X10SDV-TLN4F versus X10SRH-CLN4F for a Storage/Hyper-V server.

HotFix

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Greetings,

I am finally pulling the trigger on purchasing the hardware for my Window Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces/Hyper-V server, thanks to this website and these forums. I already have 4 datacenter class SSDs and have order 5/8 HDDs (Newegg is enforcing their 5 item limit sadly).

I am narrowing in on a Supermicro SC846 chassis through discussions with an Ebay reseller and help from STH forum members.

Now the time has come for the next big purchase... the motherboard and CPU.

Originally I had become smitten with the X10SDV-TLN4F because it had a great low power processor on it and the 4 NICs I wanted (2 of which I could eventually use as 10Gb). I am very concerned with noise/heat/power utilization, and this seemed to fit the bill on all counts. Back when I was considering the U-NAS 800 case, this seemed like a perfect marriage since that required an mini-ITX motherboard.

Fast forward to now with my decision to go with the SC846, and the size of the motherboard doesn't seem to matter. I read something on one of the forum posts where someone had to get a fan splitter to support all of the SC846 fans so the motherboard could manage them, so I checked the mini-ITX board and found out I would need a splitter as well if I wanted it to manage the fans. This got me thinking about that board being a good fit for the case.

Seeing as how I was about to drop ~$900 on a motherboard + processor and then probably another $200-300 on a SAS HBA, I decided to look around and see what else was out there on Supermicro's site. That's when I found the X10SRH-CLN4F for ~$400. It has 4 NICs (although I would lose the ability to upgrade to 10Gb w/o an add-on card), supported the latest gen E5-2600 v3 processors, and incudes a 12G SAS card integrated. I checked around online and it looks like I could get a comparable 8 core low power CPU in the Xeon E5-2630L v3 (it's 1.8Ghz versus the 1540's 2.0Ghz) for ~$600.

A friend of mine told me that I was going overboard with that CPU and I should get a lesser one (with a higher TDP) for $300. That and I think the "L" Xeons are all OEM since you can't buy them retail for some reason.

Seeing as how the cost would be a wash (if I include the SAS HBA which I need to), what do you all think of switching gears and getting the full size ATX motherboard and processor? Again I am worried about heat/noise/power consumption.
 

HotFix

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Well if the memory limits are raised because the motherboard is getting changed, then in theory I could increase the RAM and run more VMs on the box and hold off buying 2 more servers to form a Hyper-V cluster (and use this box as the iSCSI/SMB3 CSV target).
 
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T_Minus

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Well, if going with the 846 and you may/need more VMs I'd get a 2P board to start, you can get them in the same range ~4-600$ with 10Gig, I know, I have one :D

Then you could start with 1 CPU if you don't need all the resources available on the motherboard right away.

If you're just going single CPU get an E5-16xx and save a LOT of money. The E5-1620 is a great CPU for all around, and very affordable. You'll "FEEL" the snappy response of that CPU compared to a 2603 or 2609.

If you have the funds, and are planning for the future though I'd go 2P board, with a mid-range CPU, not a low-range (2609/2603), while they have their place I don't think a multi-use VM server is one, IMHO.
 

HotFix

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Well, if going with the 846 and you may/need more VMs I'd get a 2P board to start, you can get them in the same range ~4-600$ with 10Gig, I know, I have one :D

Then you could start with 1 CPU if you don't need all the resources available on the motherboard right away.

If you're just going single CPU get an E5-16xx and save a LOT of money. The E5-1620 is a great CPU for all around, and very affordable. You'll "FEEL" the snappy response of that CPU compared to a 2603 or 2609.

If you have the funds, and are planning for the future though I'd go 2P board, with a mid-range CPU, not a low-range (2609/2603), while they have their place I don't think a multi-use VM server is one, IMHO.
I could definitely change out the motherboard, but I'm more interested in people's overall opinion of switching from the all-in-one (minus SAS HBA) solution in a mini-ITX versus the roll your own ATX + Processor (and hopefully HBA) solution.
 

badskater

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Hi, I haven't been posting a lot lately (work can take lots of time), but I think i should put my idea for you here.

