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Question Is the stepping number match necessary for dual Xeon E5-2650 v4 on a SuperMicro X10DAX?

Xstep2

Junior Member
Mar 7, 2021
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I bought a SuperMicro X10DAX in 2017 and have been running it with one CPU. I would like to add the 2nd CPU, there are plenty on ebay but none of them list the stepping number in their description. I vaguely remember dual CPUs have to match stepping numbers to be compatible but I couldn't find any reference to a stepping number in the X10DAX manual. I spent some time on the intel website and can't find a for sure answer there either.

If this stepping number is important why wouldn't information about it be documented and clear?

I have an Intel Xeon E5-2650 v4 ~ ES QHV6 ~ { CPU STEPPING = 0 } { CPU Family = 6 } { CPU model = 4F }
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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Sep 28, 2005
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Did you try asking Intel?
he can't because if you didnt notice, his first cpu is a ES... .aka Engineering Sample, which unless he is an authorized NDA holder or Intel Appointed Tester, he should not even have that cpu period. Hence intel will not even look at his question, and tell him to go to his sponsor, or ask him where he obtained a black market CPU.


And OP, to the best of my guess, the answer is no, stepping does not matter, however running a ES and Retail on a dual socket might.
If they are both retail cpu's then no, i have mixed and matched different steppings, but i have not ever tried mixing a Engineering sample with a Retail.
Normally Intel will give the supplier 2 engineering samples to test in a dual motherboard, and will not expect the vendor to mix and match ES with Retail.
 

Xstep2

Junior Member
Mar 7, 2021
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After reading the suggestion from Muadib I posted the same question here https://community.intel.com/t5/Processors/Is-the-stepping-number-match-necessary-for-dual-Xeon-E5-2650-v4/td-p/1262210 . . . Let's see what happens.

Your experience mixing differint stepping numbers answers one question and maybe why there is no mention of matching requirements in the mainboard manual or in my internet searches. I'm wondering why these CPUs are advertised as "matching pairs" or why I would have this vague memory of dual CPUs being required to "match". Could it be that they just need to be the same model number E5-2650 v4 and that's it? I would hate to order another E5-2650 v4 and have to return it because it wasn't compatible. There has to be some documentation on compatibility requirements somewhere. Or can you Match a E5-2650 v4 & E5-2699 v4 Maybe this stepping number thing is a myth but usually myths have some truth in them, why else would people be talking about stepping numbers. Is zero a valid stepping number?

As far as the ES vs retail goes . . . I'm guessing it will work if nothing else matters.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I wish I could help more here, but I really do not know, though I wouldn't think stepping would matter. I think they may have to be the same model though.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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I wish I could help more here, but I really do not know, though I wouldn't think stepping would matter. I think they may have to be the same model though.
this is actually false with some supermicro boards.

I have seen people run 2 completely different CPU's.
They do however need to be same gen, like you can not put a V4 with a V5 cpu.
But i have seen some run a quad core and a octocore.

It really depends on the board and bios.

The problem tho is ES and Retail can have different Quick Path Interlinks, which can cause communication from CPU 0 and CPU 1 to not sync and error.
This is why it is very difficult to give the OP a definite answer.
Also Supermicro have a IFFY bios support on non retail cpu's.
Ive seen boards not boot up with cpu's pulled from customized dells.

My Advice, and although not something id normally give, is for the OP to find another matching ES on Ebay.
Or just overall think about replacing both cpu's, as V4's should not be pricey on the used market.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Yeah that is fair advice. Honestly, I would reach out to supermicro at this point if possible, and see if they can help. Perhaps there are even some supermicro forums?
 

Xstep2

Junior Member
Mar 7, 2021
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Contacting SuperMicro seems like a good idea. Including CPU compatibility information in the manual seems like a better idea. The "matching" v4s would be be worth trying if it works. There are quite a few better CPUs in the E5 family. I'm just not sure how much I want to "invest" in old equipment and I've been wanting an M.2s since they were available. Maybe it's time to move to the X11??? or wait for the X12 but the X10 still works and is probably worth making out.
 

Xstep2

Junior Member
Mar 7, 2021
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I just got an almost immediate replay from SuperMicro. They said "The model numbers must match" when using dual CPUs and because of that "You can't use a E5-2650 v4 and E5-2699 v4 on the same board at the same time. They didn't say it wouldn't work, they said "the system could become unstable"

I'm not sure what an unstable system would act like but it might be worth trying just to see if it's actually an issue at all. There was also no indication that any of the other numbers mattered except for the model numbers, and that included the versions.

Are you able to contact the people that displayed this anomaly to find out what issues they had with their mixed dual CPUs if any?

I also got a response from Intel and they said the ES versions may have microcode that is not updated and because of that they are a "ticking time bomb" but I have been using it pretty much daily for about five years without incident. I assume this code may be like drivers or a BIOS where an upgrade would only be necessary for new features.

I also assume some ES CPUs are more more "finished" than others as they near their release. Mabey I got lucky and got one with little to no microcode errors.

How do you check to see if the QPI would compatible?
 

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