I've just bought a Phi as part of the promotion and am looking to do some code optimization and energy measurement on it. I need to build a workstation and have been looking at appropriate motherboards. I understand that MMIO above 4G (or above 4G decoding) is required in the BIOS. Is this all that is required? Is there a list of motherboards that will support the Phi?
I've seen that the ASUS Sabretooth Z97 Mark 2 supports this option in the bios has anyone had any experience of using this board to build a small workstation? Any other suggestions welcome.
I've done some more research and it seems as through the majority of ASUS Z97 motherboards have the 'above 4G decoding' option in the bios - according the user manuals on the ASUS website anyway. Does this alone guarantee that the Phi will work or are there other options that need to be considered?
Does anyone have any experience of using one of these boards?
A couple other things you can look at -
A search of this particular forum (use the search window at the bottom of the announcements on https://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/intel-many-integrated-core, not the "What can we help you find today?" window at the top and search for board - people have not been consistent in whether they used motherboard, system board or just board) will give you an idea of what boards people have tried and what their results were.
Go to ark.intel.com and on the left hand side select "Processors" -> "Servers", select "Intel(R) Xeon Phi(TM) Coprocessors" from the table. Unfortunately the 31S1P isn't listed in the table but if you check out 3120P and 5110P (select those coprocessors from the table, then select "Compatible Products" on the left) you will be able to see what Intel boards worked with those two coprocessors.
This won't give you a list of exactly what boards will work but it will give you some idea of what hasn't worked for others, what has worked only with some modifications and what has worked with other SKUs of the coprocessor. But another thing you need to take into account is cooling. The 31S1P is passively cooled. The system you put together must provide sufficient cooling as described in the data sheet (which you can find by following the links from that blog Sunny pointed out). And you can find discussions on cooling in this forum that may give you ideas.
Thanks for your help with this, I reviewed the resources you suggested and have done some further online research with other motherboard manufacturers and have identified several motherboards that should meet my needs. I will build my workstation and test it for compatibility and then post my results here. Thanks for the heads up on the passive cooling nature of the card, I have a plan in place to deal with this requirement.
If this can help, I just tested the ASUS X99M-WS card successfully with two Phis. This is the µATX board, I suppose that its X99-WS ATX version will work fine too.
For low budgets, I was surprised to find that the ASUS Z97M PLUS µATX board has the 4G decoding option. I did not test with the phi but it might be the cheapest available board for playing with a xeon phi.