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
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  • MFC - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    Check the 2nd line in the Monolithic Power Systems Mosfet. The top line is the date code, the 2nd line is the part number. 3rd line is the lot number.
  • tpurves - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    I... don't understand how AMD does not seem to exist in the universe where you are testing this board? Hasn't AMD pretty much made any Intel-based workstation/HEDT build pointless at this point? or what am I missing here that you would want to consider building a Xeon workstation for in 2021? I can't tell because the word 'AMD' is not even mentioned in the entire review.
  • DannyH246 - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    Classic behaviour from
    No review of the new AMD GPU's to be seen. And no mention of AMD in this review. (i.e how this board is effectively a waste of money, as who would want to by Intel at the moment)
  • Operandi - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    Point being why even review this in the context of a world where the platform AMD exists? From a feature and performance stance AMD is better on both. Unless there is something Supermicro has that other board vendors don't as I don't think Supermicro has a "workstation" AM4 board but still, so what...
  • christinescoms - Saturday, December 12, 2020 - link

  • christinescoms - Saturday, December 12, 2020 - link

    I get paid more than 120 to 130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily 15k from this without having online working skills. This is what I do.....___
  • christinescoms - Saturday, December 12, 2020 - link

    I get paid more than 120 to 130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily 15k from this without having online working skills. This is what I do.....___
  • christinescoms - Saturday, December 12, 2020 - link

    I get paid more than 120 to 130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily 15k from this without having online working skills. This is what I
  • Deicidium369 - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    Yeah how shortsighted to not include AMD in a review of an Intel motherboard - this is pure fanboyism on Anandtech's part...

  • Oxford Guy - Friday, December 11, 2020 - link

    People are quick to claim maliciousness but sometimes oversights and oversights.

    It is an oversight to not present a product in its context. The context does include the competition.

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