Supermicro X11SAE Workstation (Intel C236) Motherboard Review

by - 4 years ago

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Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging


SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-top

Intel recently released their Greenlow based Skylake series Xeon CPUs and it’s a pleasure to take a look at the first enterprise-grade motherboard built for these processors today. I have Supermicro’s X11SAE motherboard on the test bench which is a standard ATX-sized single CPU board, but one with all the trimmings.

“Supermicro’s new X11 UP workstations, long-life embedded systems and motherboards integrate the latest technologies such as USB 3.1 and M.2 as well as step up performance, density and efficiency to provide a new generation of Green Computing solutions,” said Charles Liang, President and CEO of Supermicro. “Indeed, with Supermicro’s first-to-market integration, advanced engineering and architecture expertise, we deliver the widest range of Skylake-S platforms available to the industry, enabling our customers with exactly the best competitive advantage on the market.”

Supermicro’s X11SAE doesn’t just support the new Greenlow Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 family CPUs, you can also use 6th Gen Core i7, i5, i3, Pentium, and Celeron series processors. The brain behind the motherboard is the new C236 chipset which comes with a lot of enhancements over the predecessors and Supermicro generally added the newest technologies to this motherboard. Additionally, the motherboard supports up to 64GB DDR4 2133MHz ECC UDIMMs in its 4 sockets. While this motherboard does support ECC and non-ECC modules, it doesn’t support RDIMMS, so make sure you get the right ones.

Supermicro X11SAE Workstation

There are plenty of storage features on this motherboard with the eight native SATA3 6 Gbps ports provided directly by the chipset. The ports support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 for that extra spice in your storage setup and the motherboard also has two SuperDOM ports with built-in power. You’ll also find a next-gen PCIe M.2 slot beside the default SATA3 ports, allowing you to get that extra speed. The M.2 slot doesn’t support AHCI modules, but 2242, 2260, and 2280 PCIe modules will run at a great speed thanks to the x4 slot.

Further expansion can be added through the two PCI-E 3.0 x16 and three PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots. The Supermicro X11SAE also features two legacy 5V PCI 32-bit slots for use with older hardware despite the upgrade to the newest platform.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-top

Externally the X11SAE has two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 LAN ports where one is powered by an Intel i210-AT and the other is powered by an Intel i219LM chip. There’s also a DVI, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI out for use when processors with iGPU are inserted into the motherboard. Further, you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.1 ports on the rear IO area. The USB 3.1 ports sport the increased bandwidth and power which allows it to run with up to 10Gbps.

Internally you can connect an additionally four USB 3.0 and size USB 2.0 ports. The motherboard also features two COM port headers, an ALC 888S 7.1 HD Audio chip, a TPM 1.2 header, and much more.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-io

A workstation motherboard also needs a good set of monitoring abilities. You can connect up to five PWM fans with status monitor for speed control, on/off settings, and tachometer. The temperature monitoring includes the CPU and chassis environment as well as CPU thermal trip support and I2C temperature sensing logic and Thermal Monitor 2 (TM2) support.

As a Supermicro motherboard, we also have the benefits of their SuperDoctor 5 software that monitors system health of hardware and operating system services from the target nodes in real-time and provides alerts to administrators on the availability of systems in data centers.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-bottom

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers product page and can as such be subject to changes in future revisions of the product.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-specifications

Key Features:

  • Single socket H4 (LGA 1151) supports: Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 v5, Intel 6th Gen. Core i7/i5/i3 series, Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium
  • Intel C236 chipset
  • Up to 64GB Unbuffered ECC/non-ECC, UDIMM DDR4 2133MHz; 4x DIMM slots
  • 2 PCI-E 3.0 x16 (run at 16/NA or 8/8), 3 PCI-E 3.0 x1 (in x4), and 2 5V PCI 32-bit slots
  • Single GbE LAN with Intel i210-AT, Single GbE LAN with Intel i219LM
  • 8x SATA3 (6Gbps) via C236; RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 + 1 PCIe M.2 (support PCIe x4 only, 2242/2260/2280)
  • I/O: 2x COM, TPM 1.2 header
  • 2x SuperDOM with built-in power
  • 6x USB 3.0 (2 rear + 4 via header), 8x USB 2.0 (2 rear + 6 via headers), 2x USB 3.1 (10Gbps, rear)

