revengineer

Gigabyte board for WHS 2011

33 posts in this topic

Hi,

I am a long-term WHS user but new to the forum, so "hello" to everyone. I have been using the HP EX 475 since almost the day it was released. While I am still very happy with my v1, I am looking for a new WHS 2011 rig for the future. So I have looked around for the past months and gathered some of the less important equipment while on sale: HD drive, DVD drive, case, graphics card, power supply.

 

Now I am getting to the heart of the system. I was impressed of the 35 W power consumption by the new sandybridge core i3-2100T and would like to use it. I was thinking about sticking this in a Gigabyte motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116394). Looking on the Gigabyte web site, I did not see any drivers for Server 2008 and got nervous. Does anyone know whether this board will work for WHS 2011? Are the driver included in the WHS 2011 install dvd? Or do I simply need to go to the intel web site and download the chipset specific drivers?

 

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

 

rev

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Hi,

I am a long-term WHS user but new to the forum, so "hello" to everyone. I have been using the HP EX 475 since almost the day it was released. While I am still very happy with my v1, I am looking for a new WHS 2011 rig for the future. So I have looked around for the past months and gathered some of the less important equipment while on sale: HD drive, DVD drive, case, graphics card, power supply.

 

Now I am getting to the heart of the system. I was impressed of the 35 W power consumption by the new sandybridge core i3-2100T and would like to use it. I was thinking about sticking this in a Gigabyte motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116394). Looking on the Gigabyte web site, I did not see any drivers for Server 2008 and got nervous. Does anyone know whether this board will work for WHS 2011? Are the driver included in the WHS 2011 install dvd? Or do I simply need to go to the intel web site and download the chipset specific drivers?

 

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

 

rev

 

As far as drivers go, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are the same thing. Now whether Gigabyte's installer will let you install those drivers with their utility is another thing. But worst comes to worst, you can always go into Device Manager and install them yourself.

 

Also, the wattage ratings you see on CPUs is for heat dissipation, not power draw of the actual CPU (which is often much much lower, especially at idle). It's a lot more important for OEMs so they don't pair a warmer chip with an inadequate cooling solution when they build computers with smaller form factors (or any laptop for that matter). With normal desktops, the stock fan is usually almost always adequate.

Edited by dagamer34

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As far as drivers go, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are the same thing. Now whether Gigabyte's installer will let you install those drivers with their utility is another thing. But worst comes to worst, you can always go into Device Manager and install them yourself.

 

Also, the wattage ratings you see on CPUs is for heat dissipation, not power draw of the actual CPU (which is often much much lower, especially at idle). It's a lot more important for OEMs so they don't pair a warmer chip with an inadequate cooling solution when they build computers with smaller form factors (or any laptop for that matter). With normal desktops, the stock fan is usually almost always adequate.

 

Thanks for the reply, no more worries about the driver.

 

As for the wattage, I did not realize that this was the number for heat dissipation, although your explanation makes perfect sense. All things being equal, I would think that the heat dissipation is roughly proportional to the power consumption. Or are the thermal designs so different between versions that this is not the case?

 

I thought the i3 was a good middle-of-the-road server solution. However, I am not set on it and if you have a better CPU suggestion, I am all ear!

 

Thx,

rev

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Hi,

I am a long-term WHS user but new to the forum, so "hello" to everyone. I have been using the HP EX 475 since almost the day it was released. While I am still very happy with my v1, I am looking for a new WHS 2011 rig for the future. So I have looked around for the past months and gathered some of the less important equipment while on sale: HD drive, DVD drive, case, graphics card, power supply.

 

Now I am getting to the heart of the system. I was impressed of the 35 W power consumption by the new sandybridge core i3-2100T and would like to use it. I was thinking about sticking this in a Gigabyte motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116394). Looking on the Gigabyte web site, I did not see any drivers for Server 2008 and got nervous. Does anyone know whether this board will work for WHS 2011? Are the driver included in the WHS 2011 install dvd? Or do I simply need to go to the intel web site and download the chipset specific drivers?

 

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

 

rev

 

 

I have this exact board and CPU in my server. I just put it in a couple of days ago and it has been great. The standard drivers will support all versions of windows including 2008. There no issue with drivers or using this board. Good luck.

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Thanks for the reply, no more worries about the driver.

 

As for the wattage, I did not realize that this was the number for heat dissipation, although your explanation makes perfect sense. All things being equal, I would think that the heat dissipation is roughly proportional to the power consumption. Or are the thermal designs so different between versions that this is not the case?

