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MSI X99A Workstation Motherboard Runs Nicely On Linux

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  • MSI X99A Workstation Motherboard Runs Nicely On Linux

    Phoronix: MSI X99A Workstation Motherboard Runs Nicely On Linux

    The past few weeks I've been testing out the MSI X99A Workstation motherboard courtesy of MSI Computer and it's been working out very well across a spectrum of open-source Linux (as well as BSD) use-cases for those in need of a LGA-2011 v3 motherboard.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=23523

  • #2
    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: MSI X99A Workstation Motherboard Runs Nicely On Linux

    The past few weeks I've been testing out the MSI X99A Workstation motherboard courtesy of MSI Computer and it's been working out very well across a spectrum of open-source Linux (as well as BSD) use-cases for those in need of a LGA-2011 v3 motherboard.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=23523
    Just a note about the visual side of the article. Instead of:

    CPU

    - Supports New Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition for LGA2011-3 Socket
    - Supports Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0
    Chipset

    - Intel X99 Chipset
    I would recommend:

    CPU
    - Supports New Intel Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition for LGA2011-3 Socket
    - Supports Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0

    Chipset
    - Intel X99 Chipset

    Comment


    • #3
      I purchased a MSI X99A Raider motherboard because I'd read reviews of other MSI X99 boards on Phoronix. I'm disappointed though, and I'd wager that some of the same issues impact this board:
      • On booting, the TSC on the first core is out of sync with the others, causing the system to fall back to hpet as a clocksource rather than TSC (cat /sys/devices/system/clocksource/clocksource0/current_clocksource). I have worked around this locally by patching my kernel to write 0 to the 0x3b MSR in arch/x86/kernel/tsc_sync.c
      • The Energy Performance Bias capability isn't exposed on my Broadwell-E processor: the 'epb' flag doesn't show in /proc/cpuinfo. I suspect MSI have hidden to improve Windows performance under the 'balanced' profile, despite the 2011v3 processors being aimed at the enthusiast market
      • The x2apic opt-out flag is set in the DMAR, which is a shame if you want to use the VT-d features of this processor. Asking linux to ignore this flag mostly works, except that it breaks suspend and resume. It's pretty hard to point the blame at MSI for this one (it's probably a fault in AMI's original firmware) but it's always disappointing when you can't use the expected capabilities of your hardware under linux (look for x2apic in dmesg logs).
      • There are other, non-linux-specific issues, like the BIOS reporting a voltage of 1.256 for the SA in the info panel on the right - even if you set it to something else, and even though that's quite a ridiculous number (it should be less than 1v).

      Obviously I wouldn't expect you to trawl through dmesg output and notice all these sorts of things before saying "it works fine on linux", but is there any chance you could check any of these out? It'd be really nice if linux users got more than "boots and mostly works" from new hardware, especially hardware that's being recommended on Phoronix!

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      • #4
        In addition to what user jamsla wrote, I would like to ask whether it is possible to add the status of coreboot support for this motherboard.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yep, possible coreboot support, preinstalled BIOS/UEFI-Interface, type of SuperI/O-Chip, ACPI tables, suspend-behavior would all be of interest for a mainboard review. The other specs can often be found on the manufacturer's website anyway.
          And of course, most Linux distributions boot on 98%* of x86 machines (98, not all, mind you! I've seen it) - but booting and superficial running is one thing, another things are the little culprits that exhibit themselves only after time on a second look.

          *Well, with the "aid" of "secure boot" this number might even rise.
          Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

          Comment


          • #6
            Michael, can you please review some mid range to high end Z170 motherboards that don't have the word "gaming" in their name?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by trifud View Post
              Michael, can you please review some mid range to high end Z170 motherboards that don't have the word "gaming" in their name?
              Unfortunately most motherboard vendors these days aren't interested in Linux media.
              Michael Larabel
              http://www.michaellarabel.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                400$ is the price of my whole system, I am definitly not the target for this product... but must admit it has great features.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can the BIOS be updated without using Windows?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Michael , I'd be interested in seeing just a comparison between using PCI-E2 and PCI-E3 on one of those motherboards. With the same (modern, VI generation?) graphics card I mean. Not Linux specific but interesting to see if there is a big difference.

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