ASUS KGPE-D16 server/workstation board

Go back to homepage

This is a server board using AMD hardware (Fam10h and Fam15h CPUs available). It can also be used for building a high-powered workstation. Powered by libreboot. The coreboot port was done by Timothy Pearson of Raptor Engineering Inc. and, working with them (and sponsoring the work), merged into libreboot.

Memory initialization is still problematic, for some modules. We recommend avoiding Kingston modules.

Flashing instructions can be found at ../install/#flashrom - note that external flashing is required (e.g. BBB), if the proprietary (ASUS) firmware is currently installed. If you already have libreboot, by default it is possible to re-flash using software running in GNU+Linux on the KGPE-D16, without using external hardware.

Back to previous index.

CPU compatibility

Use Opteron 6200 series (works without microcode updates, including hw virt). 6300 series needs microcode updates, so avoid those CPUs. 6100 series is too old, and mostly untested.

Board status (compatibility)

See https://raptorengineeringinc.com/coreboot/kgpe-d16-status.php.

Form factor

These boards use the SSI EEB 3.61 form factor; make sure that your case supports this. This form factor is similar to E-ATX in that the size is identical, but the position of the screws are different.

IPMI iKVM module add-on

Don’t use it. It uses proprietary firmware and adds a backdoor (remote out-of-band management chip, similar to the Intel Management Engine. Fortunately, the firmware is unsigned (possibly to replace) and physically separate from the mainboard since it’s on the add-on module, which you don’t have to install.

Flash chips

2MiB flash chips are included by default, on these boards. It’s on a P-DIP 8 slot (SPI chip). The flash chip can be upgraded to higher sizes: 4MiB, 8MiB or 16MiB. With at least 8MiB, you could feasibly fit a compressed linux+initramfs image (BusyBox+Linux system) into CBFS and boot that, loading it into memory.

Libreboot has configs for 2, 4, 8 and 16 MiB flash chip sizes (default flash chip is 2MiB).

DO NOT hot-swap the chip with your bare hands. Use a P-DIP 8 chip extractor. These can be found online. See http://www.coreboot.org/Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools

Native graphics initialization

Only text-mode is known to work, but linux(kernel) can initialize the framebuffer display (if it has KMS - kernel mode setting).

Current issues

Hardware specifications

The information here is adapted, from the ASUS website.

Processor / system bus

  • 2 CPU sockets (G34 compatible)
  • HyperTransport™ Technology 3.0
  • CPUs supported:
    • AMD Opteron 6100 series (Fam10h. No IOMMU support. Not recommended - old. View errata datasheet here: http://support.amd.com/TechDocs/41322_10h_Rev_Gd.pdf)
    • AMD Opteron 6200 series (Fam15h, with full IOMMU support in libreboot - highly recommended - fast, and works well without microcode updates, including virtualization)
    • AMD Opteron 6300 series (Fam15h, with full IOMMU support in libreboot. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE - virtualization is broken without microcode updates.
    • NOTE: 6300 series CPUs have buggy microcode built-in, and libreboot recommends avoiding the updates. The 6200 series CPUs have more reliable microcode. Look at this errata datasheet: http://support.amd.com/TechDocs/48063_15h_Mod_00h-0Fh_Rev_Guide.pdf (see Errata 734 - this is what kills the 6300 series)
  • 6.4 GT/s per link (triple link)

Core logic

  • AMD SR5690
  • AMD SP5100

Memory compatibility (with libreboot)

  • Total Slots: 16 (4-channel per CPU, 8 DIMM per CPU), ECC
  • Capacity: Maximum up to 256GB RDIMM
  • Memory Type that is compatible:
    • DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 UDIMM*
    • DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 RDIMM*
  • Compatible sizes per memory module:
    • 16GB, 8GB, 4GB, 3GB, 2GB, 1GB RDIMM
    • 8GB, 4GB, 2GB, 1GB UDIMM

