Gigabyte Intel C236 motherboards for Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 CPUs

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Gigabyte MX11-PC0 mITX with NVMe
Gigabyte MX11-PC0 mITX with NVMe

With today’s Skylake/ Greenlow based Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 launch, Gigabyte is releasing a number of new motherboards based on the new platform. Each has a unique value proposition that it is trying to capture. One motherboard in particular, the MX11-PC0 we are very excited to hopefully get to test soon. One can see our Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 launch piece for more information on the series.

Gigabyte is releasing two new server motherboards to accompany the launch of the new Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 LGA1151 platform.

Gigabyte MX11-PC0 – Compact NVMe Motherboard

The Gigabyte MX11-PC0 is a Mini-ITX form factor server motherboard designed for high density or low-profile server integration (it even has low profile rear I/O.) This motherboard has us extremely excited because there is a NVMe port onboard which is perfect to use with, for example, the Intel 750 SSD retail kit out of the box.

Gigabyte MX11-PC0 mITX with NVMe
Gigabyte MX11-PC0 mITX with NVMe

This portalong with the four SATA ports and PCIe x16 connector mean one can easily make a very high-end platform from this small server motherboard. Here are the quick specs.

  • 2 x DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of ECC memory
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Intel i210 controller)
  • 1 x NVMe port
  • 4 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 connector
  • Aspeed AST2400 remote management controller with IPMI

We did confirm with Gigabyte that one would use one of the LAN ports as a shared LAN/ IPMI port with this motherboard.

Gigabyte MX31-BS0 – Entry Level Server Board

The MX31-BS0 is a microATX form factor entry-level server board. It exposes a number of the key features from the new Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 series. It has all of the essentials for the platform.
Gigabyte MX31-BS0 mATX with m2 overview
Gigabyte MX31-BS0 mATX with m2 overview

One can see the angled ATX connector and the m.2 slot for fast and low profile storage.

  • 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of ECC memory
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Intel i210 controller)
  • 1 x M.2 slot
  • 6 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 connector
  • Aspeed AST2400 remote management controller
  • Intel C232 chipset

Along with the two server motherboards, Gigabyte is releasing two workstation motherboards for the new Skylake Xeon LGA1151 family.

Gigabyte MW31-SP0 – 2-Way Graphics Workstation Board

The Gigabyte MW31-SP0 is GIGABYTE’s first ATX workstation motherboard supporting the Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 V5 product family. This is a particularly interesting motherboard because it has a lot of server features accompanying the workstation features we would expect.
Gigabyte MW31-SP0 mATX with m2
Gigabyte MW31-SP0 ATX with m2

One of the extremely interesting features is a mezzanine card slot with four PCIe 3.0 lanes with custom mounting sockets for a proprietary LAN controller card. Here is what that looks like:

 

Gigabyte MW31-SP0 mezzanine
Gigabyte MW31-SP0 mezzanine

From what we can tell there is a dual 10Gb SFP+ Ethernet card, a Thunderbolt card and a m.2 adapter mezzanine card for this special slot. Here are the other key specs:

  • 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of ECC memory
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Intel i210 + i219LM controllers)
  • Rear I/O add-on card slot
  • 2-way NVIDIA SLI & AMD CrossFireX support
  • 1 x M.2 slot
  • 8 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports

We generally do not like proprietary mezzanine card slots, but if the options are priced well this could be a very interesting option indeed.

Gigabyte MW21-SE0

The Gigabyte MW21-SE0 is an entry-level microATX workstation motherboard. The design is focused on being very cost sensitive.
Gigabyte MW21-SE0 mATX
Gigabyte MW21-SE0 mATX

 

One can clearly see this motherboard was built to reduce component costs. A very high percentage of workstations use only one Ethernet port, 1-4 SATA devices and 2 speakers or headphones so for those types of applications this is a solid lower-cost platform.

Quick specs:

  • 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of ECC memory
  • 2 x GbE LAN port (Intel i219LM controller)
  • 6 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 connector
  • 4 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 USB 3.0 + 2 x USB 2.0 ports via headers
  • C232 chipset

Conclusion

Overall, there are lots of options to choose from with Gigabyte’s portfolio of motherboards. We are especially interested in the SFF-8643 connector on the mITX platform as it essentially allows one to use the Intel 750 SSD or similar for out of the box cache drives in ZFS or similar deployments.

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