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Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 – Hardware

Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 – Hardware

| On 15, Aug 2015




This is the second in a series of posts about my new dual-Xeon Citrix lab project. All the components are in my hands—now it is time to put the server together! 

Make sure to catch up this series' previous posts first!

 

As you may have seen on Twitter, I received all the components in less than three days. Building the server is the quickest part of the project, as it usually takes only a few hours to assemble everything.

Precautions

Before touching anything, Tomshardware.com has identified three common causes of failure while manually assembling components of a new server:

  1. ESD (accidental electrostatic discharge)
    • Most modern components are able to resist ESD, however, the most basic precaution is to occasionally touch a ground to discharge your body.
    • You could also use an antistatic mat.
  2. Dropped parts
    • Build your server in an area with enough space! Laying out parts ahead of time will ensure that they stay in one piece.
  3. Breakage caused by force fitment or scratched circuits
    • Most components require only a small amount of pressure to seat the connector.

Remove the previous components

The first step of the installation is to remove all the previous components from the case.

Note: As obvious as it seems, make sure that you have unplugged the server.

Installation

Location

Below is the motherboard with the location of all major components.

SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAL-I-O ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 Intel C612 Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware MBD X10DAL I O

SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAL-I-O ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 Intel C612

The parts are then installed in this order:

  1. CPU1 on the motherboard
  2. CPU2 on the motherboard
  3. Memory on the motherboard
  4. Heat sink CPU1
  5. Heat sink CPU2
  6. Video card on the motherboard
  7. Back panel shield in the case
  8. Motherboard in the case
  9. SDD/HDD and others drives
  10. Front panel buttons and LEDs
  11. PSU on the motherboard

Prepare the motherboard

Carefully take the motherboard out of the box and place it on top of the foam packing material to protect it.

20150810_183147 Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 183147 e1439653897336

CPU installation

Take the CPU from the box.

2620 V3 CPU Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 183255 e1439654738693

2620 V3 CPU

Open the socket and remove the black protection.

CPU Socket Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 183556 e1439654818541

CPU Socket

Socketed processors have followed a common theme for at least 20 years: An arrow on one corner of the CPU aligns to another arrow on the CPU socket. It is almost impossible to make a mistake, as the CPU will only fit in the socket if it is properly placed.

CPU Installed Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 183458 e1439654917984

CPU Installed

CPUs have zero insertion force (ZIF). So, DO NOT FORCE! They should just drop into the socket under its own weight, with no force applied.Then, lower the steel load plate over the CPU, and rotate the wire clamp into its locked position.

Repeat the process for the second CPU.

Memory installation

System memory only fits into the slot one way. But with dual channel, you need to insert the memory in specific slots.

Everything is explained in the manual of the motherboard:

RAM Configuration Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware RAMConfiguration

RAM Configuration

I have 2 CPUs and 4 DIMMs, so I need to use the slots PI-DIMMA1, P1-DIMMB1, P2-DIMME1 and P2-DIMMF1.

The locations of the DIMMs are detailed in the Quick Reference Guide from SUPERMICRO.

Motherboard Layout Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Motherboard Layout1

Motherboard Layout

Push the release tabs outwards on both ends of the DIMM slot to unlock it. Press both notches straight down into the memory slot at the same time.

Heat sink installation

HeatSink SUPERMICRO SNK-P0050AP4 Heatsink Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 184705 e1439653271634

HeatSink SUPERMICRO SNK-P0050AP4 Heatsink

The SNK-P0050AP4 heat sink model is specifically designed for SUPERMICRO motherboards, and is easy to install. There is no need to add more thermal grease, the required amount has already been applied on the connector.

Just remove the plastic, place the heat sink on top of the CPU so that the four mounting holes are aligned with those on the motherboard and the heat sink bracket underneath.

Heatsink installed Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 184644 e1439657304112

Heatsink installed

Repeat the process for the second CPU.

2 Heatsinks Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150810 184844

2 Heatsinks

The last step of the installation is to plug the Heatsink fans on the motherboard. There are a lot fan ports on the motherboard, see below.

Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware FanPorts1

Ports

I plugged the fans on the closest ports.

Note: For optimized airflow efficiency, please follow your chassis airflow directions to install the heatsink.

GPU installation

I was surprised that the motherboard had no integrated GPU, but it turns out this was my mistake. The model with the onboard GPU chipset is the MBD-X10DRL-I-O motherboard, available for a few more bucks. Anyway, my plan was to use a dedicated chipset to take the load off the CPUs.

I have an old 9600 GS video card to install.

