Gigabyte now has a range of server and workstation motherboards focusing on the newest Intel chips. We wanted to focus on two Gigabyte Intel Xeon E-2100 series MATX motherboards to highlight the company’s efforts for servers. As you may recall, the official Intel Xeon E-2100 launch was in July 2018, but there was a server re-launch. We are going to specifically cover the two new server designs.
Gigabyte MX32-4L0 mATX Xeon E-2100 Server Motherboard
The Gigabyte MX32-4L0 is a higher-end mATX Intel Xeon E-2100 offering as it is based on the Intel C246 chipset. As a result, we have 8x SATA III 6.0 lanes, quad Intel i210 1GbE ports, PCIe 3.0 x16 and x4 (x8 physical) slots, as well as an onboard M.2 slot.
Here are the key specs for the Gigabyte MX32-4L0 platform:
If you are looking to replace an Intel Xeon E3-1200 series quad-core CPU system with a 6-core Intel Xeon E-2100, then this is going to be an easy form factor to use.
Gigabyte MX32-BS0 mATX Xeon E-2100 Server Motherboard
The other Gigabyte Intel Xeon E-2100 server motherboard is more cost optimized. The Gigabyte MX32-BS0 is another mATX motherboard but instead uses the Intel C242 PCH. For some smaller chassis, one will never use all of the SATA ports and PCIe lanes for example so optimizing on cost makes sense.
Here are the key specs for the Gigabyte MX32-BS0 motherboard:
A few of the key differences aside from the C242 PCH are that the MX32-BS0 only supports PCIe 3.0 x2 in its M.2 slot, dual 1GbE, and only 6x SATA III 6.0gbps ports.
At the lower end of the server market where the Intel Xeon E-2100 series plays, we see a lot of systems that utilize small chassis with minimal drive bays. For these, optimizing on cost makes sense. Conversely, if one needs the features that the Gigabyte MX32-4L0 offers, then one can now run a more useful virtualized platform on the 6-core Intel Xeon E-2100 series, and it may make sense to upgrade to a higher-end motherboard.