Today Gigabyte released their Avoton based mITX server platform. The Gigabyte GA-9SISL comes in a standard mITX form factor, much like we have seen with the Supermicro A1SAi-2750F, A1SRi-2758F,A1SAi-2550F and the ASRock C2750D4I. It seems as though Gigabyte has a new take on the Atom C2750 motherboard, even though the Avoton SoC makes for a very integrated platform.
The Gigabyte GA-9SISL has several features that make it interesting. First, one can clearly see a full length PCIe 2.0 x16 slot as well as full sized DDR3 DIMM slots. We have seen with other platforms that the 24-pin ATX power connectors are easily able to power the motherboards, so the 8-pin aux power connector is a bit of a mystery (the Atom C2750 is a 20w TDP part).
Gigabyte gives full Avoton 2x SATA III and 4x SATA II ports for a decent number of drive options onboard. The perhaps more interesting feature is that the Gigabyte GA-9SISL uses the Intel i354 quad port networking unlike the ASRock platform. While Supermicro uses the same onboard Intel i354, the Supermicro platforms utilize a large Marvell IC whereas there is no hint of one on the Gigabyte motherboard. Maybe designers have figured out a different solution over the past 8 months and we are seeing the result of that now.
The Intel Atom C2750 has proven to be an awesome platform and it is great to see a second manufacturer take advantage of the i354 networking. Unlike when we were first reviewing these platforms in September 2013, the i354 now has significantly broader drivers support and works out of the box with the newest CentOS, Ubuntu Linux flavors. Likewise, even more niche solutions like pfsense now have out of the box support for these NICs.
With the extra LAN port and the ASPEED AST2400 chip, plus the mention of MergePoint in the spec sheet we would assume there is Gigabyte’s Avocent based IPMI and remote management capability onboard.
Since there is no USB 3.0 onboard USB ports are slightly limited with only two rear ports and no internal Type-A port. That may make sense for users who do not wish to use USB keys.
On the cooling front there are two clearly visible 4-pin PWM fan headers. One of them is being utilized by the heatsink/ fan 3-pin unit on the Atom C2750 SoC. This is certainly an interesting choice as Supermicro and ASRock ship passively cooled systems. We did have pictures of a few actively cooled Supermicro boards but that was due to the fact that they were engineering boards.
Hopefully we can get a hold of a Gigabyte GA-9SISL to compare to the other solutions we have already reviewed.
Update: It appears as though the PCIe x16 slot is x12 electrical per the manual’s block diagram:
Also, it seems like we may be getting a C2550 and possibly a dual core variant at some point: