backplane then you will use a 8643 to 8643 or 8643 to 8087 straight cable depending on the Backplane.

The lsi 3008 is a HBA. I do not have this board but have it in other boards as well as separate AICs. The drives should show up as separate drives
 

JSNAS

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Dec 26, 2016
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The X11SPH-nCTF board does have two SFF-8087 connectors (see bottom left-edge of pic, just to the left of the 2 yellow standard SATA connectors) which work fine for me:
https://www.supermicro.com/CDS_Imag...ntel_motherboard_active/x11sph-nctf_front.jpg

and they are listed on page 13 in the manual (ie. "I-SATA0~3, I-SATA4~7", in contrast to the "L-SAS0~7" which I'm trying to get working):
https://www.supermicro.com/manuals/motherboard/C620/MNL-1949.pdf

Anyway, I'm connecting the SATA drive directly to the SFF-8643 connector via an Adaptec 2280000-R cable (no backplanes) :
https://storage.microsemi.com/nr/pdfs/sas-HD-cables.pdf

"The Adaptec I-rA-HDmSAS-4SATA-SB-.8M is an internal right-angle mini SAS HD x4 (SFF-8643) to (4) x1 Serial ATA(adapter based) fan-out cable with sideband signals. It measures .8 meters and is used for connecting a Series 7/7Q/7H/7He adapter to SATA disks, or a SAS/SATA backplane.
Part Number: 2280000-R"​

But during boot, the Avago BIOS is reporting 0 devices found. I also tried selecting the drive in main SuperMicro BIOS, but it also doesn't see the drive at all.

Did I choose the wrong cable? Or do I need to connect that sideband cable to something?
 

JSNAS

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Dec 26, 2016
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Ok, it turns out the problem was that I was using a really old SATA drive for testing purposes. Once I switched to a newer drive, everything works fine. Thanks for the help.