Unboxing the HL-15 (Fully Built)

Hello!

I received my HL-15 Fully Built today via FedEx. This post is an attempt to chronicle my unboxing experience.

Packaging

In a stark contrast to their usual efforts, FedEx did a good job with the delivery, and the HL-15 seems to be undamaged. According to the shipping label, this config weighs 43 lbs (19.5 kg.), and the packing box was huge – 28x24x13 inches!

I forgot to snap a picture of this minor issue: The provided Quick Start Guide and reference packing list were sitting loose atop a side flap of the outer box. I almost sliced these with my razor knife – perhaps they should travel safely in that smaller package with the accessories.

Documents safely out of the way for a moment, I removed the accessory box to reveal the HL-15 system. It was secured with what I’d say is thick, high-quality foam and some bubble wrap on all sides.

With some trepidation, I tipped the hefty box upright to slide the HL-15 out veeeeery slooooowly, lacking a buddy to help lift the thing. (Most of the packing foam fell away in the process, otherwise I’d have taken a picture of that, too.)

On the inside wall of the box (between the cardboard and another piece of foam) I found an aluminum (aluminium?) plate encased in bubble wrap. The stamped text says
“REAR PACKING INSERT // NOT USED FOR ASSEMBLY” – I might just keep it as a sign. :wink:

Once the HL-15 was standing on its side, I removed the rest of the packaging and stowed it away for future reuse. I had goodies to unbox!

Accessories Included

Inside the accessories box, I received:

2 x rack ears (black), each individually bubble-wrapped and sealed with a blue and white “protocase” sticker

1 x North-American power supply cable for the Corsair RM750e

1 x Misc. unused modular cables for the corsair RM750e in a pre-torn bag

1 x Phonebook for ants from Corsair’s lawyers (safety and compliance information for the RM750e)

1 x bag of tiny plastic cable ties

1 x Dual-Slot M.2 NVMe Carrier Card (model AOC-SLG3-2M2). Its anti-static bag was sealed with a sticker reading “Caution: Static sensitive devices. Not to be handled by unauthorized personnel”, which I thought was funny, and a nice change from the usual CA Proposition 65 cancer warning stickers. (Just in case, though, I resisted the urge to lick the PCB – you can never be too careful! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

1 x PCIe bracket with Phillips #2 screws (model BKT-0174L), for the M.2 carrier card. BuildOrBuy has an overview of this card on YouTube, and at 11:50, he explains how to install the bracket.

0 x Rubber feet – these were not included with my accessories, nor pre-attached to the chassis. I would also like to see a better guide for where to install the feet on the HL-15. For now, it’s propped up on a couple of bar stools. :sob:

Chassis

I ordered the fully built HL-15 in black, and with the standard blue accents on the faceplate, this machine looks awesome! :sunglasses:

Accompanying the rack rail mounts on the right side, there was a mysterious sticker with some number and “PSWD” followed by what might be a password (censored) on it.

Moving to the left, there were more screws and mount points for the rack rails.

At the rear, there was the RM750e power supply, the Supermicro X11SPH-nCTPF motherboard I/O, seven PCIe slot covers, and an illuminating power button.

Peeking inside

Opening the HL-15 to add drives or do basic maintenance tasks was very straightforward, and only required me to remove the top panel. The HL-15 has two captive knurled thumbscrews on the front (in the upper corners), which I loosened.

In addition to its primary purpose as a fingerprint magnet, the top panel rear of the HL-15 also had three “keyhole” slots – I slid the top panel backward until the pin was aligned with the larger hole and lifted the top to remove it.

Everything looked nice and tidy inside. :slight_smile:

I am very satisfied with the fit and finish, and how everything arrived in one piece. Stay tuned for my initial setup with 45Drive’s Houston UI. :smiley:

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The feet would go on the power-supply side of the case using the two front holes that would also be used for the rack ears and the two corresponding holes at the back of that side. There is no current provision (unless they changed it) for mounting the same feet to the bottom of the chassis, but there are other easy ways to protect a surface if placing the HL15 horizontally not in a rack. Maybe you know this and are just saying there should be more about it in the user manual.

Good to see the conversion to proper PCI slot covers and not the pop out ones.

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Perfect, thanks for clarifying the feet placement. I had suspected as much, but the manual/Quick Start Guide was not super clear to me. :smile:

I thought about getting the prebuilt but i couldn’t pull the trigger. 750 wasn’t enough juice for me. Got super lucky to pick up the X11SPH-nCTF Motherboard w/ Intel Xeon Gold 6139 for cheap!! I flashed the onboard lsi 3008 to IT mode and used the adaptec sas expander to cover the backplane, 6 x 2.5 ssd and the ability to add an external storage array. The mobo they chose is the perfect one for the nl15. Next they need one a little longer to support eatx!!

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That sounds awesome! I went with the 6230R because I was nervous about installing the CPU myself and breaking something. :sweat_smile:

What did you do to flash the X11SPH-NCTPF? Does the firmware need to be changed to IT Mode? Or do you mean, you flashed the Adaptek expander?

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That 6230r is a beast!!! Very nice! The onboard lsi 3008 to it mode. I’m using zfs and needed the it mode. I used a freedos usb to boot and used art of server on youtubes video.

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Aha, guess I will have to flash the X11SPH-nCTPF. My plan is to try Cockpit and then probably move to TrueNAS once they support vdev expansion.

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The 3008 should comes in IT mode with the 45HL built unit. I assume @TechFloLLc’s issue was he purchased his mobo secondhand.

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Awesome, thanks for the info. I’m looking forward to powering the HL-15 on and trying everything for the first time this weekend. :smiley:

That’s awesome the prebuilt is already flashed. Do they give you an ipmi license?

i don’t think that an IPMI license is included. Since Supermicro is basically just calculating a hash, I intend to try this first: Reverse Engineering Supermicro IPMI – peterkleissner.com

Hi @happinessattack, Im just posting this to confirm, did you receive any rubber feet with your order?

Do you intend this to be rack-mounted or sit sideways on a desk?

Hi Hutch! I did not receive any feet, neither mounted to the chassis nor in the goodies box. Bit of a bummer, since I do not have a rack or anything. :disappointed: Thankfully, @Vikram-45Drives said a replacement package of feet was on the way when I reached out via email!

Do you intend this to be rack-mounted or sit sideways on a desk?

I intend the HL-15 to stand proudly upright like a badass tower, since that seems to be a supported use-case (heh). Currently I have a Fractal Define R5, so the Hl-15 should be quite the replacement. It’s not on a desk, though – just a hardwood floor.

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I see they ramped up the foam protection, mine was just 4 blocks on the corners, but it survived international trip. also seams like the small bits are packaged better, all signs 45 Drives heard and cared about the concerns from customers.

I do really wish they had provisioning for the feet in horizontal/landscape orientation, especially since its sitting on real wood surface not a cheap veneer

That works! IPMI activated. TY!!

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