Hi everyone! This is my first post to this forum, I hope I'm in the correct section!
Well, I've got a long query here that I've been trying to answer myself with weeks of nonstop research but have come up with more questions than answers.
I'm building a dual socket nehalem system for a web server + workstation. I have decided on but 3 candidates: Tyan S7025, SuperMicro X8DTH-iF and in third place: SuperMicro X8DAi. My problems consist of:
1) The case: I have read up on the compatible cases for all 3 boards listed on the manufacturers' websites. I do not want to get one of those, I have no use for a rackmount case nor a redundant PSU (which many apparently come with - I think). Also I would be hard pressed to find such a case at a reasonable price here in Australia (everything is more expensive here and I will need to order the boards & cpu from the states).
So, I need a Tower case.
1a) The problem is that I have read numerous reviews from people online (newegg, other forums) that none of these motherboards can be properly installed into any Tower Case. A reviewer for the X8DAi mentioned that one of the mounting holes is not aligned with an EATX case - and I have confirmed this with SuperMicro tech support.
Q1 - Does this mean that if I wanted a supermicro X8DTH-iF board that I would need to drill holes? I am very ignorant of hardware (more of a software person) so this is out of the question for me.
1b) With regards to the Tyan S7025, I've read reports of people managing to put it into a SilverStone TJ10 (a case which I've confirmed with SilverStoneTek supports up to SSI EEB - they also assure me that the "board will fit"). However, I already knew it would fit, what I do not know is if the holes are aligned properly - there is a report on newegg (under the S7025 review) that the board fits perfectly into the SilverStone TemJin TJ10 - minus one screw mount near the RAM slots. The reviewer suggests mounting a standoff there.
Q2 - Again, does this involve drilling a hole? Has anybody else managed to plop this board into the SST-TJ10 without having to drill anything?
Q3 - Has anyone managed to plop this board into ANY Tower Case (Zalman GS1000 perhaps?) without having to drill holes?
It appears that NVIDIA has, since one of the variations of their Tesla "Supercomputer" uses the Tyan S7025 but with a Lian Li PC-P80 case, so the S7025 obviously fits the case. But how? I have read the specs on this case and it's a mere SSI CEB. I do not know whether the mounting holes are different in the SSI CEB vs SSI EEB, only that the CEB is smaller.
Q4 - Can this case really fit the S7025 board without any modifications to the case? I have asked Tyan Support but they told me that they do not know and referred me to Lian Li. I have a feeling I know the answer they'll give me too.
Q5: Has anybody managed to fit the Tyan S7025 (Or an X8DTH-iF) into this Lian Li PC-P80 case without drilling?
2) PSU: I know now that I need an EPS12V compliant PSU but I have also found out that not all EPS12V PSU's have two 8pin rails. After some research I have read reports of people using a 4to8 pin converter on a Molex connector.
Q6 - Do I need to do this even if I am running one CPU (I only plan on buying 1 and later a second one).
Q7 - Does anyone know if the Corsair CMPSU-1000HX PSU will definitively work for any of these boards? (I have read reports of people using this PSU - among other EPS12V's).
3) Final part: (I promise!) OS Compatability - I am interested if anyone has managed to install on the SuperMicro X8DTH-iF Linux, Freebsd, Opensolaris or Solaris 10. This chart www.supermicro.com/support/resources/OS/5500.cfm lists the compatibility between some of the boards. The X8DTH-iF is not on there. I queried SuperMicro support about this and they just referred me back to their chart. The X8DTH-6F is listed on there but this is a different board..It is mostly the same but just with the addition of LSI SAS (i think). I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be a representative of a "family" of boards, in which case I've answered my own question. In case not:
Q8 - Has anyone managed to install linux (other than redhat EL 5.3), freebsd, solaris on the X8DTH-iF?
Well I think that just about covers it! I do appologise for the large amount of questions and I am fully aware that I may get no response because of the large amount of boring writing but In case someone has gotten this far, I would be very grateful if I could get some insight into some of these questions!