Expansion slots

  • Total slot: 6
  • Slot Location 1: PCI 32bit/33MHz
  • Slot Location 2: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X8 Link)
  • Slot Location 3: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X16 Link), Auto switch to x8 link if slot 2 is occupied
  • Slot Location 4: PCI-E x8 (Gen2 X4 Link)
  • Slot Location 5: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X16 Link)
  • Slot Location 6: PCI-E x16 (Gen2 X16 Link), Auto turn off if slot 5 is occupied, For 1U FH/FL Card, MIO supported
  • Additional Slot 1: PIKE slot (for SAS drives. See notes above)
  • Follow SSI Location#

Form factor

  • SSI EEB 3.61 (12“x13”)

ASUS features

  • Fan Speed Control
  • Rack Ready (Rack and Pedestal dual use)

Storage

  • SATA controller:
    • AMD SP5100
    • 6 x SATA2 300MB/s
  • SAS/SATA Controller:
    • ASUS PIKE2008 3Gbps 8-port SAS card included

Networking

  • 2 x Intel® 82574L + 1 x Mgmt LAN

Graphics

  • Aspeed AST2050 with 8MB VRAM

On board I/O

  • 1 x PSU Power Connector (24-pin SSI power connector + 8-pin SSI 12V + 8-pin SSI 12V power connector)
  • 1 x Management Connector , Onboard socket for management card
  • 3 x USB pin header , Up to 6 Devices
  • 1 x Internal A Type USB Port
  • 8 x Fan Header , 4pin (3pin/4pin fan dual support)
  • 2 x SMBus
  • 1 x Serial Port Header
  • 1 x TPM header
  • 1 x PS/2 KB/MS port

Back I/O ports

  • 1 x External Serial Port
  • 2 x External USB Port
  • 1 x VGA Port
  • 2 x RJ-45
  • 1 x PS/2 KB/Mouse

Environment

  • Operation temperature: 10C ~ 35C
  • Non operation temperature: -40C ~ 70C
  • Non operation humidity: 20% ~ 90% ( Non condensing)

Monitoring

  • CPU temperatures
  • Fan speed (RPM)

Note:

  • * DDR3 1600 can only be supported with AMD Opteron 6300/6200 series processor

Copyright © 2015 Leah Rowe info@minifree.org
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license or any later version published by Creative Commons; A copy of the license can be found at ../cc-by-sa-4.0.txt

Updated versions of the license (when available) can be found at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

UNLESS OTHERWISE SEPARATELY UNDERTAKEN BY THE LICENSOR, TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, THE LICENSOR OFFERS THE LICENSED MATERIAL AS-IS AND AS-AVAILABLE, AND MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING THE LICENSED MATERIAL, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY, OR OTHER. THIS INCLUDES, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, ABSENCE OF LATENT OR OTHER DEFECTS, ACCURACY, OR THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF ERRORS, WHETHER OR NOT KNOWN OR DISCOVERABLE. WHERE DISCLAIMERS OF WARRANTIES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN FULL OR IN PART, THIS DISCLAIMER MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, IN NO EVENT WILL THE LICENSOR BE LIABLE TO YOU ON ANY LEGAL THEORY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY, OR OTHER LOSSES, COSTS, EXPENSES, OR DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THIS PUBLIC LICENSE OR USE OF THE LICENSED MATERIAL, EVEN IF THE LICENSOR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH LOSSES, COSTS, EXPENSES, OR DAMAGES. WHERE A LIMITATION OF LIABILITY IS NOT ALLOWED IN FULL OR IN PART, THIS LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

The disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability provided above shall be interpreted in a manner that, to the extent possible, most closely approximates an absolute disclaimer and waiver of all liability.

Copyright 2015-2017 Leah Rowe info@minifree.org
Copyright 2017 Alyssa Rosenzweig alyssa@rosenzweig.io

This document is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License and all future versions. A copy of the license can be found at “cc-by-sa-4.txt”.

This document is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See cc-by-sa-4.txt for more information.