Supermicro X7DWA-N

Review Supermicro X7DWA-N


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Movieman submitted a new article:

Supermicro X7DWA-N - Supermicro X7DWA-N

Introduction

I had the opportunity to spend some time testing and evaluating this motherboard with two sets of CPUs and two types of memory. First using two X5482 Harpertowns (3200/12mb/1600) and 4x2 gig of Transcend DDR2-800 FB-Dimms, and later on using two E5450 Harpertowns(3000/12mb/1333).

This EATX board is built using the newest 5400 Seaburg chipset with 1600FSB support built in. The layout is a typical EATX 12x13” design and like previous versions uses 24, 8 and 4 pin...
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Fast and solid server platform - so not really intended for overclocking. Though for server application I'd prefer to have 4 on-board Gigabit LAN ports.

With 2 PCIe x16 slots the x8 (more or less) UIO slot seems not to be so useful - standard PCIe port will suit as well (this board is surely not for 1-2U chassis).

May be an excellent solution for 2D graphics workstation - 28 to 60GB RAM-based scratch disk (the latter with 8GB memory modules, when they will become cheaper) will make nearly any Photoshop/Illustrator project to fly!

Not so nicely fit for 3D graphics workstation - mainly because of NVIDIA (hope, self-killing) approach, demanding the presence of only NVIDIA chips on (otherwise unused) cross-cards PCIe connection (have quite a serious suspicion that it is drivers-based limitation - might be someone will "cure" this?). Also, sticking to eATX form factor limits the (otherwise excellent) expandability of i5400 chipset. Up to 4 slots might be "organized" from the first connection for up to 4 graphics cards use - they really do not need more bandwidth (at least yet). And 3-4 slots (with x32 total connections) might be arranged for I/O expansion from the second link (surely this construction would not fit onto eATX board!).
 
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I've been watching this board for a couple of years as I'm looking to upgrade my (super micro pdsge) media server to better handle Hi def. The problem I see with "consumer" boards such as this is the continual reduction in option slots.
8 used to be the norm but no longer.
Between my 2 raid controller cards and 2 capture card plus video, the expansion capabilities are ended.

I wish that SM and other companies would provide products for the high end user to permit future expansion.
If I had my perfect board it would contain 6 pci-x/pci combo slots & 2 pci-e x16 that support cross fire and sli.
Even though I have no need for this much graphics horse power for my needs.

Aside from this shortcoming, I'm sure that this is a strong contender in it's market space. Unfortuantely, I can't justify dropping one to two large on a board that doesn't permit future expansion as new products come available :<

For now I'm toying with a hp dl380-II server for my next upgrade cycle, (if I can fix the noise issues that is, 10 fans to silence...).
(4 dual xeon @ 2.5 ghz)
 
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thx for the 08 review... how do you rate this with newer boards with the passing months... thanx.. rich
 
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thx for the 08 review... how do you rate this with newer boards with the passing months... thanx.. rich
Fairly good but expensive, I finally settled on a pair of HP workstations model xw8400.

sweet config, 3 pci-x, 3 pci-e (16x 8x 8x) and a pci slot. dual xeon cpu sockets.
5100/5300 dual or quad core w/1333 fsb. 32 g max memory, on board sas (4) and sata (6) ports, on board audio, front and rear usb 2 and fire wire.

you should also take a look at the 8600 series uses 1 gen newer 5200/5400 xeon procs.

I paid less than 300 for a complete 8400 w/ dual 5160 proc's, memory, dual sas drives, kybd mouse & dvd w/ win vista be 800 watt psu.

My second build was a board only, $55 on ebay, had to add 2 heat sinks w/ cpu $80, memory 60 all mounted into a spare server (atx ff) box.

All told a nice stable package.


I currently have an 8 core @ 1.88g 4 gb and a quad core @ 3.0 8 gb running nvidia 9800gt video is more than over kill for my needs.

Media center applications and linux games.
 

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