Gigabyte G242-P32 External Hardware Overview
The front of the server is one we have seen before. If you saw our Gigabyte G242-Z10 review, you will notice this server uses a similar front configuration. On top, we have massive vents to allow for the airflow required to cool GPUs.
There is only a small provision here for USB and status LEDs. Otherwise, the top portion is all vents.
Below the vents are four 3.5″ bays. These bays support SAS or SATA. Gigabyte has other options for GPUs and Arm CPUs. The storage configuration was a “whatever we have in the lab” special.
The rear of the system has three key blocks. On the left, we have power supplies, the rear I/O and management. The middle has the PCIe slots for the system. The right side has a fan to handle the cooling needs of the GPUs.
This is a very different configuration. Gigabyte only makes so many Ampere Altra Arm motherboards. As a result, it needed to re-use a motherboard and innovate a bit on the chassis. The power supplies are above the rear I/O which is uncommon, but we will see why soon.
In terms of rear I/O we get a standard VGA, serial and three USB configuration. There is a management port as well as two 1GbE ports.
The power supplies are 1.6kW power supplies. This was enough for our configuration that generally did not get above 1kW.
In the middle of the system, we get PCIe Gen4 slots.
In this system they are being used primarily for the Broadcom LSI SAS 3008 HBA along with the DPUs/ other networking. We ended up using a NVMe adapter with a cable for our NVMe testing, but you could also use low-profile AIC SSDs here.
Next to the PCIe slots we have a fan. This is the exhaust fan for the GPU section.
Next, let us get inside the system in a bit more detail, focusing on the GPU installation first.