SuperChassis E300 Build?



  • Has anyone built a system using just this chassis with an mITX motherboard? 
    http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/Mini-ITX/101/SCE300.cfm?parts=SHOW#jump

    I bought an A1SRi-2758F board last night and this is one of two chassis I'm considering, but I'm not really sure how the I/O shield, DC power input and PCIe riser would work out..?  All of the images I've seen of this chassis are the stock photo of the Xeon D SuperServer, instead of shots of the chassis itself, it's empty internals, or any of the components that come with it.  I guess I have three specific questions I was hoping someone who has bought just the chassis (and not the SuperServer) could answer:

    1.)  From what I can tell at the bottom of the above link, there is an optional accessory I/O shield compatible with A1SRi boards.  I assume I'd have to buy that, rather than use the standard I/O shield that comes with my motherboard?

    2.)  There are optional accessory power supplies (DC bricks) but I can't tell if those connect to say a 4-pin input on the chassis itself, or if the connector expects to mate to something on a Xeon-D motherboard I/O.  Is there a pass-through hole in the chassis where I could use any generic 4-pin DC brick and connect it to my A1SRi board, or do I need to buy SM's accessory power supply?

    3.)  It does not appear like the chassis includes the PCIe riser card or riser bracket (shown in the photo), however neither of these is listed as an optional accessory either.  Does anyone know if either of these pieces is included or how to obtain them otherwise?  Part numbers?

    I'm planning to call Supermicro later today, but I thought I might get better and faster answers from other users.  Thanks!



  • I'm planning to call Supermicro later today,

    This is your best bet here! What should you do if the case arrives and the board is not matching!?
    I would call Supermicro and ask them, because if there is a workaround and/or another I/O shield
    that can make it happen they know it better then us all here in the forum. And if not so, you will be
    on the safe side!

    I would go with the SC101i that is made for this Board or with the M350 that is widely well known
    working and reported.



  • @BlueKobold:

    I would go with the SC101i that is made for this Board or with the M350 that is widely well known
    working and reported.

    Thanks for the advice, and yes the m350 is the 2nd chassis I'm debating between, that I alluded to earlier.  It seems like a great chassis, proven, and cheap!

    The only reason I'm considering the Supermicro chassis is that it allows me to use a PCIe card via riser, so in the future I could drop in a 10GbE NIC and upgrade my LAN painlessly.  In addition, my previous calls to SuperMicro have been… mixed... in terms of gathering productive information on accessory parts.  Don't get me wrong, great company that builds great products, but even on their "contact us" webpage it says something to the effect of (paraphrased) "We sell through distributors for a reason, call them, don't call us" :)  Sometimes you get lucky when you call them, sometimes you don't, so I thought maybe another forum user might have paved this trail ahead of me.

    I'm leaning more towards the m350 at the moment anyway.  It's a good cheap way to get me running, and if in the future I decide to upgrade to 10GbE, replacing the chassis will be the least of my expenses...  I'll report back if I hear anything helpful from SM.  I haven't had the time to squeeze in a call to them yet this afternoon.



  • I wanted to come back and close the loop on this after talking to Supermicro a couple days ago.

    First of all, the rep was telling me that if a motherboard and a chassis were meant to be compatible it would say so on the right hand side of the web page, and neither this board nor chassis mention compatibility with the other one.  I understood this general rule of course, but I pressed him about the I/O shield accessory for this chassis that specifically calls out the model family for my Atom board.  In the end he agreed that the board must work in this chassis as long as I buy that shield, even if it doesn't say so on the website.  Really no better answer than the assumption I'd already made, but I took it and moved on.

    On the power supply question, we went round and round and he put me on hold twice to go ask someone else about it.  I could tell I'd finally gotten through to him after I explained why I felt there might be a "missing piece" to convert from the 12V DC barrel jack to the 4-pin ATX plug on my motherboard.  Rightly or wrongly, I explained to him that I assumed his chassis takes the 12V barrel plug and converts it to an 8-pin ATX connector for his Xeon-D motherboard.  That may not be correct, and he wasn't sure either, but the point was, I'd need an adapter from 8-pin to 4-pin in that scenario to plug into my Atom board.  Since that adapter surely didn't come with the I/O shield, how would I get it?  This was when he put me on hold the second time, and when he came back he was confident he had the answer.  What he said is that when you buy the power supply accessory kit (84W?), it comes with the adapters you need to convert from the barrel jack input to the different ATX connectors.  I didn't really want to buy their power supply, but at least this seems to answer the question.

    For the final question I ended up not asking Supermicro, both because I'd been on the phone with them for over 45 minutes by this point, and because I believe I found the answer in another person's SuperServer build thread.  What it looks like is that the chassis and super server come with the physical bracket to mount an expansion card, but not the riser card you need to make the electrical connection.

    So with all of that information, it does seem like you could buy the E300 chassis and use it with an Atom motherboard, as long as you buy the optional I/O shield and buy the optional PSU kit (or else rig up your own with adapters from Amazon).  If you want to use the expansion slot, you'll either need to buy the right Supermicro riser card, or you might be able to get by with a generic flexible one from Amazon, and just use the included bracket to hold the card.

    I ended up deciding that the odds of me upgrading with a 10GbE NIC down the road are pretty slim, and bought a trusty m350 chassis with a few fans, extra HD bracket and power kit.  I still like the idea of the Supermicro chassis, but at this time it's just a little pricey and harder to get all the special pieces together to make it work with Atom.


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