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Re: Advice for new travelling server: Intel Z690 chipset?

Hi Robert,

Many thanks for you extensive answer.

I agree with your observation that with both networking and display being unknowns it could be an issue having only one PCI-e slot to play with. But I can live with networking via a USB-dongle, at least for a while. 

So I took the plunge and got the NUC. It arrived yesterday. 

A very nice box. A pleasant surprise was that NetBSD can use the built in graphics as an genfb0, with output via both HDMI and USB-C working nicely, so there is no need for a separate graphics card. And, when connecting to the display via USB-C I suddenly discovered that the display just happens to have a built in ure0 that I had not noticed before. So, at home, there is not even any need for the USB dongle.

The only fly in the ointment is that running NetBSD 9.3 with Xen 4.13 the hypervisor complains about the CPU being unrecognised. When trying Xen 4.15 the CPU is recognised, but then the hypervisor crashes just as it is about to handover to NetBSD. But that’s a topic for another list, and I’m sure it will get sorted out.


> On 6 May 2023, at 00:12, Robert Elz <kre%munnari.OZ.AU@localhost> wrote:
>    Date:        Fri, 5 May 2023 14:57:17 +0200
>    From:        Johan Stenstam <>
>    Message-ID:  <>
>  | But I’m concerned about the Intel Z690 chipset
> No need, that works fine - I have a setup with that (definitely not in
> a travelling system though - I can barely lift it) and it works just fine.
> You said you didn't care, but if you were considering using (in any way
> at all) the on-cpu graphics (assuming the CPU in the system you're looking
> at has that) that is unlikely to be supported in NetBSD - not even sure if
> it is recognised as a graphics device suitable for running wsfb or even a text
> based console.
>  | * disk performance from the multiple M.2 PCIe X4 Gen4 slots (PCH) devices?
> Should be very good - for me enough that I had to add extra column width
> in iostat output to make the results (transfers/sec in particular)
> look reasonable...
> Capacity is limited (I think there may be 4TB M.2 devices around now, but
> common is just 2TB (or less, each)).
>  | * networking: the NUC 12 has 10GbE (AQC113) + Intel� i225-LM.
> That one I can't help with.
>  | * USB keyboard: can this still be an issue?
> No, that all just works.  I have used nothing else for years now (KB & mouse).
> I use a wireless KB/mouse combo with just one dongle in a USB port for both.
> Wired USB keyboards with a hub and a mouse plug in port on them also exist.
>  | * a working console (there is no VGA, but 2xHDMI?) and 
> Again, that might be an issue, depending what it is using for generating
> the graphics.   But a cheap (old, perhaps even pre-loved) PCIe graphics
> card is very likely to work OK, provided the system has a slot to put it
> in, and sufficient power to drive it (some of the old ones were hungry).
> Even if for some reason the DRM stuff doesn't work, it should at least
> appear as a frame buffer, and be usable as the console, and for wsfb.
> Any modern monitor/TV without HDMI support isn't worth considering, so
> HDMI should be no issue (and if you need to run a VGA based old monitor,
> or OHP, I think that HDMI->VGA converters exist).
> I have just gone and had a look at the specs of the NUC12 Extreme -- apart
> from having way less SATA availability than I have, that's almost identical
> to my system.   Same CPU (or almost) (blindingly fast) and much of the rest
> of the specs look similar (I could have more RAM than that supports, but I
> do have just the 64GB that can have, and if anything, it is sometimes too
> much - never seen any swap space used, even when doing a -j16 build of NetBSD).
> The integrated WiFi is unlikely to be supported (until the new WiFi branch is
> finished anyway - that's still some time away yet I believe).
> In mine, I think:
> Intel product 7af0 (miscellaneous network, revision 0x11) at pci0 dev 20 function 3 not configured
> is probably that.   I haven't used it, but the bluetooth which is on the
> same board/chipset is recognised by NetBSD).
> My Intel network (LAN) chip is I219V which works fine.
> I also have an rge (2.5GHz - Realtek Semiconductor Killer E3000) which I
> have no current use for, but is supported.
> I have the i9-12900 graphics disabled in the BIOS, so that doesn't appear
> in the dmesg output.
> The specs I saw are not terribly clear (I didn't bother downloading the
> datasheet) but it may be there's only a single PCIe slot available, so you
> might need to choose between graphics & network expansions (near term support,
> if it isn't there already, I don't know, for the i225 intel LAN is more
> likely than for the integrated graphics).
> kre

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