Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

ULTIMATE Supermicro M12SWA-TF motherboard Review + AMD TR Pro 3975WX

ULTIMATE Supermicro M12SWA-TF motherboard Review + AMD TR Pro 3975WX

ULTIMATE Supermicro M12SWA-TF motherboard
- You need the high frequency and IPC of a Threadripper. So you can insert up to bigger modules inside there. Hi guys, yes you may probably be wondering by now, why is Mel not standing here. It's kind of due to the fact that well number one.

This is my area of specialty and two, yeah he's sitting right there somebody has to man the camera. So he's askelet's get right down to business itself so you d me to, yeah you can see his fingers right there. So he's asked me to make this entire video from start to end, so that's what i'm gonna do! Let's get right down to business itself: So you may be wondering what's this badass looking motherboard that I have here that's huge AF?

According to the documentation I have here, this is the Supermicro Supermicro can you please come up with more catchy sounding names? I mean I don't know, something like a ASUS Zenith Extreme! MSI something something Godlike! But never mind! You may be wondering, what's this CPU down here?

Why is the RAM in this orientation and why this big amount of slots and the large surface area? So let me get right now to that. Now as we all know, the Ryzen range is divided into three main categories: What most people will know first is Ryzen, that's the Ryzen desktop line, the Intel equivalent will be the Intel Core series.

Followed by Threadripper, which the Intel equivalent is the X299 or Cascade Lake platform, which we will call as HEDT or high-end desktop. Then the third one that is more often found in the server space, is the AMD EPYC CPU. Now the Intel equivalent for that would be the Xeon Scalable.

Now where does this guy fit in? This is what we call Threadripper Pro, and the chipset that we have sitting down here is not the TRX40 that's found in a normal Threadripper, it's called the WRX80! Yes Subaru fans, it is Initial WRX! While it does share some similarities with Threadripper, namely their single socket solutions, there are also a couple of differences as well. So I'm going to bring out this board, this is the ASUS Zenith Extreme.

The TRX40, for the current Ryzen Threadripper motherboards also follow more or less the same layout and specs that kind of thing, except for them being upgraded to PCIe 4.0 support. So, the one thing you will notice right off the bat, the socket is rotated 90 degrees. This is the front of the case, this is the back of the case where your I/O shield is; you have the RAM, socket, RAM. Whereas this one is rotated 90 degrees, you'll get like that.

So it's more of like the EPYC. Why would you probably want to do that? Because a solution like this, you probably want to mount it in the rack mount case, that kind of thing, so it's designed for that. Also, there's support for registered ECC RAM. So you can insert up to bigger modules inside there, like 32 gig, 64 gig, 128, it even goes up to 256.

But of course they are horrendously expensive. Instead of being limited to just 256 gig of RAM like this fella, you could potentially put up to two terabytes of RAM on this fella. 256, 2TB. So that's quite a massive difference in RAM that you can see. The other differences that you also will be able to find will be how the PCIe slots are assigned in terms of like lanes that kind of thing.

Now typically, in a Threadripper board, you will have four evenly spaced slots, so you have PCIe x16, x8, x16, x8. For TRX40, it's still the same, it's x16 8 16 8, except that it's PCIe 4.0. Whereas on this guy here, because it's not limited to 64 PCIe lanes, it has 128 PCIe lanes, much like EPYC, it has the luxury of, you have six slots here, they are all PCIe 4.0 x16.

So you have six slots which are all fully capable of PCIe 4.0 x16. You may have seen other two WRX40 motherboards, the one from ASUS and the one from Gigabyte. So they have seven slots, this guy has six. So you may be wondering what happened to the slot that's sitting down here? What I think happened is that they took the PCIe lanes from here, and they diverted it to four NVMe slots down here. 

Each of them is 4.0 x4. So 1 2 3 4. In theory, you could put up to six PCIe 4.0 x16 devices. If you're going to put GPUs, you may probably have to resort to like riser cables, but if you could do that, yes you could put six GPUs here, together with four PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs.

