Board Features

The Supermicro X12SAE is an ATX motherboard aimed towards workstation users. It includes support for the latest Comet Lake-W processors and benefits from Intel vPro specific features such as Hardware Shield. Focusing on the hardware, it includes two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16 and x8/x8, with an open ended half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 and a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. For storage is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with can accommodate both M.2 2280 and 22110 drives. There are also four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. The W480 chipset and power delivery are cooled by a pair of silver aluminum finned heatsinks synonymous with Supermicro's professional looking design. At the same time, a total of five 4-pin headers make up the boards cooling capabilities. Both ECC and non-ECC memory is supported, with maximum speeds of up to DDR4-2933 and a maximum capacity of 128 GB. It should be noted that both ECC and non-ECC memory can operate in dual channel unbuffered.

Supermicro X12SAE ATX Motherboard
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price $280
Size ATX
CPU Interface LGA1200
Chipset Intel W480
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
Supporting 128 GB
Up to DDR4-2933
ECC/Non-ECC (unbuffered)
Video Outputs 1 x HDMI
1 x DisplayPort
1 x DVI-I
Video Inputs N/A
Network Connectivity Intel I225V 2.5 GbE
Intel I219LM (AMT/vPro)
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC888S
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16, x8/x8)
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
1 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Onboard SATA Four, RAID 0/1/5/10 (W480)
Onboard M.2 2 x PCIe 3.0 x4
Thunderbolt 3 N/A
USB 3.2 (20 Gbps) N/A
USB 3.2 (10 Gbps) 1 x USB Type-C (Rear panel)
3 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
1 x USB Type-C (One header)
USB 3.2 (5 Gbps) 2 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
1 x USB Type-A (One header)
USB 2.0 2 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
2 x USB Type-A (One header)
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin Motherboard
1 x 8-pin CPU
Fan Headers 5 x 4-pin CPU/Chassis
Rear Panel 1 x HDMI Output
1 x DisplayPort Output
1 x DVI-I Output
3 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-A
1 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-C
2 x USB 3.2 G1 Type-A
1 x RJ45 (Intel 2.5 G)
1 x RJ45 (Intel Gigabit PHY)
5 x 3.5 mm audio jacks (Realtek)
1 x S/PDIF Output (Realtek)

On the rear panel is a host of connectivity with a pair of Ethernet ports. One is powered by an Intel I219LM Gigabit PHY, while the other is driven by a premium Intel I225-V 2.5 Gb controller. There is plenty of USB for users to benefit from, including three USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. Users can add more through internal headers, with one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C header, one USB 3.2 G1 Type-A header for an additional port, and one USB 2.0 header, which provides two ports. Users looking to make use of the integrated graphics on the Xeon W-1200 series chips will find the DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI-I video output very useful. Handling the onboard audio is a Realtek ALC888S HD audio codec, which provides five 3.5 mm jacks and S/PDIF optical output on the rear and a front panel header located in the bottom left-hand corner of the board.

Test Bed

As per our testing policy, we take a high-end CPU suitable for the motherboard released during the socket’s initial launch and equip the system with a suitable amount of memory running at the processor's maximum supported frequency. This is also typically run at JEDEC subtimings where possible. It is noted that some users are not keen on this policy, stating that sometimes the maximum supported frequency is quite low, or faster memory is available at a similar price, or that the JEDEC speeds can be prohibitive for performance. While these comments make sense, ultimately very few users apply memory profiles (either XMP or other) as they require interaction with the BIOS, and most users will fall back on JEDEC supported speeds - this includes home users as well as industry who might want to shave off a cent or two from the cost or stay within the margins set by the manufacturer. Where possible, we will extend out testing to include faster memory modules either at the same time as the review or a later date.

Test Setup
Processor Intel Xeon W-1270, 80 W, $362
8 Cores, 16 Threads 3.4 GHz (5.0 GHz Turbo)
Motherboard Supermicro X12SAE (BIOS 1.0c)
Cooling Corsair H100i AIO
Power Supply Corsair HX850 850 W 80 PLUS Platinum
Memory ADATA DDR4-2933 CL 22-21-21-47 2T (2 x 32 GB)
Video Card MSI GTX 1080 (1178/1279 Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Case Open Bench Table (OBT)
Operating System Windows 10 1909 inc. Spectre/Meltdown Patches

Readers of our motherboard review section will have noted the trend in modern motherboards to implement a form of MultiCore Enhancement / Acceleration / Turbo (read our report here) on their motherboards. This does several things, including better benchmark results at stock settings (not entirely needed if overclocking is an end-user goal) at the expense of heat and temperature. It also gives, in essence, an automatic overclock which may be against what the user wants. Our testing methodology is ‘out-of-the-box’, with the latest public BIOS installed and XMP enabled, and thus subject to the whims of this feature. It is ultimately up to the motherboard manufacturer to take this risk – and manufacturers taking risks in the setup is something they do on every product (think C-state settings, USB priority, DPC Latency / monitoring priority, overriding memory sub-timings at JEDEC). Processor speed change is part of that risk, and ultimately if no overclocking is planned, some motherboards will affect how fast that shiny new processor goes and can be an important factor in the system build.

Hardware Providers for CPU and Motherboard Reviews
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
ADATA DDR4 Silverstone
BIOS And Software System Performance


View All Comments

  • Deicidium369 - Saturday, December 12, 2020 - link

    did you notice the /s sarcasm tag?

    and no, it's not an oversight to present the product in its context - goes the same when there is a review of an AMD board.
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - link

    "and no, it's not an oversight to present the product in its context"

  • JfromImaginstuff - Saturday, December 12, 2020 - link

    So ummn first of all the didn't review nvidia's 3000 series GPUs so what makes you think that they would review AMD's offering? Also as far as I can tell, this is a chipset review not a CPU review. So I don't think that you have brought any valid claims as to their being a fanboys. Also if they were Intel fanboys as you claim, I don't thing they would have given the favourable review that they gave Apple's M1 silicon or Ryzen 5000 series either. Reply
  • JKJK - Sunday, December 13, 2020 - link

    Supermicro doesn' have AMD Threadripper boards, so you'll have to blame them. Not anandtech. It's abad choice for supermicro though. Reply
  • OliveGray - Sunday, December 13, 2020 - link

    These are 2 pay checks $78367 and $87367. that i received in last 2 months. I am very happy that i can make thousands in my part time and now i am enjoying my life. Everybody can do this and earn lots of dollars from home in very short time period. Just visit this website now. Your Success is one step away Copy and Reply
  • Jorgp2 - Sunday, December 13, 2020 - link

    Hey asshole, want to know why there isnt a review for the AMD GPUs?

    The guys house burned down, he has more important shit to do.
  • Qasar - Monday, December 14, 2020 - link

    Jorgp2, they dont care. seems the wild fires in california are not reason for AT to NOT post their reviews of video cards. people have been crying about this since the RTX 30 series were released. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, December 14, 2020 - link

    Good to know that a professional website, with the backing of future PLC, is dependent on one guy in his house to do reviews. What was the point of selling out again? Reply
  • vFunct - Friday, December 25, 2020 - link

    Glad you think professionals are robots that should ignore personal issues. Reply
  • desii - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    This is not a "Which computer should I buy?" article. It's a review of an Intel-compatible motherboard, so comparing it to other Intel-compatible motherboards makes sense. I don't really see the need to mention AMD.

    If you want to know why people would buy an Intel-based computer, you can ask in the forum and maybe some users will give you an answer.

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