GoWin 1U 25GbE Appliance Internal Hardware Overview
Here is a look at the system’s internals.
We are going to start our journey just next to the ATX power connector on the motherboard and the nest of cables hidden behind the chassis logo.
Here we have our two M.2 NVMe slots, as well as various fan connectors and I/O.
Here is a look from the other angle.
The SSD we have is a GoWin branded PCIe Gen3 512GB unit.
We can see that it uses a Maxio controller that Will has seen a number of times in his SSD reviews for STH.
Underneath this though, we get a WiFi slot. We also get a power button as it seems this motherboard was made to also work in a desktop chassis more akin to others we have reviewed previously.
Here is a look at the cables out of that area and a top-down view of the motherboard.
Pulling the heatsink and fan off, we have a lot of thermal paste but it is making contact with the low-power CPU.
Here is the Intel Core i3-N305 without the heatsink and the motherboard without most of its cables.
With this unit, the memory is fixed. We get 32GB which is more than the official CPU spec of 16GB, but these CPUs have been known to work with 32GB. We also got some interesting Micron memory modules with the Micron logo covered by a box. This memory is fixed to the motherboard, so it needs to be ordered in the required capacity.
We also get 128GB of eMMC memory by SCY (Shenzhen Shichuangyi Electronics Co., Ltd) onboard. Some OSes can use this as boot media and having the NVMe SSD also allows for a higher endurance drive to be used for logging and data.
Next to this area is the WWAN card slot for those that would want to add a 4G/5G modem.
There is also a nano SIM card slot for this feature on the motherboard.
You will see on this motherboard a number of ASMedia switches like the ASM1806 to help bridge lower-performance I/O onto the limited PCIe lanes of the platform. What is more interesting is that there is also an ASMedia ASM1153E solution to handle USB 3 to SATA hard drive. Using this method, GoWin is able to add SATA to this platform.
There are two SATA ports onboard.
These two SATA ports are for 2.5″ drives installed on the far side of the chassis.
The system comes with SATA data and power cables to make the connection to the drives in their mounting points.
In the middle of this SATA drive functionality, there is the 25GbE NIC.
Onboard we have a Mellanox, now NVIDIA ConnectX-4 Lx. This was the standard 25GbE controller that was used in a huge number of systems. While it is not the newest 25GbE NIC, OS support is generally awesome.
This is an OCP NIC 2.0 form factor, not a standard PCIe form factor.
The NIC itself has a carrier frame as well as a cooling solution around it.
That little fan is audible, but is not the loudest fan in the system.
Here is a look at the carrier installed with the heatsink/ fan but the NIC was removed.
Here is another angle of that. One can see the ribbon cable connecting the OCP NIC 2.0 carrier board to the main motherboard.
On the bottom, we can see two Intel i210-AT NICs, an Intel i226-V, ASMedia ASM1806. There is also a GL3523 USB 3 hub on the bottom. Switches and hubs are making this work.
Next, let us get to the performance.