You talk about a SAS HBA. If you choose the X10SRH-CLN4F, you don't have to worry about it, as there's one onboard. (Sure, it doesn't do raid, but with Storage Space, all works like a charm with HBA, instead of Raid Controllers.) So, it's something less to think to buy. I agree that 10gbps will be lost, but you have 6 expension slots, you could add one later instead of an HBA. And they're about $100-$120 on eBay right now. Just for now, the X10SRH-CLN4F + a E5-1620v3 is cheaper in the end. And more memory won't be an issue, as it has 8 dimm slots.

Here's the prices i got for both (CPU + Mobo)

SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SRH-CLN4F-O ATX Server Motherboard LGA 2011 - Newegg.com (X10SRH-CLN4F) $420
Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3 Haswell-EP 3.5GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 10MB L3 Cache LGA 2011-3 140W BX80644E51620V3 Server Processor - Newegg.com (E5-1620v3) $310

X10SDV-TLN4F-B Supermicro Intel Xeon D-1540/ DDR4/ SATA3&USB3.0/ 4GbE/ Mini-ITX Motherboard & CPU Combo - Motherboards - CPU on Board - SuperBiiz.com (X10SDV-TLN4F) $880

So, it's only me thinking, you make your own opinion in the end, but for me, i find more value in a E5-1620v3 than a D-1540 for now, just because of pricing and the case you are gonna use. You could go the 2P way as others have said, just price will be a bit higher, and an advice, a E5-2630v3 would be better to start with 2P. (Even if you use only 1 CPU at first :))

So, in the end, it's $150 less in the US for now for the E5, and you won't have to buy an HBA as well. (while i didn't check the best price available, as I don't know the websites in the US to do so, since I'm not in the US)

If you have a bit more of money, I would go with the E5-1650v3 for the cores added, since you want to do an Hyper-V host with the server as well.
Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3 Haswell-EP 3.5GHz 6 x 256 KB L2 Cache 15MB L3 Cache LGA 2011-3 140W Server Processor BX80644E51650V3 - Retail - Newegg.com (E5-1650v3) $600
 
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HotFix

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Thanks for all your feedback, you really helped me switch gears from the mini-ITX board.

I decided to pull the trigger on the E5-2630 V3 processor because Microcenter had it on a stupid deal for $529.99. I didn't feel comfortable buying the E5-1600 v3 series processors because they had a much higher TDP of 140W than the processor I chose of 85W, and while it's only 2.4Gz cores, it's 8 of them. :)

I looked at the dual-processor versions of the Supermicro motherboard X10SRH-CLN4F, and it looks like comparable version is the X10DRC-LN4+. Unfortunately that motherboard is just under 2X the amount of the single processor version. If money was no object I would totally get one, but that's a lot for the off chance I would need to double the processing power some day. I think I will stick with the single processor board and simply get more servers if I need more processing power.

I see this used motherboard on Ebay, but I am a little skittish about buying something like that used:
Supermicro MBD X10SRH CLN4F O ATX Server Motherboard LGA 2011 | eBay
Anyone else have experience buying used motherboards off of Ebay? How does the manufacturer warranty work in that scenario? I see the reseller gives a 14 day warranty which isn't much.
 

T_Minus

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Remember the wattage rating is 'max', remember that's not what it runs at all the time or even often. It's very misleading for people to compare because almost NO ONE runs at 100% or even 50%+ most of the time.

A 130w v3 is going to run close to a 85w v3 during low load, and idle which you likely will see at home with 6+ cores, especially fast ones.

For the $ I would have gotten the E5-1620 v3 or for the same money E5-1650 v3 for 2 more cores. The E3-1650 actually scores higher on passmark than the E5-2630 v3 even though it has 2 less cores, they run MUCH faster.

Other than the 85w max, you are getting a CPU made for running in 2P boards, so if you're only using 1P you spent extra $ On a cpu not needed because of the wattage fear. Think of it like 85w is your max - but you're CPU limited, 130w you get much more CPU performance WHEN NEEDED when not needed you get a nice idle still. The reason they cost the same but one is much higher frequency is the E5-26xx is made for 2P boards, the E5-16xx is only made for 1 CPU configs and thus is much cheaper overall across the board.

That's my take on it anyway. Hope it helps :D
 
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HotFix

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Part of my concern on the processor is the heat generated (an 85W TDP processor will likely generate less heat than a 140W TDP), the power draw (less heat usually indicates less power being used), and the noise level (less heat means the fans could run quieter). That's part of the reason I leaned towards the E5-2600 8 core processor versus the E5-1600 6 core processor. I was considering the "L" variant for a while but a friend talked me out of it as it was slower (1.8Ghz versus 2.4Ghz cores) and it wasn't much lower in TDP rating for the same price.

