Blackbird/Hardware Compatibility List

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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.
  • Chenbro SR20503
    • Zero issues with this older vintage beige and grey case, intended for ATX and some EATX motherboards. The power LED has two phases: green for when the Blackbird is fully powered on and running, and an amber LED which pulses at different intensities depending on whether the BMC is currently launching or is ready to boot the system. This was a surprising and welcome find.
    • There are no USB front panel connectors by default, but that’s an easy fix. I’m 3D printing a grey replacement for the black one I purchased so it will better match the aesthetic.
    • Two 120mm fan ports mean this isn’t astounding for airflow, but most Blackbird builds are thermally conservative enough that it probably won’t matter.
    • Finally, the original design has an awkwardly placed brace intended to run beneath a pair of redundant power supplies, or provide structural support for an older-style ATX PSU with a front-back flowthrough fan arrangement. As the former case is rare and the latter case is obsolescent unless you’re willing to go to some trouble, you may be well-served to remove the metal brace. I recommend doing this with nothing installed in the case whatsoever, then blowing it out with compressed air in an open space or carefully applying and removing painter’s tape throughout the case interior to remove resulting metal flecks! Don’t install anything unless you’re sure you’ve gotten them all.

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.


  • 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.


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)

Graphic card

Oversized PCIe X16 GPU are not fitting perfectly. It likely would get in contact with other components for example fan headers.

Fitting perfectly:

  • Sapphire Radeon R9 Nano
  • Powercolor Fighter Radeon RX 6600 XT

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


  • 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