 

I thought the i3 was a good middle-of-the-road server solution. However, I am not set on it and if you have a better CPU suggestion, I am all ear!

 

Thx,

rev

 

True, heat dissipation is proportional to power consumption, however in a Windows Home Server setting, the CPU is rarely going to be taxed at 100% unless you are doing video encoding on it. Otherwise, it's mostly going to be idling, and the top-of-the-line Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K is going to use just as much power as the i3 2100T. In fact, because the 2600K is more powerful, it should ramp up and complete it's task faster, thus using less CPU power in the end. Only with sustained tasks (i.e. server workloads) will the 2600K use more power. It's very similar reasoning as to why dual and quad core chips don't instantly 1/2 battery life like most people think they would. The faster a specific task is completed, the more time is spent in a low power state. A bit counter-intuitive, but that's how it works.

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True, heat dissipation is proportional to power consumption, however in a Windows Home Server setting, the CPU is rarely going to be taxed at 100% unless you are doing video encoding on it. Otherwise, it's mostly going to be idling, and the top-of-the-line Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K is going to use just as much power as the i3 2100T. In fact, because the 2600K is more powerful, it should ramp up and complete it's task faster, thus using less CPU power in the end. Only with sustained tasks (i.e. server workloads) will the 2600K use more power. It's very similar reasoning as to why dual and quad core chips don't instantly 1/2 battery life like most people think they would. The faster a specific task is completed, the more time is spent in a low power state. A bit counter-intuitive, but that's how it works.

 

Good analogy. Although what you are saying is true in concept, there is still a difference in the out of the wall power usage between the 2100T and 2600 when idling and when asked to transcode or perform some other tasks the power out of the wall difference is greater yet. Sandy Bridge is however overall the most power efficient chip yet to be delivered and make good choice overall in a server. As for which one is up to user. As you stated, the CPU idle most of the time so I would go with most power savings in a home server application unless you have further plans for your server such as web serving or VMs... Just my two cents.

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Good analogy. Although what you are saying is true in concept, there is still a difference in the out of the wall power usage between the 2100T and 2600 when idling and when asked to transcode or perform some other tasks the power out of the wall difference is greater yet. Sandy Bridge is however overall the most power efficient chip yet to be delivered and make good choice overall in a server. As for which one is up to user. As you stated, the CPU idle most of the time so I would go with most power savings in a home server application unless you have further plans for your server such as web serving or VMs... Just my two cents.

 

Yep. I have Air Video Server transcoding 1080i WTV recordings to my iPad and found that the dual core i3 2100T didn't cut it. As MicroCenter wasn't likely to be happy with me constantly swapping new CPUs "just to test them out", I went with the i5 2500K and it works great!

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Some good thoughts up above. I do anticipate the machine to be idle most of the time. I do not anticipate the need for real-time video transcoding any time soon. I think for now I will stick with the 2100T idea. I can always replace it in the future with an i5 if needed.

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Yep. I have Air Video Server transcoding 1080i WTV recordings to my iPad and found that the dual core i3 2100T didn't cut it. As MicroCenter wasn't likely to be happy with me constantly swapping new CPUs "just to test them out", I went with the i5 2500K and it works great!

 

I assume you have air video running on your server? I am surprised that the 2100 did not cut it. Where you pegging the CPU monitor? I have not tried 1080i and I know it is tougher to transcode but I have tried 1080P, 720P, and 480P on it and it works well. Thanks for the insight.

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I assume you have air video running on your server? I am surprised that the 2100 did not cut it. Where you pegging the CPU monitor? I have not tried 1080i and I know it is tougher to transcode but I have tried 1080P, 720P, and 480P on it and it works well. Thanks for the insight.

 

CPU was maxing out at about 80-90% while my content was stopping every 5 to 10 seconds and I too was surprised it didn't work that well. My older setup involved streaming content for transcoding from my old WHS server to my HTPC which has an older Intel Core 2 Quad 2.33Ghz and that worked fine. I really think that while hyperthreading is great in getting more performance from unused core resources, hardware cores win every time.

 

It may also have to do with the resolution I was transcoding to. I was going from 1080i to either 1024x768 (iPad) or 960x640 (iPhone 4). I never tested lower resolutions as I returned the CPU the next day for the i5 2500K.

