Project Olympus - Open Compute Motherboard At Home?


I recently acquired an interesting piece of hardware from a UK redditor. It’s a motherboard used in the Project Olympus Microsoft Azure datacenter servers!

With such a specialized piece of hardware, it’s got some serious quirks and hurdles. And naturally, I want to use it as a board for my “2 Gamers 1 CPU” virtualization project for me and my girlfriend.

The Good:
Open Compute has documented this board pretty well, but it’s definitely more of a “how to build this board for yourself” style of documentation.

I’ve modified a 20 pin ATX header to power on the board. It takes a 24 pin ATX connector, but not the standard pinout. It uses 12 pins for 12v, and 12 pins for ground. I used a 20 pin ATX connector from an old psu, wired up 8 pins for 12v and 8 pins for ground, since it appears that all the 12v pins and ground pins are connected through the PCB. I’m using a 12v power supply from an old 3d printer just for testing now (though I suspect it may be causing some issues as it doesn’t regulate voltage well, spiking up to 13.7 and down to 11.8 and isn’t fully populating the 24 pin ATX connector.)

I seem to be able to get the board to POST, after having cleared the CMOS.

The BMC responds to SSH, and I’m able to login. It seems to dump me into a serial console.

The Bad:
The above open compute link is the only documentation I can really find on the board, and it’s not comprehensive enough to figure everything out, things like the POST LEDs are entirely useless as it doesn’t specify what they mean, just that they’re on the board.

The board has no VGA out. I’ve connect a GT 1030 to one of the pcie slots, and I’m able to get my monitor to recognize that it is receiving an input, however the screen stays black and nothing is ever shown.

The BMC has no webpage. Ive used supermicros ipmiview tool to get a bit of information about the board, and the event logs semi work.

The BMC has no KVM functionality from what I can tell.

BMC SSH outputs gibberish once past login. If I sit with no activity on SSH, it tells me that my idle time has reached the max and that I’m being logged out.

Things I’ve tried:
Booting from Windows 10/Server 2019 Install USB
Booting from known good Windows image on NVMe
Booting from ESXi install on PCIe x4 Optane.
-All result in same black screen from GT 1030.

My dream is to be able to use this board with gpu passthrough. Any help or knowledge with these boards is extremely appreciated.

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Wanted to update this topic.

I was finally able to get into the BIOS today by swapping to an older Radeon GPU. Once I switched the BIOS over to UEFI the GT 1030 started working.

I was able to get a windows install running, and do some stability testing. So far, so good!

Will provide more updates as the project progresses.

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