Gigabyte Launches New Intel Xeon Scalable Servers

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Gigabyte MD71 HB0 Motherboard With Box
Gigabyte MD71 HB0 Motherboard With Box

Gigabyte has been making a major push into the data center over the past few years. As part fo the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family launch, Gigabyte is offering eight server platforms and two motherboards for the new processor family. The Gigabyte server motherboards we have tested have performed well in the STH lab. Gigabyte has also been taking risks and offering platforms for Cavium ThunderX ARM servers and AMD EPYC servers recently. We are impressed with how aggressive Gigabyte is with innovative designs.

New Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Servers from Gigabyte

Gigabyte has eight launch servers for the new Xeon Scalable processor family. Four are 1U designs and four are 2U designs. All eight launch systems are single node per chassis designs.

We did want to highlight the NVMe designs since we have heard they will be a major focal point for customers in this new generation. On the 2U side, the Gigabyte R281-NO0 24x 2.5″ NVMe server offers not just a large storage array from hot swap U.2 NVMe SSD bays, but also has room for plenty of expansion.

Gigabyte R281 NO0 Front
Gigabyte R281 NO0 Front

For those looking to a dense 1U configuration, Gigabyte is offering a R181-NA0 which has 10x 2.5″ NVMe drive bays. That is actually two more than the 1U Dell PowerEdge R640 launched at the same time.

Gigabyte R181 NA0 Front Three Quarter
Gigabyte R181 NA0 Front Three Quarter

Overall, we suspect this is just the beginning for Gigabyte Xeon Scalable servers. Beyond the full server platforms, Gigabyte also offers motherboards for its customers.

New Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Motherboards from Gigabyte

Part of Gigabyte’s business is also selling to OEMs and VARs that use standard form factors to build custom solutions. For this business, Gigabyte will typically sell a standard form factor motherboard that can be used in a variety of applications.

Gigabyte has two new motherboards, the MD61-SC2 and MB71-HB0, for this market. Here is an example of the Gigabyte MD61-SC2 motherboard platform.

Gigabyte MD61 SC2 Motherboard
Gigabyte MD61 SC2 Motherboard

One can see that there is an absolute ton going on there. There are four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and a x16 mezzanine slot. There are two U.2 ports along with 14x SATA ports total. In this generation, Gigabyte is prioritizing onboard networking and has dual SFP+ 10GbE connectivity onboard. Gigabyte is also using a 6+2 per socket memory layout to allow customers to achieve the same number of DIMMs as they had in the Intel Xeon E5 generations.

Final Words

We heard that this is only the initial salvo for Gigabyte and that we can expect more designs to follow. That is great for the company to gain momentum into a new product cycle. At STH, we do have a few Gigabyte motherboards in our labs and they have performed well over time. They have even been featured from time-to-time in our DemoEval service.

You can check out more of STH’s coverage of the Purley launch at Intel Xeon Scalable Processor Family (Skylake-SP) Launch Coverage Central. You can read more about the new Gigabyte servers here.

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