Packaging and Accessories

The Supermicro X11SAE comes in a neutral package and that’s all that’s needed for a board like this. It isn’t one you’ll find on a shelve in the local store while browsing around, it’s one your order because you know it’s the one you want. There’s still a sticker on the side that will tell you what’s inside and what the base specifications are.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-box top

The rear of the box explains a little bit about the series of motherboards which this one is part off. You get basic information about the series as well as a quick view of optimized chassis and systems.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-box bottom

Inside the box we find four SATA3 cables and the IO shield next to the motherboard itself.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-accesso0ires

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A Closer Look & Layout Analysis


It is time to take a closer look at the motherboard and see what features hide around the PCB. Generally speaking, we have a very normal layout on a basic green PCB. We need to keep in mind here that this is a tool and not a board to showcase. It has to perform a task and perform it well, looks don’t matter. It’s still well organized as we’ll see below.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-top

Starting with the brain, or rather a place to place the brain, the X11SAE features a single Socket H4 (LGA 1151) for use with the latest Xeon E3-1200 V5 CPUs, but the board also works well with Core, Pentium, and Celeron CPUs with a TDP up to 95W.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-socket open

The four 288-pin DDR4 DIMM slots allow you to install up to 64GB memory and run it at speeds up to 2133MHz. Whether you want to run ECC or non-ECC memory is up to you, but the board only accepts UDIMMs and not RDIMMs.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-closeup 2

When it comes to expansion slots, this board looks a little different than the average consumer board with the addition of two legacy PCI slots. It is however a really nice thing as it allows the upgrade of your motherboard and CPU to something current while you retain compatibility to legacy devices needed in your setup. The two white slots seen below are the 5V PCI 32bit slots, but the board naturally also features modern PCI-Express slots. We get two physical PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots that will run at either x16/x0 or x8/x8 modes. The board further features three PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots for even more expansion cards.

We can also spot the two COM port headers to the left in the photo below and that is a feature that’s either very important or absolutely useless to you – but that depends on your usage. The easy accessibility at the bottom of the motherboard with nothing else really close is a nice thing to see.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-closeup 4

Storage wise the Supermicro X11SAE features both modern and legacy connectors. Starting with the modern, it features an M.2 slot above the PCI-Express slots that will allow you to connect blazing fast storage. The slot will accept 2242, 2260, or 2280 modules and support these with PCIe x4 speeds. The slot does however only accept PCIe modules and not legacy AHCI M.2 modules.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-m2 connector

There’s plenty of support for legacy storage drives too with the eight SATA ports provided by the chipset itself. The SATA3 ports support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 and two of them also work as SuperDOM ports for Disk on Module usage without extra power support. You still find a DOM power header next to the SATA ports in case you should need more.

This is also the corner of the motherboard where we find the three headers for up to six extra USB 2.0 ports, the TPM header, and the front panel header.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-closeup 1

Moving up the inner side of the motherboard and we come to the two USB 3.0 headers placed right next to the 24-pin power connector. I really like it when manufacturers add more than one USB 3.0 header as you quickly can fill up the one – and after all, it is the new standard over USB 2.0. We also see fewer cases that actually feature USB 2.0 front faced ports these days, they have all been replaced with USB 3.0 ports.

To the right in the photo, we see the very useful BIOS restore button. It will restore the BIOS from an attached USB thumb drive if you should happen to screw up your settings. I did a few times during my testing and the button works great. The motherboard also features two solder points that you can connect with a screwdriver or other metal object in order to make a normal BIOS reset. Whether you prefer this method over a jumper is personal preference, both work equally well as they’re basically the same.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-closeup 5

Supermicro used great components such as solid capacitors all around which in return should ensure that you have a system that will work flawlessly for a long time.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-closeup 3

The two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports on the motherboard are both powered by Intel chips, but not the same. The Intel I210-AT and PHY i219LM Ethernet Controllers support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-T and Virtual Machine Device Queues in order to reduce I/O overhead. Two vert common and widely supported chips.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-chip 1

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-chip 5

A motherboard like this needs a proper audio system, even tho it doesn’t really need one. Professionals building a workstation for audio usage will most likely add an add-in card anyway, but everyone else still needs audio. May it be for something as simple as notification sounds or playing mp3 files for your entertainment while working, you need a sound card. The Realtek ALC 888S 7.1 HD Audio chip provides this and does so very good and without creating unnecessary latencies that otherwise could interfere with your work.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-chip 2