I hear you regarding the E5-1650 v3 being a faster CPU. The Passmark scores are pretty close though, so I'm not sure it being faster outweighs my other concerns on heat/power/noise. I am currently trying to confirm if Hyper-V will benefit more from 6 cores at a higher clock speed versus 8 cores at a lower clock speed (but with slightly more cache). I have until the end of the day to change my mind because I can cancel my order with Microcenter.

Meanwhile I'm still interested if anyone has experience buying used motherboards off of Ebay. How does the manufacturer warranty work in that scenario? I see the reseller of the one I linked gives a 14 day warranty which isn't much.
 

T_Minus

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Yes, it could get hot and use more power if you needed it. If you need it now, you don't have it. That's all I was saying :) At idle, and most time they will run very very close to the same heat/power.

I buy used motherboards all the time. I would say ~10% (like everything I order) come broken or damaged in some way.

I don't think many here expect warranties on ebay items though. If you want a warranty the best bet is to ask the seller if there is one, and if siwll the transfer it if need be. For HDs get SNs to check, etc...
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Generally speaking, given two processors of equal design (i.e. same generation and core count) with one at an 85W TDP and one at 150W, they'll both use the same amount of power for a given workload. The higher TDP processors just tend to have a higher ceiling for performance. Like T_Minus says there's few workloads that will run at 100% for sustained periods (and even 100% load typically doesn't mean you'll be consuming the full TDP).

I was one of those people that bought some of the L processors before I knew any better; both they and the stock procs from the same generation idled at the same power level so for 98% of the workload I was using a far more expensive processor than I needed to. The L processors are only really useful when you want to impose strict limits on the performance you need and the power you gobble. I use a xeon E5-1650v3 in my workstation and frequently redline the CPU with x264 goodness for hours at a time and total system power consumption doesn't go past 200W from a 60W idle. If you don't need/want six cores the E5-1620 is a superb "light server" chip.

In a nutshell - I wouldn't be afraid of going for a higher TDP processor. Given your likely workload - a steady trickle of ~10% utilisation with occasional bursts over 50% - it'll use the same amount of power for most of its existence as a lower one but give you more performance headroom and might even save you power thanks to race-to-idle wins.
 
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T_Minus

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EDIT:

I had a long reply about a motherboard I may have for you, but it's v1/v2.

I MIGHT have 1 E5 v3 1P board too, I'm checking.
 

HotFix

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I am looking at the RAM now for these boards.
Is LRDIMM better/worse than RDIMM in DDR4? I did a bunch of searching online but most articles talk about DDR3, and I understand that the DDR4 versions of these are different. I do understand that LDRIMM allows you to go higher density.

Also is there a major difference between Samsung DDR4 and Hynix DDR4? I found a better deal on Ebay for the Hynix version, but I'm not used to this brand or its general availability compared to the Samsung. I would hate to save a few bucks now only to have to pay more in the future because it is generally harder to find.
 

neo

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Remember the wattage rating is 'max', remember that's not what it runs at all the time or even often. It's very misleading for people to compare because almost NO ONE runs at 100% or even 50%+ most of the time.

A 130w v3 is going to run close to a 85w v3 during low load, and idle which you likely will see at home with 6+ cores, especially fast ones.

For the $ I would have gotten the E5-1620 v3 or for the same money E5-1650 v3 for 2 more cores. The E3-1650 actually scores higher on passmark than the E5-2630 v3 even though it has 2 less cores, they run MUCH faster.

Other than the 85w max, you are getting a CPU made for running in 2P boards, so if you're only using 1P you spent extra $ On a cpu not needed because of the wattage fear. Think of it like 85w is your max - but you're CPU limited, 130w you get much more CPU performance WHEN NEEDED when not needed you get a nice idle still. The reason they cost the same but one is much higher frequency is the E5-26xx is made for 2P boards, the E5-16xx is only made for 1 CPU configs and thus is much cheaper overall across the board.
100% agreed on everything above. It's important to remember that more cores do not signify better performance if your application operates single threaded.

