Usually, when vendors release dual-socket motherboards, this is typically done on larger form factors such as extended ATX (E-ATX) and even larger ones such as SSB-EEB for server form factors. Supermicro looks to buck the trend and has recently listed a pair of Intel motherboards with dual LGA4189 sockets, designed for Intel's latest Ice Lake 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors.

Both the Supermicro X12DPL-NT6 and X12DPL-i6 conform to the ATX form factor and have a very similar design. The key metrics include support for two Intel 3rd generation Ice Lake Xeon processors but also eight memory slots between the two, indicating that each processor runs in only quad-channel mode. This is important as some enterprise situations do not require the full memory bandwidth of eight memory channels, and thus having fewer physical channels on board helps with form factor as well as cost. That being said, this motherboard can support up to 2TB of DDR4-3200 ECC memory (1 TB per socket). Also, due to the size of the board, Supermicro recommends that only 185 W TDP processors maximum are used.


The Supermicro X12DPL-NT6 ATX motherboard

Towards the bottom of the board is four full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, each with single slot spacing. Providing both physical and remote access to the system is ASPEEDs latest AST2600 BMC controller. For storage, the chipset is powering twelve SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Both models also include two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, supporting both 22110/2280 M.2 form factors, while the second port is limited to 2280 M.2.

Focusing on the differences between the two boards, the X12DPL-NT6 is the higher-end variant. It includes a dual 10 G-Base T Ethernet powered by an Intel X550 controller, which is cooled by a heatsink, and it also includes an additional PCIe 4.0 x8 port for NVMe drives. The Supermicro X12DPL-i6 instead dual Intel i210 Gigabit controllers and does not have the additional PCIe 4.0 x8.

On the rear panels, both models include two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, with an additional port on the motherboard directly at the bottom. There is also a USB 3.2 G1 front panel header that offers an additional two Type-A ports.

At the time of writing, we don't know when the Supermicro X12DPL-NT6 or the X12DPL-i6 will be available to purchase, nor do we have any pricing information at this time. But fitting a dual-socket design on a simple ATX is rather fun.

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  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - link

    > a SSI-EEB Board wouldn't make the tower case THAT much bigger.

    Even EATX would make more sense than this.
    Reply
  • Tomatotech - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    I'd like to see SuperMicro show their chops by making the unicorn - a reasonably priced mini-ITX board with the various things people have been asking for. Trying to resist giving my shopping list here (but it has 4 RAM slots and multiple NVME slots on it).

    Dunno how Supermicro could assess demand though. One way could be to have a poll of various options, and it requires a $10 deposit on your favoured option to vote. At the end of the poll, losing options are refunded to the voters, and these who put $10 into the winning option get a $15 voucher towards the purchase price. Just an idea.

    Nevermind. As a server company, Supermicro and consumer value don't go together. Their customers buy IT time at $100 per hour for setting up servers.
    Reply
  • edzieba - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    If you want ITX boards with ludicrous socketry, then ASRockRack are who you want to look to rather than Supermicro. Reply
  • RU482 - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    Supermicro dual socket ATX boards have been gimped in one way or another since at least X9. This isn't anything new. Reply
  • Duncan Macdonald - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    As you can get a single socket EPYC motherboard (ASRock ROMED8-2T) in ATX format with 7 PCIe4.0 slots 8 memory channels 2x10G ethernet and more cores available than the dual Xeon's why bother with this board. This board looks as though it was created for bragging rights - "Hey Look - we can get 2 Xeons on an ATX board".

    Too much was sacrificed by making this board ATX instead of EATX for very little purpose - almost all ATX style cases can take an EATX motherboard. If you are paying the money for a pair of Xeons then saving a few dollars by crippling their capabilities seems a very bad bargin.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - link

    > Too much was sacrificed by making this board ATX instead of EATX for very little purpose

    There was probably a very specific customer or regulatory requirement they were trying to meet.

    As a generic product, you're right that it doesn't make a lot of sense.
    Reply
  • bananaforscale - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - link

    The only use case is probably needing AVX512. I can't see this making any sense otherwise. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - link

    Even then, it's an odd fit as most AVX-512 workloads probably want lots of memory bandwidth. Reply
  • strtj - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    This is odd - what is the recommended case for something like this? It seems like that would affect the market significantly. You would need wind tunnel cooling for this. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - link

    > You would need wind tunnel cooling for this.

    They only support 2x 185 W CPUs. That's not bad, in terms of server cooling. For workstations, water cooling would probably make more sense.
    Reply

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