Super Micro Computer Inc. or Supermicro is a computer hardware company founded in 1993 by Charles Liang. The company designs products including motherboards, servers, blade server, chassis, and heat sinks. The company specializes in mid-range to high-end computer equipment and is known for the high quality of its products. While many companies follow gaming and entertainment applications, Supermicro has focused on serious computing applications in servers/workstations and most recently, in data center environments. Consequently the products (especially Motherboards) are well-known for stability and reliability rather than overclocking features.

It is the only notable motherboard manufacturer that never went along with the trend to give bright or otherwise distinctive colors to various components on a motherboard. Their boards have always retained a conventional appearance.

Supermicro is also one of the last motherboard manufacturers to start making boards that work with AMD processors. They still have not released any consumer/desktop board for any AMD processor and only have a limited range of Opteron-based solutions.

Supermicro is also the only mainstream motherboard manufacturer that has released motherboards for the Itanium 2 platform.

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed a lawsuit against them for violating the GNU General Public License (GPL) of BusyBox software.

Motherboard Naming System

One of the peculiarities of motherboard names is that it can be hard to find any kind of logic in them. Most manufacturers give their products a name that consists of a sequence of letters and numbers, and it can be daunting to understand which part of the name stands for what. Unfortunately, Supermicro is no exception (with the re-use of certain characters meaning different things in every newer generation), however there are some general characteristics of the names they use which can be handy to know when you are looking at their products. Below is a short list of these names.

Symbol: Meaning: Examples:
X1 This character represents the supported Processor/CPU Family supported. P = Pentium/CoreDuo/Core2Duo/Core2Quad Family
X = Xeon Family
O = AMD Opteron Family
X2 This number represents the motherboard generation and depends on X1 before it. X4 = Socket 603, Xeon, 400FSB
X5 = Socket 604, Xeon, 533FSB
X6 = Socket 604, Xeon, 800FSB
X7 = Socket 771, Xeon, 1066/1333FSB
P4 = Socket 603/478 and Pentium 4, 400FSB and 533/800FSB
P8 = Socket 775, Pentium 4/D, 533/800FSB
PD = Socket 775, Pentium 4/D and Core Duo/2Duo/Quad, 533/800/1066FSB
H8 = Socket 940 AMD Opteron
X3 This character represents the number of physical processors supported. S = Single Processor Support
D = Dual Processor Support
Q = Quad Processor Support
X4 This character is used to signify the type of Chipset the motherboard uses (Northbridge) A = Greencreek (X7 series)
B = Blackford (X7 series)
V = Blackford-VS (X7 Series)
T = Tulsa (X7 Series)
M = Mukilteo (PD series)
X5 This character/number typically represents the onboard storage or bundled storage interface. 8 = SCSI
3 = SAS
U = UIO (Universal I/O)
+ This + symbol represents a special additional option (or missing option). Currently use of it is very situational. X7 Series: + means maximum of 16 memory DIMMs supported
PD Series: + can mean no IDE connector or for some PDSMx series boards, it means Mulkilteo II Northbridge

  • NOTE: This model naming scheme is as of 2007.
    Prior to this some of the characters above had alternate meaning (i.e.: +)

So for example...

X7DB3 Xeon / 7th Generation (Socket 771) / Dual Processor / Blackford Chipset / SAS Support


See also


External links

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