Here are key points about the Supermicro X11DAi-N.
Dual Scalable Xeon: The X11DAI-N fully supports two Xeon Scalable Processors with TDP support up to 205W, with two UPI up to 10.4GT/s. These processors support six-channel memory and up to a whopping 2TB of memory at 2666MHz. We had no problem getting things up and running, and performance was strong.
Consumer/Workstation Fetures: The motherboard is designed for workstations rather than servers, and we see this is the case because of the high level of recent consumer features. We get 3rd party USB 3.1, full 7.1 audio outputs on the rear IO, and a ton of SATA ports instead of SAS or other enterprise connection options.
High-Quality Components: Everything from the VRM to the PCB offer very-high quality and performance. The VRMs worked very well and offered great thermal performance with the default cooler helping to cool them down.
Remote Control: The ASPeed IMPI worked like a charm and is pretty much required for controlling the system if you boot up on a discrete GPU. The good news is that a VGA port is built into the motherboard so that you can get local video output and you won't need a discrete GPU.
Single M.2 Slot: Personally, we would have rather seen more M.2 slots, especially because M.2 is becoming the next standard for faster storage form factors. You should also look at the QVL to see what drives are supported, as we had an issue with detection of the Kingston KC1000, and had to use a Kingston Predator drive, neither was listed on the QVL.
Supermicro's X11DAI-N is a very consumer/workstation friendly motherboard with plenty of features and expansion possibilities. While it only has a single M.2 slot, you can still use one of those PCI-E x4/x8/x16 expansion cards with multiple M.2 slots, and bypass the PCH and go directly to the CPU.
The native connectivity options are basically targeting more consumers, and while you do have two SAS ports, most of the others are SATA ports, and that's what most consumers use. There are a good number of PCI-E x16 slots as well as solid rear-IO connectivity options. You get USB 3.1 (10Gbps), 7.1 audio outputs, and your typical VGA (management) and USB ports. If you are looking for a dual Xeon Scalable Processor motherboard with a solid assortment of features and quality, give the Supermicro X11DAi-N a look.
Note: The sample provided to us was an engineering sample that uses an older USB 3.1 controller than what will be available on the market. So the ASM1142 we saw has been replaced by an ASM3142.
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a workstation motherboard with support for two Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, give the X11DAi-N a look if you need the latest in consumer connectivity and tons of SATA ports.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X11DAI-NOverview]
- Page 3 [Supermicro X11DAI-NCircuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [Supermicro X11DAI-NCircuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS]
- Page 6 [Remote Management]
- Page 7 [Test System Setup and Memory]
- Page 8 [CPU and Memory Performance Metrics]
- Page 9 [Network and IO Tests]
- Page 10 [Thermal Imagining and Power]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]