Friday, January 19, 2018

SuperMicro Desktop Workstation Build 2018

Personal SuperMicro Desktop Workstation Build 2018


  • Happy with price/value/performance.
  • A key requirement was a motherboard with at least one Thunderbolt 3 port.
  • SuperMicro chasis made building the PC very simple and worth every cent. Not visually appealing but not ugly. Fairly quiet.
  • CPU is hitting 100% for minutes with WAMP / Magento 2. In hindsight, would choose a motherboard that supports Xeon E5 which would have allowed for a CPU with more than 4 cores.
  • Broke the first motherboard unplugging the monster GPU. Additional cost to junk/replace.
  • BIOS bootup time seems long. ~15 secs.
  • Chasis front panel plug to motherboard not keyed. Easy to plug in the wrong way. Cable is short, so harder to plugin correct way.
  • More USB ports on the back needed.

SuperMicro Support Q&A

Question: How do I install Windows 10 to the blank system SSD from USB.

Answer: OS must be installed with UEFI mode for M.2 SSD. See youtube link as a reference.

Question: What is the correct boot order to boot of the SSD system drive.

Answer: Change “UEFI Hard Disk: Windows Boot manager” to boot order #1.

Question: BIOS boot time is slow ~15 secs. How can I improve the speed.

Answer: BIOS needs to detect all the devices inside the system before booting to OS. You can try to disable all the PCIe slots option rom inside the BIOS and disable all the unnecessary features inside the BIOS like serial port.

Question: GPU covers the SSD M.2 port and is awkward to get it in and out. Can I use another port as it would make it easier to install and I’d have direct access to the SSD (if needed).

Answer: you can use slot #2 for your GPU if you don’t have any PCIe card on slot #4. If you have PCIe cards on both slot #2 & #4, then both slots will run as x8.

Components Checklist

  • Motherboard
  • CPU
  • CPU Heatsink
  • CPU Thermal Paste (just in case)
  • RAM
  • GPU
  • Chasis
  • SSD (system)
  • HDD (data)
  • SSD (portable/external)


Supermicro Motherboard ATX for up to Xeon E3-1200v5
SuperMicro X11SAT (-F IPMI support was out of stock)

Intel Xeon E3-1275 v6 Kaby Lake 3.8 GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1151 73W BX80677E31275V6 Server Processor

Interesting article on why to choose Xeon:

CPU Heatsink
Supermicro 2U Active CPU Heat Sink Socket LGA1150/1155 (SNK-P0046A4)

CPU Thermal Paste
Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G
*Didn't need because heatsink came with grease. Buy just in case heatsink needs to be removed.

Supermicro 16GB 288-Pin DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Server Memory (MEM-DR416L-SL01-EU24)
4 x $206 = $824

Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti
*Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti (preferred but out of stock globally).

865 Watts
SUPERMICRO CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ Black Pedestal Server Case 865W 2 External 5.25" Drive Bays

Power watts/calculator:

SSD System 1TB
SAMSUNG 960 PRO M.2 1TB NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V6P1T0BW
HDD Data
WD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 2Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD2003FZEX

HDD Backup
WD Blue 6TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD60EZRZ

External SSD
Samsung Portable SSD T5 540 MB/s
*Temporary until a good/reliable/portable Thunderbolt 3 external drive available.