[Pre-Built System] CPU Upgrades vs. Airflow/Included Fans (Or: Limits of CPU Upgradability without Throttling?)

I’ve pre-ordered the full build, and it’ll be my first Xeon-based system.

I’m kind of curious about the potential upgrade path vs. the capability of the included fans to keep the CPU from throttling. That is, of the upgrade options below, could any of these reasonably be dropped in without inducing throttling that actually impacts performance? (More threads is awesome, but not if the server slows down too much. :wink: )

From what I read here ( Supermicro X11SPH-nCTF ATX Storage Motherboard Review ), these Xeon CPUs will work with this motherboard:

  • Above 85w TDP: Gold 6132
    I’m not really considering this one given the higher TDP.

85w TDP:

  • Silver 4114 (10C20T)
  • Silver 4112 (4C8T)
  • Silver 4108 (8C16T)
  • Bronze 3106 (8C8T)
  • Bronze 3104 (included CPU: 6C6T)

Is anyone planning to test any of these? The 4114 is only 14 dollars on eBay. :stuck_out_tongue:

Though I’m guessing the 3106 or 4112 would be the best bets as far as more cores without undue throttling…

I mean the included fans are pretty good. I posted a small comparison chart here. I would say any of the options you listed will be totally fine with the included fans. However there are a few upgrade options that would be pretty decent.

I would imagine you would need to have your server in a pretty warm environment and have all 15 drive bays filled in order to be throttling this machine. Even that Xeon Gold 6132 at 140W TDP would be fine cooled by the cooler that “comes in the box” I think. If it does throttle you are working in a 4U case with the HL15. Height wise, you could fit a Noctua Redux in that guy no problem for $50 - $60 USD.

It’s also important to note that these TDP ratings are max power draws. Your CPU is not going to be cooking along at max TDP at all times. Unless you are planning on running a crazy heavy work load on this machine at all times.


Thanks! You can probably tell I don’t really understand a whole lot about cooling and power draw yet in a more traditional CPU-is-Passively-Cooled-But-Pull-In-Lots-Of-Air rack server. :slight_smile: I appreciate you taking the time put everything in perspective. There’s definitely a lot more upgrade potential than I thought.

(I’m also more interested in increasing the thread count vs. having the highest clocks. I’m not doing high performance computing, but I am interested in running as many (rather mundane) home server/homelab tasks in as few boxes as possible.)

I’m interested to see how far I can push the 6 core/6 thread base CPU, but it’s nice to know pretty much any upgrade option for that board will work. :slight_smile:

Of course! And I did some further looking into this. According to the FAQ Post you this is the cooler that is actually used:

If you notice, it is rated for up to 205 Watts of heat dissipation. Meaning that your previously mentioned 140 Watt Xeon Gold 6132 will stay plenty cool in this case with the included cooler!


Awesome. Thanks for tracking this down.

I’m still nervous about the noise level. I wish I had a 10Gbps drop in a closet somewhere. The best I can do in this apartment is get 2.5Gbps into the closet.

I mean 2.5 is still pretty decent. I run all my homelab stuff on pretty much 2.5GbE. The only thing that does 10GbE is my server, switch, and router. Everything else is 2.5GbE. I even edit and work directly off of my current NAS with that have have 0 issues.


Agreed. A lot of my network is on 2.5 Gbps, and it’s way more than most of my network will ever need.

It’s just aggravating sometimes that I’m stuck stuffing all my 10 gbps equipment in my bedroom office because I lease an apartment and can’t run fiber or Ethernet cleanly. Even the closet where I’m thinking of putting the HL 15 is attached to my bedroom office, less than 50 feet away, and the best I can do is MoCA to get ethernet over coax.

(That and I was planning to use the HL 15 primarily as a centralized backup and big data storage server, so 10 Gbps would have been nice. I might still end up putting it under my desk if the noise level is acceptable.)

You you have trim on the wall? If it’s standard wood trim, it’s very easy to hide a fiber cable in there. As I also rent, I get pretty creative when it comes to this kind of stuff.

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I do have trim. :slight_smile:

I could actually run the fiber (or ethernet) under the carpet fairly easily. The cable guy made sure to pull the edges of the carpet up but good, and then the AT&T fiber guy helped. :stuck_out_tongue:

The sketchy part would come when I get to the bathroom door. The bathroom is tiled, so I’d have to take the fiber line along the trim, under the bathroom closet door, and then finally it would be there.

It’s doable, but making it not look like crap might be a bit of a challenge. The more I think about it, the more I’m concerned about putting the server in the bathroom closet, too. It’s not wet in the closet, but it is a master bathroom. The bathtub/shower there gets used at least once a day. It should be safe, but I’ve never put anything valuable in the closet, electronics wise.

Noise would primarily be a concern if the included fans are too loud. They have two speeds out of the box. On or Off hahah. They are not PWM controlled and are Molex if I remember correctly. @Glitch3dPenguin has been heading up that front as far as community driven info.

I have a rack of 6 1U servers. They all have those tiny little fans that sound like a jet taking off when starting up. They’re very quiet under normal operation with a half dozen VM’s on each, and some even have Xeon Silvers. 2U servers are known to be even quieter thanks to the larger fans. So, in this case, these being 140MM fans, and having 6 of them? I can’t see noise being a huge factor, especially if you go PWM.


:saluting_face: Just doing my part!

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I thought it need a 2nd gen Xeon (32xx, 42xx, 62xx or 82xx). Didn’t know we could put a 31 or 41!