Supermicro X8SIL-F/X8SIL Small Office/ Home Office Server

Overall Score

We always like to talk up the packaging that a product comes in. Usually we are dealing with a busy box full of information and pictures to grab the buyers attention. A workstation, especially one from Supermicro, needs no flashy pictures or bold text to get the interested party to bite. If you are buying from Supermicro you know that you are getting quality and reliability.

The X8SIL-F arrived in a plain brown box with Supermicro as the only text printed on the outside. Workstations are not built to be flashy. Our review unit is nothing great to look at, it is what lies inside and the support provided that matters. Looking at the I/O panel on the back of the case shows a very small number of ports. This unit ships with an integrated Matrox G200e graphics unit. There are three RJ45 ports on the I/O panel with two being dedicated to Gigbit Ethernet and one dedicated IPMI port. One serial port and two USB connectors, along with two PS/2 connectors, complete the connectivity options on the rear I/O panel.

The X8SIL-F, which is our particular review unit, has 6 SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10. The Gigabit Ethernet is controlled by dual Intel 82574L controllers. Inside you will find 1 internal USB port with 2 additional headers, 1 header on the X8SIL model.

The only piece of hardware our unit did not come with was a hard drive. As you can see in the photo below, the hard drive cage is completely tool less which allows for easy installation and removal of up to (4) 3.5″ hard drives.

Our review unit comes equipped with a high efficiency 300W power supply. When you look at the power requirements of this system, 300W is more than enough. The Xeon L3426 is a 45W quad core CPU with HT. With such a power sipping processor, you begin to see how this type of setup would benefit a business as far as energy concerns go. We will cover the specifications of this unit in greater detail later in our review.

Now that we have seen what kind of workstation this is, let’s take a look at the BIOS.

Supermicro uses an AMI BIOS for the X8SIL workstation. This is a BIOS tweaked to give administrators more control over remote mananagement and PC health settings than overclocking settings. As you can see in the advance settings screenshot, there is a limited number of CPU configurations. Browsing through the rest of the BIOS screenshots gives you an idea of the settings you have control of in this workstation. Later in the review, we will be looking at the IPMI, which allows you to access BIOS level settings from remote locations.

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