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Server motherboard for workstation

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November 8, 2010 1:41:39 AM

Hi,

Can I use server motherboards to build workstations? What's the difference between a workstation motherboard vs a server motherboard?

How do I choose a case for a server motherboard? Does an ATX full tower work for most server/workstation motherboards?

Thanks,
Candy

a c 435 V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 9:50:39 AM

The oem boards by dell fit in their own custom rack mounted case. They won't fit in anything else. I assembled them for a few months here in austin tx. Most of the asus, tyan, and supermicro boards sold at newegg will fit in a full size atx case without any problems, but a few are over 12 x12 inches, so you have to check the case specs before ordering.
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a b V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 12:45:23 PM

candychiu said:
Hi,

Can I use server motherboards to build workstations? What's the difference between a workstation motherboard vs a server motherboard?
Generally speaking, a server mobo differs from a workstation mobo in that a workstation mobo has at least one full x16 PCIe slot for workstation graphics cards. Most server mobos have few full x16 PCIe slots and typically rely on an onboard gpu for video. in essence, yes you can use a server mobo to build a workstation providing that the workstation will not be used for anything graphically intensive as the onboard gpu's are just the bare minimum to present the server interface.

A good example of a "typical" server mobo would be the Supermicro X8DTE whereas a typical example of a workstation mobo would be something like the Supermicro X8DA3. When comparing these two, note the number of full x16 PCIe slots, the onboard gpu, onboard audio, and other onboard peripherals like a firewire and onboard RAID controller. Also note that in the description of these boards, Supermicro makes a distinction between one being a server type board and the other being a workstation board.

candychiu said:
How do I choose a case for a server motherboard? Does an ATX full tower work for most server/workstation motherboards?
Well, choosing a case for a server or workstation is much like choosing a case for any other build and is subjective to the needs and purpose of the computer. Will it be a rack mount box or sit under or on a desktop? If rack mount then a 1u case would work just fine but if it will sit on a desktop then perhaps a case with more eye appeal than a vanilla server box. The case choice mainly needs to be concerned with whether it can fit the size mobo you are using (an ATX case will not fit an E-ATX mobo) and whether it will provide enough space inside for all your components.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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November 8, 2010 6:10:09 PM

chunkymonster said:
A good example of a "typical" server mobo would be the Supermicro X8DTE whereas a typical example of a workstation mobo would be something like the Supermicro X8DA3. When comparing these two, note the number of full x16 PCIe slots, the onboard gpu, onboard audio, and other onboard peripherals like a firewire and onboard RAID controller. Also note that in the description of these boards, Supermicro makes a distinction between one being a server type board and the other being a workstation board.


Thanks for your information. When I searched for workstation motherboard on newegg, it returned only 2 items. Would you recommend a place to shop for workstation motherboard? The selection seems to be very limited compared to that of server motherboards.
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November 8, 2010 6:34:25 PM

newegg categorizes most workstation boards as server boards. I need to check against the manufacturer's specification to determine whether a board is a workstation board or a server board.
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November 8, 2010 6:46:47 PM

Another question:

May I plug in a video card to a server motherboard to overwrite the onboard GPU?
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a c 435 V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 8:16:49 PM

Yes. You may use most pci-e video cards on newer server or workstation boards with pci-e slots. The onboard gpu is usually deactivated automatically when you plug in the card. But you can't use the onboard gpu while a separate video card is plugged into the slot on most boards.
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November 17, 2010 10:57:46 PM

Best answer selected by candychiu.
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a b V Motherboard
November 18, 2010 6:15:23 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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