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Oh frabjous day!


Last night I was informed by WiredZone that my new 5038K-i tower is on its way. I ordered one with a Xeon Phi 7290 a few weeks ago but they have been delayed due to lack of RAM stocks. Sometime around Wednesday next week by all accounts. Woo-hoo!


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My long-awaited Supermicro SYS-5038K-I-NF9 arrived yesterday afternoon.

First impressions are that the case design is outdated. Compared to Dell equipment like my T7610 where the side panel unclips with the pull of a handle, having to remove screws seems just so 1990's. At least it has little knurled nuts so I don't have to get out the screwdriver.

It could do with two more USB ports at the front. One of the two that are supplied is instantly filled with a Bluetooth dongle for my Logitech keyboard, and the other needs to be left empty for USB sticks. At the back the four USB ports present were immediately full as well, with two external USB SDD's, a wifi dongle and the mouse.

The biggest surprise is the total lack of audio facilities. OK, this is a development machine. But seriously ...


I've already loaded up Ubuntu 16.04.4 and CentOS 7.3. The former reports 60 processors and the latter 64. I guess I'm going to have to get creative to use all 72 cores of the Xeon Phi 7290.

Installing Ubuntu took about half an hour, including downloading the iso file and burning it to a USB stick. CentOS, on the other hand, still isn't working properly after eight hours of hard work. More of that in another thread.

I'm finding the X200 takes forever to boot. Like all of five minutes, plus all the faffing around that the operating system does when it can't find the i8042 controller. Lordy, people still include options for PS/2 keyboards and mice in operating systems? I'll have to gouge that out.

My first X200 feels so advanced that it's pushing all the boundaries of Linux. Can't wait to hack up some code for it. :)