Recommended BIOS Settings for Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 15 2016 (updated on Nov 19 2017) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • Windows
  • HowTo
  • See also my recent article about performance optimized BIOS settings that includes a way to quickly and easily revert to the general purpose settings in this article, just in case you don't wish to have to do this 7 minute procedure twice.

    Given there are so many use case scenarios, no BIOS setting combination is perfect for everybody, and the User Manual doesn't exactly help. But I believe this article is a solid start. So when you're done messing around with performance testing your SuperServer, you'll likely want to go back to the settings that match the way your Wiredzone SuperServer Bundle 1 or 2 was born:

    EU SuperServer Bundle 3 owners:

    See also Bundle 3. As shown in the comparison chart, I'd recommend you apply these BIOS settings, ideally before proceed with installing an OS, since Supermicro in the Netherlands doesn't (yet) customize the BIOS for you. OSs like Windows 10 will set the C: drive to GPT type if your BIOS is set to UEFI mode, for example, a good thing, should you ever wish to grow your C: drive beyond 2TB someday.

    SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T owners who bought their system somewhere else:

    Your BIOS may not be at the latest 1.0b levels, so go ahead and flash it to 1.0b first:

    then proceed with the BIOS configuration below.

    BIOS configuration video that follows along with the step-by-step instructions below, in realtime. You can pause/unpause at each step, to make it even easier to follow along.

    This procedure applies to any owner of the X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard.

    1. Open Console Redirect session in IPMI iKVM interface (point browser to management IP)
    2. Select "Power Control" and "Set Power On"
    3. Press "Del" key when prompted, to enter BIOS configuration
    4. Go to "Save & Exit" tab
      Restore Optimized Defaults
      Load Optimized Defaults? / Yes
      Save Changes and Reset
      Save configuration and reset? / Yes
    5. After system restart, Press "Del" key when prompted, to enter BIOS configuration
    6. Advanced / Boot Feature
      Bootup NumLock State [Off]
    7. Advanced / Boot Feature
      Power Button Function [4 Seconds Override]
    8. Advanced / Boot Feature
      Restore on AC Power Loss (Stay Off)
    9. Press ESC
    10. SATA Configuration
    11. For each SSD, change "SATA Device Type" from [Hard Disk Drive] to [Solid State Drive]
    12. Press ESC
    13. If you are using a PCIe card with multiple M.2 ports like the Supermicro AOC-SLG3-2M2 explained here, you'll want to change
      Advanced / PCIe/PCI/PnP Configuration
      SLOT7 PCI-E 3.0 x16 Bifurcation
      change from the default of [x16] to [x4x4x4x4]
      Press ESC
    14. If you are using an Optane SSD like the P4800X or 900P in either the M.2 slot (using U.2 to M.2 cable), or right the PCIe slot, to avoid a BIOS Hang A9 you'll need to change the following:
      Advanced / PCIe/PCI/PnP Configuration
      M.2 PCI-E 3.0 X4 OPROM
      change from the default of [Legacy] to [EFI]
      SLOT7 PCI-E 3.0 X16 Bifurcation
      change from the default of [x16] to [x4x4x4x4]
      SLOT7SLOT7 PCI-E 3.0 X16 OPROM
      change from the default of [Legacy] to [EFI]
    15. If you have a Bundle 1 with GPU, change
      Advanced / PCIe/PCI/PnP Configuration
      VGA Priority
      change from [Onboard] to [Offboard]
      Press ESC
    16. BOOT
      Boot Mode Select
      Change from [DUAL] to [UEFI]
      If the UEFI Boot Order #1 device in the Priorities column isn't your preferred device, change it now
    17. Save & Exit
      Save Changes and Reset
      Save configuration and reset? / Yes
      1. Use a browser to login to IPMI, choose Configuration / Fan Mode
      Fan Mode "Set to Full Speed"
      Feb 06 2016 revision - the above line was included in error, you are likely going to like the factory default normal fan speed best for a vast majority of use cases.
    18. Save and Exit
    19. Wait to see that your preferred OS begins to boot, then you're done!

    See also at TinkerTry

    Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T booting VMware ESXi 6.0, showing watts used. Jul 06 2015.
    Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T booting Windows 8.1, showing watts used. Jul 06 2015.
    Power efficiency of a Z68 Motherboard System, using a CyberPower UPS's LCD Display to measure watts. Aug 05 2011 - yeah, we've come a long way, in terms of efficiency!