As previously mentioned, the Supermicro X11SAE motherboard features great fan control and monitoring support and part of that is thanks to the Nuvoton NCT6776D controller. It supports Nuvoton’s SMART FAN algorithms for fan speed control, Printer Port, KBC, 2 UART and GPI/O, and can monitor power supply voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-chip 3

While USB 2.0 and 3.0 is handled by Intel’s C236 chipset, the two USB 3.0 ports require an extra controller. In this case, it is an ASmedia ASM1142 controller and it supports Intel’s eXtensible Hot Controller Interface specification revision 1.1, bridging PCI Express interface to two ports of USB3.1 with up to 10Gbps high-speed bandwidth.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-chip 4

Overall a motherboard that looks like quality and built with great components and features. The last thing I’d like to highlight is the include IO shield. Supermicro made a quality shield with padding that serves multiple purposes. As any padding, it can absorb vibrations, but its main purpose is the ground the IO shield. A small thing, but one that could save hardware from being fried in an unlucky accident.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-io shield

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

The Test System and Test Software


Testing workstation and server components require a different setup than a consumer motherboard test. Benchmarks such as games and 3D performance aren’t the ones we’re looking for here. We rather want to know how a motherboard like this can handle its memory and processor and we also want to know how well the built-in features such as network, audio, and storage features work.

While our benchmarks naturally will show the performance coming from the components that are attached, using the same components on all tested boards allows us to draw a comparison and see which board performs best and can get the most out of the hardware it has available.

We’re stressing every component as much as possible in order to check both stability and performance. We also test such parts as the built-in audio features and especially their latency as that’s something that can have a serious impact on the overall performance of the system by creating micro-hickups.

As mentioned, we need a lot of extra hardware to test a motherboard and you can find a complete list of those parts below.

System components

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-system top view

For some of our tests such as those involving the network capabilities, we also require a secondary system.

Secondary system

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-storage and network test setup

Network components

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-network

Storage Drives

We use a wide variety of applications to gain a broad spectrum of results for comparing diverse aspects of the system performance.

Software

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • AIDA64 Engineer Edition
  • Cinebench R11.5
  • Cinebench R15.0
  • Geekbench 3
  • PCMark PerformanceTest 8.0
  • SPECwpc
  • SiSoftware Sandra
  • SuperPi Mod 1.9 WP
  • wPrime 2.10
–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

BIOS


On Supermicro’s X11SAE workstation motherboard we find a well-known BIOS setup in the form of a 128Mb SPI Flash EEPROM with AMI BIOS. It brings all the features that we want, including hardware BIOS virus protection.

Most parts in the photos on this page are pretty self-explanatory, so I’ll keep it short.

Main

The initial welcome page will allow you to change the date and time as well as show you the basic motherboard, BIOS, and RAM information, as we would expect it to.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 1

Advanced

The advanced page is where we find most functions sorted into easy to recognizable groups.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 2

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 3

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 4

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 5

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 6

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 7

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 8

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 9

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 10

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SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 18

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 19

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 20

Events

The event logs page is what it sounds like. We got a few options to change, but it’s all very basic.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 21

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 22

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 23

Security

The security menu contains one thing more besides the usual password setup and that’s the secure boot menu.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 24

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 25

Boot

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Exit

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Photo-BIOS 27

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

CPU Performance


AIDA64 Engineer

AIDA64 Engineer provides several methods to measure system performance. These benchmarks are synthetic, ie. the results show only the theoretical (maximum) performance of the system. In contrast to application tests, synthetic benchmarks do not tend to reflect the “real world” performance of the computer. These benchmarks provide a quick and easy comparison between computer states, e.g. when certain parameters (CPU clock speed, memory timings, etc) change in system configuration.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-CPU_aida

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-CPU aida flops

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-CPU aida iops

Cinebench R11.5 & R15.0

Cinebench is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. Cinebench is a perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms, and best of all: It’s completely free.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-CPU_cinebench

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-CPU cinebench 115

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-CPU cinebench 150

wPrime

wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we’re sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-CPU_wprime

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-CPU wprime

SuperPi

Super PI is a computer program that calculates pi to a specified number of digits after the decimal point—up to a maximum of 32 million. It uses Gauss–Legendre algorithm and is a Windows port of the program used by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 to compute pi to 232 digits.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-CPU_superpi

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-CPU super pi

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Memory Performance


For our memory tests we use the built-in memory benchmarks in AIDA64 Engineer, Geekbench 3, PerformanceTest, and SiSoftware Sandra. A wider array of tests will give us a wider array of results.