Nvidia 9600GS Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 9600GS fhq

Nvidia 9600GS

This card is using the PCI-E 2.0 x 16 bus.

I can put the card in any of the PCI-E 3.0 slot highlighted below.

Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware PCIBus1

PCI 3.0 16x Bus

I plugged the video card in the CPU1 SLOT3 PCI-E 3.0 x16.

Back panel & shield

The motherboard has the following connectors on the back panel.

Backpanel Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Backpanel

Backpanel

The ATX form factors specifies the size and location of a rectangular plate, called an I/O shield which is delivered with the motherboard and fills the gaps around the ports and connectors on the back of the motherboard. I removed my previous shield (not compatible) and installed the new one.

Motherboard in the case

The new motherboard is in the same format than the previous one, so I only needed to install the board with the exact mounting points and make sure that it it was properly aligned with the back panel shield.

Mounting holes are identified on the schema below.

Mounting Holes Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware MountingHoles

Mounting Holes

SSD/HDD & other drives

The motherboard has 10 SATA3 ports divided in 4 S-SATA3 and 6 I-SATA3 ports.

SATA Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware SATA

I-SATA0-5 are supported by the Intel PCH, and S-SATA0-3 are supported by the Intel SCU.

Two RAID controllers (AHCI and SCU) are supported by the Intel PCH. The AHCI controller supports SATA drives and the SCU controller supports both SATA and SAS drives. That does not mean they can only be used for RAID arrays, they simply provide that capability. Any drive with a SATA interface may be used with those ports.

I am only using SATA drives so I can put my disks on any of the ports as they all support SATA.

My configuration is below:

  • 1x SSD 128 GB (OS)
  • 1x SSD 512 GB (VM)
  • 2x 640 GB – RAID 0 (TEMP)
  • 3x 932 GB – RAID 5 (Software & Files)
  • 1x BLURAY/DVD Player

Note: Software RAID managed by Windows Server 2012.

Front panel

The front panel pins are identified below:

FrontPanel2 Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware FrontPanel2

As designed for SUPERMICRO chassis, I don’t have all the LEDs or buttons in my ANTEC case.

Frontpanel1 Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Frontpanel1

I only plugged PWR, Reset, HDD LED and Power LED.

Note: Make sure to identify the Ground on your connector. Usually there is an arrow on the other pin.

PSU on the motherboard

Everything is installed, the last step is to plug the PSU on the motherboard.

The X10DAL-i motherboard accommodates 24-pin ATX power supplies. Although most power supplies generally meet the specifications required by the CPU, some are inadequate. In addition, two 8-pin power connections are also required to ensure adequate power supply to the system.

ATX 24-PIN PORT  Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware ATX

ATX 24-PIN PORT

For my configuration, I don’t need to use the two 8-pin power connections.

Boot

First try

The first boot was not what I expected. Nothing happened and the motherboard was showing a red light (LE6 LED).

At first I thought it was the memory, because that was the only part I bought which was not brand new.

But then I tried multiple configurations (1CPU, 1 DIMM, etc), and the server was still not booting, so I contacted SUPERMICRO support ([email protected]).

A few minutes later, they replied that LE6 refers to the standby power. If it’s red, then there is an onboard power issue… and they were right. The PSU that I was using is from Europe, and is not compatible with the 60hz line frequency. To fix that issue, I decided to buy a new PSU from Amazon. I picked Amazon to benefit from the same-day delivery available in New York City.

EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware box

EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W

Second try

The new PSU installed, I was able to boot my server. Unfortunately, one of the HDD didn’t survive.

Disk failure Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150812 000308 e1439665197244

Disk failure

Nothing I could do here, so I removed the disk from the configuration.

Final result

Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware Building a Dual-Xeon Citrix Lab: Part 2 - Hardware 20150815 155813 e1439668990334

Lab

As you can see, the case is almost full of hardware. There is not a lot of space for the cables!

Updated price summary

Component ItemRetail price (USD)Discounted price (USD)QuantityTotal (USD)
Total (without tax)1766.94
CPUIntel Xeon E5-2620v3 Hexa-Core449.99339.992679.98
Motherboard SUPERMICRO MBD-X10DAL-I-O ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 Intel C612299.99264.991264.99
MemorySAMSUNG 16GB 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR4 2133 (PC4-17000) Server (M393A2G40DB0-CPB)166.99112.504450.00
SSD OSSamsung 850 Pro 128GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE128BW)98.99N/A1 98.99
SSD VMSamsung 850 Pro 512GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-7KE512BW)249.99149.991149.99
CPU CoolersSUPERMICRO SNK-P0050AP4 Heatsink39.99N/A2 79.98
CaseAntec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black64.67N/A0N/A
PSU (updated)EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W43.01N/A143.01
VideoHP 466762-001 NVIDIA GeForce 9600GS 768MB GDDR2 192-Bit PCIe x16 Video Card VGAN/AN/A0N/A

In the next post, I’ll review the software configuration for my new lab.

