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Supermicro New Zealand Channel Newsletter
Sandy Bridge Server and Desktops
  31 March 2011


The B3 chipset that resolved the Intel chipset design flaw arrived on schedule and is now available locally. Compucon New Zealand has introduced Sandy Bridge as of March to the Superhawk desktop range and we will begin our platform validation and testing of the new entry-level server motherboard for servers with the Cougar Point chipset (Sandy Bridge).

This motherboard will take the new LGA 1155 socket Xeon E3 processors and Core i3-2000 series (gen. 2) Sandy Bridge processors such as the Core i3-2100. The Core i3-2100 processor in particular is a Dual Core CPU clocked at 3.1GHz and will provide excellent performance at a low price for applications that do not require 4 processor cores.


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The new platform will provide 6 x SATA ports (with 2 ports supporting 6Gbps SSDs or HDDs). Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) HostRAID will be available as the default option, with LSI Software RAID (BIOS-assisted Host RAID) as an alternative option in the BIOS.

Of special note is the lack of PCI slots - there is 4 x PCI-Express slots instead (x8 and x4 gen 2.0). These slots will provide sufficient bandwidth for all current generation cards. IPMI 2.0 with Virtual KVM and Media over IP is provided via a dedicated network port in addition to the 2 standard Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports.

We will take a week to complete our validation process for Sandy Bridge based servers if everything goes smoothly.  For current orders we will continue to supply the existing model based on the 3420 chipset for 1156 pin processors as the model is time-proven to be extremely stable.  You will have the option of keeping the same 3420 based platform or adopting the new Cougar Point platform for your next orders after we have formally completed our above mentioned validation process.

The Compucon Superhawk is already based on Sandy Bridge processors and although the new platform does not bring many improvements, benchmarks show the new processors perform up to 20% faster at the same price point.

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