AIDA64 Engineer

AIDA64 Engineer provides several methods to measure system performance. These benchmarks are synthetic, ie. the results show only the theoretical (maximum) performance of the system. In contrast to application tests, synthetic benchmarks do not tend to reflect the “real world” performance of the computer. These benchmarks provide a quick and easy comparison between computer states, e.g. when certain parameters (CPU clock speed, memory timings, etc) change in system configuration.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-RAM_aida

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM aida

PerformanceTest 8.0

PerformanceTest is a fast, easy to use software benchmarking tool that allows everybody to quickly assess the performance of their PC and compare it to a number of standard ‘baseline’ computer systems.

PerformanceTest allows you to compare the performance of your machine, measure the effect of configuration changes and upgrades, and make objective independent measurements on which to base your purchasing decision.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-RAM_PerformanceTest

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM performance test

Geekbench 3

Geekbench 3 is Primate Labs’ cross-platform processor benchmark. It has a multi-scoring system for both single-core and multicore performance and workloads that simulate real-world scenarios. It is however the STREAM based memory tests that we will be using here.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-RAM_geekbench

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM geekbench single

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM geekbench multi

SiSoftware Sandra

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM sandra single bandwidth

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM sandra bandwidth

Memory Latency

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-RAM latency

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Storage Performance


To test the storage performance in our motherboard reviews I use AIDA’s Disk Benchmark utility built into their AIDA64 Engineer Edition software package and run linear read and write tests.

We run the benchmark tests on the SATA III and USB 3.0 as well as any other storage options available. For SATA III testing, I’ll use a Toshiba HG6 512GB workstation SSD and for USB 3.0 an Angelbird SSD2go Pocket 512GB portable SSD. The PCIe capabilities are being tested by one of Intel’s amazing 750 series SSD 1.2TB PCIe drives.

SATA Performance

SATA is the somewhat traditional interface used by most drives. The Toshiba HG6 drive might not be the fastest, but it is a workstation drive and as such a good solution for a system build with a motherboard like this.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-Storage sata read

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-Storage sata write

USB 3.0 Performance

The USB 3.0 platform is great for quick storage expansion as well as portable drives. It comes closer to an internal drive’s performance than the previous versions and is as such a viable option for backup too. I will be using the durable and highly portable Angelbird SSD2go Pocket for these tests.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-USB 30 read

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-USB 30 write

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-USB 31 read

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-USB 31 write

NVMe PCIe Performance

NVMe is the next generation of drives and they eliminate the bottlenecks created by the by now old SATA standard. These drives are the future for now and I’ll be testing those capabilities with the Intel 750 SSD with 1.2GB capacity.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-Storage NVMe read

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-Storage NVMe write

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Network Performance


LAN Speed Test

LAN Speed Test was designed from the ground up to be a simple but powerful tool for measuring file transfer, hard drive, USB Drive, and Local Area Network (LAN) speeds (wired & wireless). It does this by building a file in memory, then transfers it both ways without effects of windows file caching and while keeping track of the time.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-LAN LST i210

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-LAN LST i219

Passmark Performance Test 8

The PassMark Advanced Network Test, a part of PerformanceTest, is designed to test the data transfer rate between two computers both of which must be running PerformanceTest. One of the computers acts as the server and will wait for a connection while the other computer acts as a client.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-LAN performance test i210

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-LAN performance test i219

Intel i210

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-lan i210 graph tcp

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-lan i210 graph udp

Intel i219

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-lan i219 graph tcp

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-lan i219 graph udp

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Audio Performance


RightMark Audio Analyser (RMAA)

RMAA suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio device. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. A more common mark is also provided for those unfamiliar with measured technical parameters.

We run the RMAA test using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable connecting the line out to the line in to test the quality of the motherboard audio codec. We run the complete playback and recording test at default settings and then get RMAA to interpret the results giving the below outputs.

16 Bit, 44KHz (DVD Quality)

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-audio 16bit 44khz

16 Bit, 96KHz (Studio Quality)

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-audio 16bit 96khz

24 Bit, 96KHz (Studio Quality)

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-audio 24bit 96khz

PC Latency Analyser

Thesycon’s DPC Latency Checker is a Windows tool that analyses the capabilities of a computer system to handle real-time data streams properly. It may help to find the cause for interruptions in real-time audio and video streams, also known as drop-outs. The result below is the maximum value observed during our testing.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Fix-Chart-Audio_latency

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System Performance


We don’t use a dedicated graphics card in this system but rather just test the pure motherboard performance and due to that, some tests can’t be run. They require a 3D capable graphics card and the onboard solution is merely a 2D solution meant for management. After all, this is a server board.

