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I'm looking at raw memory speed in a setup where RAM bandwidth is important. Right now the servers are using Xeon E5 16xx v3's and v4's with about 96 - 160 GB of ECC RDIMM 2133/2400.

A lot of people ask online about the difference between ECC and Registered RAM, and get told they are completely separate things - I understand the difference and know which RAM I'm asking about :)

In this case, unbuffered ECC (UDIMMs) may be better than registered ECC (RDIMMs/LRDIMMs), because I don't need registration or buffering really, the amounts of RAM aren't large enough to justify it, and the speed will benefit from avoiding it.

But my usual motherboard preference, SuperMicro X10 range, state under RAM, that it runs with RDIMM or LRDIMM, not UDIMM (or UDIMM with ECC).

Do any server board manufacturers make similar/better/good quality boards (generally viewed as comparable to Supermicro or better), that accept up to 8 slots of unbuffered (UDIMM) ECC? If so, could I have some recommendations?

My usual motherboard spec is something like the Supermicro X10SRi-F: Intel based, 2011-3 single CPU, 8 slots RAM, IPMI, at least 1 PCIe-16 and space for 3 or 4 PCIe-8's, can handle Xeon v3/v4. Ideally allows fully loaded RAM at 2400 not just 2133 and has onboard vga (aspeed etc) but I can always add a cheap video card if not.

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It's not a board from a traditional server-focused manufacturer, but the Asus X99-WS/IPMI appears to meet your requirements:

  • Single LGA 2011v3 socket supporting Xeon E5-16xx CPUs (you may need a BIOS update before you can boot from a Xeon v4, though).
  • 8 RAM slots supporting up to 128 GB of unbuffered DDR4 2133 ECC RAM (and since Asus is a gaming-focused company, you can probably use DDR4 2400 ECC, even if it's not officially supported).
  • Five PCIe mechanically x16 slots with a mix of x8 and x16 electrical connections.
  • IPMI 2.0 support.

You'll need that cheap video card, though, as it doesn't have onboard graphics.

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  • Spot on. The spec says exactly that. A bios flash is fine, and I've used ASUS higher-spec boards for years for my workstations and found them very solid and well-built; haven't used their WS range but I can't imagine it's any less so. Thanks! – Stilez Nov 29 '17 at 6:15

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