Blackbird/Hardware Compatibility List

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Cases

Good Cases

These cases were successfully used by someone.

  • AeroCool CS-101
    • The C1P9S01 Blackbird is compatible out-of-the-box. It's exhaust fan lines up well above the CPU cooler.
    • Any bottom mounted fan needs to be narrow (=<1.5cm), otherwise it collides with the bottom of the motherboard.
    • Add-in cards need to be inserted at an angle, as the bracer above them is not removable.
  • Fractal Design Define R6 and Define R6 USB-C
    • The case provides three 3-pin fans so you have to use the integrated PWM fan hub to enable fan speed control (otherwise the fans will spin at full speed). Connect the first chassis fan (labeled fan 2 on the motherboard) to the CPU fan connector of the PWM fan hub to let the motherboard control the fan speed
    • The USB 3.0 plug for the front panel of the Define R6 case is too broad at one side (collides with the BMC serial console connector) so you have to remove (polish) a little bit of the rubber of the plug so that it fits completely into the internal USB 3.0 connector of the motherboard (front view, side view). If you also want to use the adjacent internal header J7701 (for the BMC serial console), then you have to remove a little bit more of the rubber (front view, side view, mounted).
    • The HDD LED plug for the front panel cannot be plugged into the motherboard's front panel header because it uses a combined plug for + and - but the pins on the header of the motherboard are not neighbors. You need an adapter (a pair of breadboard jumper cables will do), leave it unplugged or use an extension cord to plug it into DISK DRIVE ACTIVITY INDICATOR two-pin header (the default cable is too short for that).
    • Define R6 USB-C only: The USB 3.1 Gen2 plug for the front panel cannot be used since the motherboard has no connector for that (and USB 3.1 is most probably not supported at all)
  • Fractal Design Meshify C
    • No issues, but it would be nice if the included fans were 4-pin instead of 3-pin.

Power Supplies

  • SilverStone SST-SX500-G 500W (The dedicated CPU power cable must be used rather than the integrated 4-pin, otherwise the Blackbird will not boot.)
  • Seasonic FOCUS GX-550 — works, but the motherboard power cable is only barely long enough for me. Better for a case with top-mounted power supply.

Fans

  • As of BMC firmware branch "04-16-2019", Noctua Industrial 140mm (NF-A14 iPPC-2000) do not work correctly. However, normal Noctua 140mm (NF-A14 PWM) work as expected even using a splitter for 4 total fans.

Memory

See POWER9 Hardware Compatibility List/Memory.

PCIe Devices

See POWER9 Hardware Compatibility List/PCIe Devices.

NOTE: On the Blackbird, pin 1 of the "BMC TTL AUXILIARY SERIAL HEADER" (J10116) conflicts with some PCIe cards (or their metal mounting bracket) in the lower PCIe 4.0 x8 slot. This is the case for e.g. the Supermicro AOC-SHG3-4M2P, where the metal bracket touches pin 1 of J10116 such that either the pin gets bent or the card does not fully seat. Since the conflicting distance is less than 1mm, either the metal bracket or the PCB (depending on which one touches the pin) can be filed/ground a tiny bit (with a hand file or dremel), so that the cards fully seats without bending the pin. When doing so, care must be taken to not let any metal dust touch the PCIe card. Ideally the conflict would only be between the metal bracket and the pin, in which case the metal bracket can be unscrewed from the card and modified separately. Afterwards it should be properly cleaned and (if necessary) dried, before being remounted to the card.

Here are some pictures from mx08's modification to the Supermicro AOC-SHG3-4M2P's metal bracket:

An alternative would maybe be to place a 1mm spacer between the top end of the PCIe card's metal bracket and the case, so that the card can be tightened properly while still making firm contact (?) with the PCIe slot.

NVMe Drives

Not Working:

Corsair Force Series Gen.4 PCIe MP600 (physically incompatible, because the heatsink is blocked by the USB port. Only affects PCIe slot 8x)

SATA Storage Drives

SATA storage devices can be connected via the on-board Marvell 88SE9235 controller, or via an optional SATA controller in the 4x PCIe slot.

NVMe cards are also supported by using an optional PCIe adapter card (see POWER9_Hardware_Compatibility_List/PCIe_Devices#NVMe_Drives).

Serial port adapters to connect with OpenBMC

Working:

  • VTOP USB serial RS232 Adapter - USB to RS232 Serial DB9 9 PIN COM Port Converter cable (about 20 USD)
  • DeLock Adapter Sub-D 9Pin Bu/Bu null modem (required for direct computer connections eg. with the VTOP USB-serial-adapter)
  • Supermicro CBL-0010L

See also