PassMark PerformanceTest 8.0

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-System_PerformanceTest

SPECwpc 1.2

SPECwpc is the first benchmark to measure all key aspects of workstation performance based on diverse professional applications. The latest version is SPECwpc V1.2 (introduced on June 3, 2015), which extends performance measurement from physical to virtualized workstations. Results from SPECwpc V1.2 are comparable to those from SPEC V1.0.4, but not to any version before that.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-system - specwpc

More than 30 workloads are included in SPECwpc V1.2 to test CPU, graphics, I/O and memory bandwidth. The tests are divided into the application categories listed below. Individual scores are generated for each test and a composite score for each category is generated based on a reference machine, yielding a “bigger is better” result. The reference machine has the following configuration: x3430 processor, 8GB (4x2GB) memory, V4800 graphics, and SATA 7.2k rpm hard disk drive.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-chart-system specwpc 1

SuperMicro_X11SAE-chart-system specwpc 2

SuperMicro_X11SAE-chart-system specwpc 3

SuperMicro_X11SAE-chart-system specwpc 4

SuperMicro_X11SAE-chart-system specwpc 5

SuperMicro_X11SAE-chart-system specwpc 6

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Power Consumption


The power consumption is measured at the power outlet and is as such the power draw from the entire system. Idle and off figures speak for themselves and for the load figures I stress the CPU to 90% and memory to 90% load with OCCT.

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Bench-Power and load

SuperMicro_X11SAE-Chart-Power

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Final Thoughts & Pricing


Pricing

At the time of writing, the Supermicro X11SAE can be yours for just $280.99 at NewEgg, £214.28 at LambdaTek, or €233.26 through Geizhals.

Overview

Supermicro created a basic ATX form factor motherboard with their X11SAE, yet it isn’t one that you should move past without checking out. It is packed with the latest technologies all around which allows you to take full advantage of all your components. The board is mainly intended for use with Xeon E3-1200 V5 processors, but it will work equally well with normal consumer Skylake CPUs such as the Core, Celeron, and Pentium series. With support for up to 64GB memory you should have plenty for even the largest tasks, may you work with audio, video, CAD, or something completely different.

There is plenty of storage capabilities from modern PCI-based M.2 slot over to the eight legacy SATA3 ports where two of them also work as SuperDOM ports. The two onboard LAN ports are both from Intel and as with the rest of the parts, there is plenty of software and driver support for these parts. That’s great to see as it allows the end-user to truly pick the operating system that he wants to use. It further has onboard sound card that performs very well and is equally well supported. Supermicro even made sure that the use of legacy PCI devices is as easy as possible with the two of these slots.

As this is the first test with the Greenlow based motherboards, we don’t have that big of a comparison in that regard yet. But when we compare it to other workstation motherboards that we have tested in the past, we see a motherboard that presents itself strongly. We saw how it performed great in both memory and CPU intensive tasks as well as a good audio and network performance. We will naturally also update this part as we get more motherboards tested to get a real comparison.

The only downside to this motherboard isn’t really a downside, but something worth mentioning again. It has no iGPU unless the CPU you will be using has one. It already has all the relevant ports for it, so it’s down to the user what to choose. Most people with a board like this will utilize a Quadro or FirePro graphics card anyway, which would make an onboard solution unnecessary.

Pros:

  • Competitive price for the features
  • Great performance
  • Next-Gen USB 3.1 and M.2 PCIe connectors
  • Legacy support
  • Easy BIOS recovery

Cons:

  • None

“A great performance and a full set of modern features such as M.2 PCI and USB 3.1 make the Supermicro X11SAE a great choice that also comes with a good legacy hardware and driver support.”

Editors-Choice

Supermicro X11SAE Workstation (Intel C236) Motherboard Review

Thank You Supermicro for providing us with this review sample

Article Index

  1. Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS
  5. CPU Performance
  6. Memory Performance
  7. Storage Performance
  8. Network Performance
  9. Audio Performance
  10. System Performance
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Final Thoughts & Pricing
  13. View All

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