Intel's Nocona Xeon / Supermicro SuperServer 7044A-82R
Posted on: 08/21/2004 05:00 AM

Does Supermicro give us a functional BIOS? Let's take a look.

Supermicro provides a BIOS from Phoenix, who I believe was purchased by Award some time ago. The end result is a BIOS that's not going to leave you dazed and confused. The main BIOS screen displays all of your active PATA/SATA devices and lets you enable or disable your PATA/SATA controllers and also the SATA RAID functionality.

The Advanced Chipset Control page lets you toggle several settings pertaining to your memory sub-system. The notables in this case, since we're dealing with a server/high-end workstation, pertain to data integrity.

The Advanced Processor Options page displays your current processor speed and lets you disable Hyper-Threading if need be. Why would you want to disable Hyper-Threading? Well, as we've discovered in the past, Hyper-Threading isn't always going to guarantee improved performance. It's largely dependent on the application you're using.

Remember earlier we mentioned those copper heatsinks? Well, they seem to be doing their job pretty well as processor temperature is in the neighborhood of 34C at idle after the machine was running for a couple of hours. For a 3.6GHz Nocona, I don't think this is really anything to complain about. The automatic fan control is a welcome feature and as you can see I have it set to "SuperWorkstation". This keeps the four 120mm fans spinning quite slowly (under 2,000 rpm) and the fans on the heatsink at a relatively modest ~3500 rpm. When you first turn on the 7044A-82R, the whine of this machine is almost unbearable. Once the box POSTs and the BIOS settings kick in, the fans throttle back to an acceptable noise threshold. This box will probably be louder than your desktop at home, but for a work machine stowed in a rack or placed under your desk, the noise level is certainly acceptable.

Now that we've taken a look at the ins and outs of the Supermicro SuperServer 7044A-82R, let's look at our test systems and the benchmarks we plan on running.

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