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I have this exact board and CPU in my server. I just put it in a couple of days ago and it has been great. The standard drivers will support all versions of windows including 2008. There no issue with drivers or using this board. Good luck.

 

What RAM do you use in that setup?

 

Thanks,

 

Joe

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Mike,

I have my components almost together, the Gigabyte board should arrive tomorrow. Most of the assembly will be straight forward, but I do have a few questions for installing the stock cooler that came with the 2100T:

 

1. Do I need to remove any sort of tape from the cooler to maker proper thermal contact?

2. Are the three grey stripes on the cooler the thermal pad?

3. If the three stripes are the thermal pad, is this sufficient to make thermal contact?

4. Should I be removing the silver pads and use Arctic Silver 5 instead? If so, how do I remove the material without damaging the cooler?

 

Oh, and one more question: Am I better off installing the mobo into the case first, or do I install the CPU and cooler before I mount the mobo in the case?

 

I do not want to screw up this detail, so any advice is appreciated.

 

Joe,

I bought 4 gigs of G.Skill Rip Jaws DDR3-1333 on sale at Newegg, which arrived today. The label reads compatible with LGA1155 Sandy Bridge and this should be compatible with the board I picked, although I have not tried it. Once assembled and running I will post back.

 

Thanks,

rev

Edited by revengineer

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Definitely install the CPU on the MB before installing the MB into the case. It is easier this way. It can be done either way though.

 

 

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Mike,

I have my components almost together, the Gigabyte board should arrive tomorrow. Most of the assembly will be straight forward, but I do have a few questions for installing the stock cooler that came with the 2100T:

 

1. Do I need to remove any sort of tape from the cooler to maker proper thermal contact?

2. Are the three grey stripes on the cooler the thermal pad?

3. If the three stripes are the thermal pad, is this sufficient to make thermal contact?

4. Should I be removing the silver pads and use Arctic Silver 5 instead? If so, how do I remove the material without damaging the cooler?

 

Oh, and one more question: Am I better off installing the mobo into the case first, or do I install the CPU and cooler before I mount the mobo in the case?

 

I do not want to screw up this detail, so any advice is appreciated.

 

Joe,

I bought 4 gigs of G.Skill Rip Jaws DDR3-1333 on sale at Newegg, which arrived today. The label reads compatible with LGA1155 Sandy Bridge and this should be compatible with the board I picked, although I have not tried it. Once assembled and running I will post back.

 

Thanks,

rev

 

Thanks Rev! I sent Q's to several vendors -- GSkill was the only response I got to my inquiry about RAM that is compatible with the Gigabyte GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 with an i3-2100T which was:

 

=====

Dear Customer

 

Any of our RipJaws X series will be compatible.

 

I would suggest one of these:

 

4GB:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231439&Tpk=gskill%20f3-10666cl7d-4gbxh

 

8GB:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231440&Tpk=gskill%20f3-10666cl7d-8gbxh

 

 

Thank you

GSKILL SUPPORT

 

 

=====

Edited by Joe_Miner

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Install everything except cards onto the mobo. CPU, HSF, RAM should be on and ready to go before you drop into the case.

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Mike,

I have my components almost together, the Gigabyte board should arrive tomorrow. Most of the assembly will be straight forward, but I do have a few questions for installing the stock cooler that came with the 2100T:

 

1. Do I need to remove any sort of tape from the cooler to maker proper thermal contact?

2. Are the three grey stripes on the cooler the thermal pad?

3. If the three stripes are the thermal pad, is this sufficient to make thermal contact?

4. Should I be removing the silver pads and use Arctic Silver 5 instead? If so, how do I remove the material without damaging the cooler?

 

Oh, and one more question: Am I better off installing the mobo into the case first, or do I install the CPU and cooler before I mount the mobo in the case?

 

I do not want to screw up this detail, so any advice is appreciated.

 

Joe,

I bought 4 gigs of G.Skill Rip Jaws DDR3-1333 on sale at Newegg, which arrived today. The label reads compatible with LGA1155 Sandy Bridge and this should be compatible with the board I picked, although I have not tried it. Once assembled and running I will post back.

 

Thanks,

rev

 

Rev,

 

I think everyone has already answered most of your questions but just to clarify.

 

1. Just remove the plastic cover that surround the heatsink.

2. Yes, Intel applies three stripes of thermal compound to the heatsink.

3. Yes, No reason on the 2100 using a factory heatsink to change it.

4. It is not necessary but you can certainly do that if you have the Arctic Silver 5. As to removal, just wipe it off with a clean rag. Once all the residue has been removed, wipe it with some alcohol. There is low probability you will damage the factory heatsink as it is just aluminium and very porous.

