I'm considering to build a server using the Supermicro X10SLL-F board with a Xeon E3-1231 v3 CPU. However, according to my research, this CPU requires a BIOS update (unfortunately Supermicro does not have BIOS changelogs or CPU compatibility lists so I cannot confirm this).

Since I do not own any other Xeon or i3 which would surely work without a BIOS update I wonder if it's possible to use the IPMI interface of the board to perform the BIOS update even without a (compatible) CPU on the board.

  • Generally not. YOu can remote control the mobo from the IPMI but to install the Bios you need the ability to - install the bios without a CPU, IPMI or not. SOME mobos have that - check the documentation. Seen that mostly on high end gamer boards.
    – TomTom
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:25
  • I have checked the mainboard's documentation and could find zero information related to it. Nov 20, 2014 at 14:26
  • THen likely it is not there. Ignore the IPMI thing - the documentation would tell you where to plug in the USB stick with the new Bios (always seen that as automatic install from a USB stick on power on, even without CPU).
    – TomTom
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:27
  • Easiest way is to buy them together and ask your supplier to ensure that the installed BIOS supports the CPU. They have alternate CPUs to run the update with and if they haven't bothered then returning is simplified because the goods are supplied not fit for purpose.
    – JamesRyan
    Nov 20, 2014 at 14:49
  • Are you sure this motherboard needs a BIOS update? It's an X10 board, and the E3-12xx v3 CPUs are the first series of CPUs that are supported on the X10 boards. Nov 21, 2014 at 5:02

3 Answers 3


This is taken from supermicros faq. It was a response from someone having the same issue.

Yes, there is way to update your BIOS without buying a E5-2600 CPU by using IPMI Web Browser to update your BIOS. Please contact your Sale Agent or distributor for SKU# SFT-OOB-LIC for purchasing the licensee to activate this product key.

So it appears that it is possible without sending the board back or alternatively purchasing an older gen cpu.

  • I hate it that Supermicro requires a license to upgrade your BIOS via IPMI. I have a TYAN S5533 board that provided this functionality by default. My X9SCL-F board however doesn't even have the functionality let alone the option of buying a license. It seems only boards with dual processors have this functionality -- at least in the X9xxx series of boards.
    – Inxsible
    Aug 31, 2017 at 20:26

Yes, it is possible to use IPMI to update the BIOS, UEFI, FPGA or any EPROM that is accessible using IPMI. To do this the server must implement the PICMG HPM.1 standard with uses IPMI as the transport between the device containing the source BIOS image and the target server that will receive the BIOS.

If your server does not implement HPM.1 then it must be a vendor specific solution.


I've not tried this but I had the same question and found The better way to update Supermicro BIOS is via IPMI which claims that A) You can do this with the IPMI, B) doing so requires a license, C) there's an "evaluation license" available. Which should be enough for a one-time BIOS update? That page embeds a demo video from Supermicro: https://youtu.be/S8z6iOEHGwY?t=117

I'm unsure about how you get an evaluation license, I think you have to mail their support team to request it. (Or you might be able to generate your own...)

But also note that not all Supermicro boards/IPMI revisions allow BIOS update through IPMI.

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