I'm picking up an Adaptec 5805 controller and am interested in recommendations for motherboards compatible with that. I will be running VMWare's Vsphere hypervisor on it and would like to support a a minimum of 16 gig ram and 2 ethernet ports. Built in video connector would be nice but not critical. I tend to favor Asus motherboards but am open to other manufacturers.
This is probably about 3 weeks to late but someone might find it useful.
You didn't say what processor you were looking at but I can tell you what Intel LGA 1156 (for Xeon 3400 series or i3's, the Asus below also supports i5/i7 processors) should work out of the box for VMWare vSpehere ESXi, actaully they should all work for Windows Server, Debian/Ubuntu & ESXi. The only exception is the on-board RAID controllers that only work under Windows.
ASUS P7F-M Server Motherboard (not WS version)
TYAN S5502 (S5502GM3NR)
The main thing that doesn't work with ESXi are the network crads but all of the above have supported network cards and they also all have onboard video (not processor dependant). They can also all have remote KVM management, this is standard on the Tyan and Supermicro and an optional extra on the Asus.
The key difference with the above is the number of expansion slots.
Asus - 1 PCIe x16, 1 PCIe x4 (using x8 slot), 2 PCI 32-bit slots
Tyan - 1 PCIe x8 2.0 (x16 slot), 1 PCIe x8 2.0, 1 PCIe x4 2.0 (using x8 slot), 1 PCIe x4 (using x8 slot), 1 PCIe x1 (using x4 slot)
Supermicro - 2 PCIe x8 2.0, 1 PCIe x4 (x8 slot), 1 PCI 32-bit slot
You need a PCIe x8 slot for your Adaptec 5805 so all of the above should work.
The Asus and Supermicro boards also have 4 DIMM slots but the Tyan has 6 DIMM slots (All will take 16Gb of memory).
The Asus and Supermicro boards have 2 LAN ports onboard but the Tyan has 3 LAN ports onboard.
There are many other boards out there that will work but you just need to add the NICs to them (there are a couple of cheap Intel PCIe & PCI cards that work) for the network to work if using ESXi and also make sure you have a PCIe x8 slot that is not also running off the x16 slot if required for a graphics card or you may have issues.
We opt for the Tyan but thats mainly down to the number of memory/PCIe/LAN sockets, but the Asus gives a wider processor choice.
Thanks for replying. I had also looked at the m/b manufacturers sites (as well as ratings from Amazon, etc.) and there seems to be a lack of support on issues from companies like Asus, etc. Don't know if it was the 1% that was complaining, or something similar. The one thing that kept coming back to me was the Hardware Compatibility List that VMWare publishes; I finally decided to stick with that and am getting an Intel m/b with parts off the HCL.
I'll be putting a 2nd machine (backup) together and will stray farther from home on that one and the information you provided will be put to good use on that version.
I was going to mention Intel motherboards but kinda forgot.
Be very carefull with Intel server motherboards as many of them require you to have an IPMB (or something similar to that) cable on the power supply. Hey guess what, they only come on Intel server PSU's. And that basically means you are going to end up buying an Intel server case as well.
We must have evaluated every current LGA1156 motherboard on the face of the planet for out of the box compatibility and the 3 previously mentioned were realistically the only ones we could guarantee to work and were readily available (apart from the Intel ones that were discounted due to the above, and the bit below).
We never looked at LGA1366 motherboards becuase we wanted to use a specific Intel Processor (Xeon L3426) for a high density low power whitebox solution. I would say if you're looking at socket LGA1156 the Intel S3420 series don't have dedicated graphics and it's shared with the processor so you need a processor with embedded graphics (some i3/i5 processors).