 

As for the RAM, any DDR3 1333/1600 1.5V will work with sandy bridge. There is no special configuration just a voltage requirement. Some RAM such as the Corsair claim to operate at 1600 at the stock voltage hence the "qualification". If you run the standard config which is 1333, any 1.5V DDR3 will work just fine. I have 3 sandy bridge systems, 1 has Corsair Vengence, 1 has Cas 8 GSkill, and the third has CAS 9 Gskill and all work fine.

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Rev,

 

I think everyone has already answered most of your questions but just to clarify.

 

1. Just remove the plastic cover that surround the heatsink.

2. Yes, Intel applies three stripes of thermal compound to the heatsink.

3. Yes, No reason on the 2100 using a factory heatsink to change it.

4. It is not necessary but you can certainly do that if you have the Arctic Silver 5. As to removal, just wipe it off with a clean rag. Once all the residue has been removed, wipe it with some alcohol. There is low probability you will damage the factory heatsink as it is just aluminium and very porous.

 

As for the RAM, any DDR3 1333/1600 1.5V will work with sandy bridge. There is no special configuration just a voltage requirement. Some RAM such as the Corsair claim to operate at 1600 at the stock voltage hence the "qualification". If you run the standard config which is 1333, any 1.5V DDR3 will work just fine. I have 3 sandy bridge systems, 1 has Corsair Vengence, 1 has Cas 8 GSkill, and the third has CAS 9 Gskill and all work fine.

 

RevEngineer & PCDoc:

 

Thank you very much for the insight into what RAM you're using.

 

PCDoc:

 

The RAM recommendation I got from GSkill to go with a i3-2100T has a CAS of 7 -- is there any real world advantage in Reliability or "Robustness" of one over the other?

 

Install everything except cards onto the mobo. CPU, HSF, RAM should be on and ready to go before you drop into the case.

 

Thanks for the pointers!

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pcdoc/no-control,

thanks for your advice. so far so good, have everything in the box except the hard drive. Getting late so I will save that for tomorrow and then fire it up.

 

Do you do any sort of burn-in test to make sure everything works solid (the RMA clock is ticking :-) )? If so what would you recommend?

 

Thx,

rev

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Burn in isn't required. I use HWMonitor for the first hour or so with a HD stream running to to make sure temps are stable and within spec.

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Ok, build completed. Installed Windows 7 for testing. CPU temperature is nice and cool, idle ~30C, running prime95 ~45C. The are just initial tests, more to follow.

 

I do have a weird boot issue in that the system will only boot from HD with the OS DVD in the DVD drive. Is this an issue with how the sata cables are connected? Any advice greatly appreciated.

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Ok, figured out my boot problem. Needed a firmware update for the mobo. You would figure such issue is major enough to make a mention in the firmware history, but nada... Now everything is working great and cool. I did not expect any different with four large fans in the Antec 900 case. Probably overkill, but I liked the look. Not sure about the dust bunnies yet. :-)

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Ok, figured out my boot problem. Needed a firmware update for the mobo. You would figure such issue is major enough to make a mention in the firmware history, but nada... Now everything is working great and cool. I did not expect any different with four large fans in the Antec 900 case. Probably overkill, but I liked the look. Not sure about the dust bunnies yet. :-)

don't you hate that kind of stuff. I once bought an epson printer that wouldn't print at all, nada, nothing, not even a hiccup, until I updated the drivers

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Another update: Now have WHS 2011 running on the system. Since I intend mess around with the system quite a bit before I go production with my key, I used RemoveWAT to get around the pesky 30 day activation issue before I imaged the drive with all current drivers. (The installation took longer than I expected, so I do not want to do this over and over.) After everything was up and running, my kill-a-watt clocks in at 38.5 Watts on idle... not too bad. Note that this is the bare system (OS drive only), I expect this to go up as additional drives are added.

 

Bottom line, I think this system is exactly what I wanted it to be: low power and cool. With the 2.5MHz i3, this is not a power work horse, but it is better than my EX475. :-)

 

@ikon: indeed.. I mean, I knew I would eventually update the Bios to the newest version. But that the stock firmware could not even boot my hard drive, this is something I did not expect. i wonder how many mobo's of this type are RMAed because of this?

 

rev

Edited by revengineer

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