Make sure to catch up this series' previous posts first!

 

Nicolas ignoto
Nicolas ignoto
Nicolas ignoto

Comments

  1. FINALLY! Someone who did a review on this particular board!

    I have 1 single question for you… And it will take either much closer detailed photos, or a trial-n-error to answer.

    PCIe Slot 6 vs Memory Interference?

    I know they are close, very very close. But, can an expansion board actually fit in PCIe Slot 6 when you have the memory dims for CPU1 full?

    By the pictures I see online, they seem to be offset by just a few millimeters.

    There’s only one way to be sure: stick a PCIe x4/x8 card into that slot and see. But, that’s a $300 bet I am not willing to make just yet.

    Please let me know ASAP!

  2. Hi Eric,

    I will give it a try tonight and come back to you !

  3. My card fits but do you have the dimensions of yours ?

  4. Phil

    Did you not need to use the two 8-pin connectors because you were using low TDP CPUs?

  5. Tom

    im currently doing a build on with the same processors and board, im running into the red light issue. the strange thing is, im doing two of these builds side by side and they are both having this issue, i decided to try a different PS, (i had a 1000w) but i threw a 500w in it from a computer that i know works fine, and im getting the same red light on both builds. the odds of it being two bad boards like that has to be really low. im at a loss on what to do at this point. currently i have fedex picking up one of the boards in a few hours to send back while a continue to troubleshoot the other.

    • Have you tried with 1 CPU and/or with only 1 Memory slot. Make sure that you use the first memory slot.

  6. Ismail

    According to Intel and to CPU-World.com
    Intel Xeon E5-2620v3 Hexa-Core does not support DDR4 ECC Registered DDR4 2133 ram.
    it only supports DDR up to 1866. How is this working?

    • Yep, that’s correct. The RAM is running at 1866Mhz instead of 2133Mhz.

      • Ismail

        did you have to make any BIOS changes to accommodate the 2133 RAM to run at 1866

        • No, it has been a std feature for motherboards for a while.

  7. ismail

    I built mine with X10DAL-i, 4x8gb Samsung ram that is tested by Supermicro. 2 x E5-2650 V3.
    I get the 5 beeps at boot which is a memory error. RAM is running at 1866 where it is supposed to run at 2133. Tried one processor with 2 or for sticks……….. I also tried ram recommended by Crucial only to end up with the same results.
    Do you get any beeps at boot?
    I updated my BIOS to 2.0, suggested by supermicro tech support, at the beginning of the build as I was having another issue.
    Have you updated your BIOS to 2.0 ?
    Thanks

    • David

      Hi ismail,

      Were you able to boot after the beep? Could you give more details? I got 5 beeps about 30 seconds after I hit the power button. The are like 4 lower pitch beeps first, a pause, then a higher pitch beep. After that I see the bios logo and system boots fine. It’s just each time I boot I need to wait 30 sec and hear that 5 beeps. Have you resolved your issue?

      • Ismail H Khushashi

        Hi David.
        According to supermicro there are 2 different sets of 5 beeps. One that indicates a memory issue and the other tells you that everything is fine.
        The 5 beeps are described in the manual and the difference between them is the length of the fifth beep.
        I also helped a friend of mine built a similar machine. He is getting the same 5 beeps as I am.
        I am convinced that I am getting the 5 beeps that indicates everything is fine.

        • David

          Thank you Ismail, it is reassuring to know! I missed that part of the manual. Just want to verify one more fact with you: it takes so much longer to boot this X10DALi (30 sec before logo shows, compared to 1 or 2 sec for a regular desktop motherboard) on my end — do you experience the same? I guess I can live with it as long as everything is fine but just wondering if you see the same. There’s not a lot info from the online community about this board so thanks for sharing!!

  8. Hi,

    I got the same motherboard and trying to find a ATX case and PSU?

    Please confirm you used the below two;
    1. Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case – were you able to mount the board properly?
    2. EVGA 500 W1 80+ 500W – were you able to power both CPUs? I see only 1x8pin CPU connector?

    Mathew

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