I chose a E5-1620 V3 (in my FreeNAS build thread), for all the above reasons T-Minus mentioned. The best part is they both have 40 PCIe lanes and 10 native SATA ports.

I answered your RAM question in the new thread you started.
 
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HotFix

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100% agreed on everything above. It's important to remember that more cores do not signify better performance if your application operates single threaded.

I chose a E5-1620 V3 (in my FreeNAS build thread), for all the above reasons T-Minus mentioned. The best part is they both have 40 PCIe lanes and 10 native SATA ports.

I answered your RAM question in the new thread you started.
Well... I just got home from picking up the E5-2630 V3 today for $529.99. Since I am probably going to end up running 6+ VMs on the server for the foreseeable future, I proceeded forward since I thought more cores would be better so that I wasn't running into as much vCPU to CPU processor time contention. Aside from the additional Ghz per core, the 2630 is better in every way to the 1650, but I will talk it over with some of my Microsoft buddies. Specifically those who have more experience in Hyper-V than I do, and will potentially return the processor and get the 1650 if they agree the particular work load I plan on running will do better with fewer but faster cores (and less cache). I've got some time as stuff ships in, and either way I appreciate the advice you guys are offering! :)

I didn't realize the Xeon retail processors didn't come with a fan like their consumer counterparts do, so now I need to jump on that aspect. If I remember correctly Noctua makes good, if not a little oddly colored, quiet fans, but I need to make sure things will fit under the Supermicro SC846's air shroud.

Thanks again guys!
 

neo

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I didn't realize the Xeon retail processors didn't come with a fan like their consumer counterparts do, so now I need to jump on that aspect. If I remember correctly Noctua makes good, if not a little oddly colored, quiet fans, but I need to make sure things will fit under the Supermicro SC846's air shroud.
If you are using an air shroud, you do not need a fan, just a heatsink. Supermicro has all their heatsinks listed on their site.
 
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HotFix

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Ok, hopefully final question on the X10SRH-CLN4F, this time on cabling. As I understand it the motherboard has 2 mini-SAS HD ports, and the SC846 has a mini-SAS port. If that is correct, then I need 1 sff-8643 to sff-8087 cable to connect the on-board SAS3 controller to the SC846. Looking around I see Supermicro has one that's a little over a foot and 1/2 for ~$20: CBL-0508L

Is there any value to using Supermicro cables with a Supermicro board and a Supermicro enclosure? It should in theory eliminate a finger pointing game if I have issues, but as I understand it a SAS cable is a SAS cable is a SAS cable. :)

Secondly if I am using a SAS cable like that, do I need to worry about hooking up the I2C connectors on the SC846's backplane? If I am reading the manual correctly, I don't need to worry about them as they are really only for the scenario where you are using the CSE-PTJBOD-CB2 card to turn an enclosure into a JBOD enclosure. It's just a little confusing because I see that there is a jumper for SGPIO or I2C mode, with SGPIO being the default.
 

badskater

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You only need a sff-8643 to sff-8087 cable, and it's all done. I2C isn't necessary as it's for when you use an SC846 as JBOD like you said before. SGPIO is passing thru your sff-8643 to sff-8087 cable, so no need to bother with I2C. With that you won't need anything more to connect the backplane to the controller. If you plan to add a JBOD at one point, it'll change a bit, but it'll be if you ever need more than 24 HDDs. :)
 

HotFix

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You only need a sff-8643 to sff-8087 cable, and it's all done. I2C isn't necessary as it's for when you use an SC846 as JBOD like you said before. SGPIO is passing thru your sff-8643 to sff-8087 cable, so no need to bother with I2C. With that you won't need anything more to connect the backplane to the controller. If you plan to add a JBOD at one point, it'll change a bit, but it'll be if you ever need more than 24 HDDs. :)
Thank you for confirming that I'm good with the single SAS cable! I threw caution to the wind and ordered a .6 meter LSI cable with those ends which should do the trick, but it's good to know I am good to go. :D

I looked online for what the difference was between I2C and SGPIO, and I didn't really find anything I would consider black and white. It sounds like you only need to use I2C if you are using SATA cables or something else that wouldn't normally communicate over the SAS cable using SGPIO (I hope I said that right). Like maybe SGPIO will go over a SAS cable, but if you are using something else you need to use the I2C connectors to pass the SGPIO signals.