So in terms of other forms of connectivity, we have things like four SATA ports down here, U.2 connectors right over here.So where does this bridge in? So you can see that from the list of features right now, it's the best of both worlds. 

It has Threadripper's high IPC per core for workstation related tasks as well as everyday workstation users, however it also has, the massive amount of PCIe lanes that let's say an AMD EPYC motherboard would have. If I were to look just right at the bottom down here, you'll see where this motherboard has some server centric features and layout that kind of thing. So number one, 24 pin it's right over here.

There are two eight pins, one here, one over to the other side. So they are here. Then you'll notice there's a third one right over here. Supermicro did advise us that this is actually meant to provide more power to the PCIe slots down here, and the box does come with an adapter this to a PCIe power cable. Moving back right down, like on any other server-centric motherboard, the majority of the fan headers are here, so they're all here.

The USB 3.0 slot is here. You have USB Type C which is good! This is a workstation-centric feature which is an absolute must have! Front header connector is here! Like I've said, this is meant to be more for like a rack mount interface where all the wiring is right in the front here. So it just connects here.

Now the thing is, I'm trying to figure out what's going on here because it seems that from these little standoffs here, I do not know if the original plan was to have like an M.2 heat shield cover over here but nothing came in the box, there was nothing mentioned in the manual about this, we'll probably ask Supermicro about this. May be it's going to be an optional accessory down the line.

It might be a good consideration especially how hot PCIe 4.0 NVME SSDs can run. It would be good if these translate to let's say like an optional heat shield cover for the four slots right over there. So if we can move along, you can see this is the WRX80 chipset fan, aka the Scooby fan, yeah because WRX joke! Then we have the 6 slots over here and we have the ASPEED BMC, the chipset right over here.

So that connects to a VGA port right there. So which i will get to in a minute. Right so this is the rear I/O, so this is where the really the best of both Threadripper and EPYC come into focus.

So you have the audio out down here; Normally an EPYC server motherboard will have no form of on-board audio whatsoever because EPYC is meant for server-based deployment where having audio can be a security and functional liability rather than an asset. But in this case it's a workstation, so it must have its sound.

Then you have the red ones denote the USB 3.2 Gen 2. This is getting really ridiculous. Can somebody please shorten the USB names? And the blue ones are USB 3.2 gen one! And this one, there's a USB type C to the back, right over here. You'll see two LAN ports right over here. 

Okay so you may be wondering, what's the difference between these two? This one right over here is the Intel one Gigabit Ethernet which also serves as the BMC LAN port as well for the ASPEED IPMI.

So if you want to have the server-centric functions like being able to remotely administrate this particular set itself, you just take your LAN cable, you just connect to here enable the IPMI and you're all set to go! The other LAN port is a Marvell 10 gigabit Ethernet port; So if you want the best of both worlds, you just connect one here, this will serve as a gigabit, so you should be fine.

If you need a 10 gigabit connection, then you connect the other one as well. Unlike a lot of other EPYC server motherboards where you have to connect two separate LAN cables, one for the BMC which is invisible to the OS, another one for your actual LAN connection in your operating system, this one, you can plug just one cable and that serves dual function. One as the BMC as well as your LAN connection in your operating system.

So since this has ASPEED 2500 BMC, so you can see down here, we have the Com port right over here, and we have the VGA port right over here. So what you could do is that let's say you need the high frequency and IPC of a Threadripper but you do not want to spend the money on a discrete GPU just to plug down here so that you can see something especially in this day and age where GPUs are expensive AF!!! On a side note I was looking at a Carousel the other day and OMG, a GT 1030 was going for $200!

Your on board BMC, what you see here, is also what will be shown in the BMC itself. If you want to know how this works, we did do a review of on the Asrock Rack motherboard where you can see how that functions, so the Supermicro one, I believe will function pretty similarly, so when we power this on in part 2, we'll get around to showing that to you.