Gigabyte released three new Ampere Altra Arm server products. There is a new Gigabyte MP72-HB0 which is a dual-socket motherboard, really the first product in its class. There are then two new GPU servers similar to one that we are working on for later this quarter.
Gigabyte MP72-HB0 Ampere Altra Arm Motherboard
The new Ampere Altra / Ampere Altra Max motherboard is especially interesting. This is an EATX model. That 305x330mm form factor is important since many legacy cases or “channel” systems still support EATX. Most mainstream dual-socket servers these days utilize custom form factor motherboards because of how wide 32 DIMMs and two CPUs are. This is the first motherboard we have heard of designed to handle the new chips in a standard form factor.
To make this work, Gigabyte made some compromises. This is a single DIMM per channel design so each CPU only has 8x DIMMs for the 8x memory channels. There are only four PCIe slots. Three are x16 and one is x8. There is also a M.2 slot and two NVMe Slimline ports so PCIe connectivity is a bit less, but this board looks packed.
The dual LGA4926 motherboard also has some SATA onboard plus an ASPEED AST2600 BMC, and dual 10Gbase-T via a Broadcom BCM57416 controller. This is a cool platform that can support up to two 128-core Ampere Altra Max CPUs.
One important note, if you are looking to build a system around this motherboard, is that LGA4926 coolers are not plentiful. That is especially true compared to Ice Lake Xeon and SP3 AMD coolers. So while finding a case should be relatively easy, finding coolers will be less so. Hopefully, the availability of a motherboard helps to incentivize companies to make coolers for the new socket.
If you want a pre-assembled server, then Gigabyte has two new Ampere Altra servers.
Gigabyte G242-P35 and G242-P36 Ampere Altra Servers
Gigabyte has two new single socket servers also based on Ampere Altra (Max) CPUs.
The Gigabyte G242-P35 is a GPU-focused 2U server. One can see the cabling from the rear PCIe slots to the front GPU areas.
The G242-P36 is similar to the previous model, and what is in the NVIDIA Arm development kit but this adds NVMe support to the system.
Still, adding new systems to the mix is always a good sign.
Overall, this is a great sign. When we first looked at the original Ampere Altra Mt. Jade Server there were not many options on the market. Now, many more are starting to become available. If you saw our recent “More Cores, More Better” video, you will know that STH currently calls the Ampere Altra/ Altra Max the servers to get if you want an Arm server platform.
Stay tuned as we take a look at one of these systems for GTC Fall this year in a piece we are very excited about.