Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Installing a Xeon Phi (MIC) Card in a Dell PowerEdge R720

We got an early release of Dell's Phi installation kit with installation instructions that weren't all that great (to say the least). Dell told me that they are working on better instructions.  In case you're confused, here you go.

A few things to note:
  • We have dual 95W CPUs.  These instructions might be different (correct?) for higher wattage CPUs (larger heat sinks, different plastic baffles?)
  • The extra heat sinks are for the CPUs, not the Phi.  Our 95W CPUs did not need them.
  • The 2.5" and 3.5" mounting brackets are not necessary in our configuration
  • We used a different bracket that was provided
Here are some pictures of what it should look like:


  1. HI. I'm trying to do this presently but am having difficulties with BIOS crashes. what BIOS version are you running ? Also did you just use on of the 2 supplied cables from the riser to the MIC ?

  2. I think we only used one of the cables though I am having trouble remembering at this point.

    We are using BIOS 1.6.0. We did have to change a setting in the BIOS for the card to be recognized, though it didn't cause crashes without it.

    Enable large BAR setting: Integrated Devices >> Memory I/O larger than 4GB in BIOS Settings >> Enabled
    syscfg -- MmioAbove4Gb=enable
    (from under "Pre-Install Configuration")

  3. I am trying to do this install now with a Phi 31S1P into an Dell R720.

    It reboots every few minutes and I can't figure out why at this point. BIOS is 2.4.3

    lspci shows that it does recognise the card though.

  4. I found that our server was shutting down due to over heating issues created by this card. The card has been on my desk for the last few months as a consequence.

    But now I have some 38mm brake ducting and a dremel and will be trying this again with a modified air flow setup.


Please leave any comments, questions, or suggestions below. If you find a better approach than what I have documented in my posts, please list that as well. I also enjoy hearing when my posts are beneficial to others.