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Motherboard options for nehalem e5520

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February 2, 2010 2:21:27 AM

I've been trying to put together a build for dual Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem machine.
It's meant for rendering and gaming (which naturally oppose each other).

My main hurdle has been with selecting a motherboard. Here are the options that I looked at:

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAi-O
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Originally (last week) I looked at this one, it seemed like it could do the job and had a good price/performance. Now it seems to be unavailable.

ASUS Z8PE-D12(ASMB4-IKVM)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one was suggested to me. It's only $5 more than the one above was and it's ASUS. However, I am worried that it's sound options are limited. According to my research, it only works with the following sound card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . I don't know much about it. Would most games work with it? Can it it do 5.1?
Another problem that I have with the card, is that limited amount of USB ports.

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAL-i-O
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one has a fair price and looks good to my limited knowledge. I couldn't find more information about it and I've never bought Supermicro. Can anyone recommend it?

ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here is another ASUS board that I found. It seems to have the same limitations of the more expensive one above. Do all ASUS boards that support dual xeons have the same audio limitations?


If anyone knows a better MOBO, or can shine the light on my dilemma. I would greatly appreciate it.
a b V Motherboard
February 3, 2010 5:26:00 AM

hoo can't help you dont know much about dual socket motherboards!
a c 96 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 3, 2010 8:40:52 PM

ladiesngentlemen said:
I've been trying to put together a build for dual Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem machine.
It's meant for rendering and gaming (which naturally oppose each other).

My main hurdle has been with selecting a motherboard. Here are the options that I looked at:

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAi-O
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Originally (last week) I looked at this one, it seemed like it could do the job and had a good price/performance. Now it seems to be unavailable.

ASUS Z8PE-D12(ASMB4-IKVM)
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one was suggested to me. It's only $5 more than the one above was and it's ASUS. However, I am worried that it's sound options are limited. According to my research, it only works with the following sound card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . I don't know much about it. Would most games work with it? Can it it do 5.1?
Another problem that I have with the card, is that limited amount of USB ports.

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DAL-i-O
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This one has a fair price and looks good to my limited knowledge. I couldn't find more information about it and I've never bought Supermicro. Can anyone recommend it?

ASUS Z8NA-D6C Dual LGA
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Here is another ASUS board that I found. It seems to have the same limitations of the more expensive one above. Do all ASUS boards that support dual xeons have the same audio limitations?


If anyone knows a better MOBO, or can shine the light on my dilemma. I would greatly appreciate it.


A lot of dual-socket boards do not have onboard sound or very many back-panel USB ports because they're intended to be used as server motherboards. Most of those boards do have a few USB headers so you can connect a few more ports with a USB header bracket. You can also buy PCI and PCI Express sound cards and USB cards relatively inexpensively. Just figure on buying those and select a board based on other factors, such as size, amount of RAM it supports, etc.

As for vendors, I have used Intel boards and Supermicro Xeon boards before. Both are fine. I haven't personally used a TYAN board but a guy I knew had an Tyan Athlon MP board and ran that thing for a very long time with no trouble. I haven't used nor seen anybody use ASUS boards, but their reputation is apparently somewhat sketchy for server boards- lack of updated BIOSes, flaky boards, and such. That's what I've heard, so take it with a grain of salt.

If I had to choose among those boards, the Supermicro X8DAi would be my choice over the X8DAL due to the increased amount of memory slots (12 vs. 6) and a chipset that provides more PCI Express lanes (Intel 5520 vs. Intel 5500). However, the X8DAL doesn't look like a bad board at all, as long as six memory slots is enough for you.
February 6, 2010 6:53:06 AM

Thanks for the reply MU_Engineer. I'll go with the X8DAi. I just hope it will be available soon for the same price soon.
!