Gigabyte prepares Xeon Scalable-ready servers and mobos


— 5:00 PM on July 12, 2017

Intel's Skylake-powered Xeon Scalable Processor family launched yesterday, and Gigabyte is ready to get those chips into data centers and workstations. The company has a pair of E-ATX motherboards and eight different barebones servers in its product catalog. Both motherboards and all the server models are designed to accept a matched pair of Intel's Xeon Scalable Socket P0 chips in Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum flavors.

Gigabyte has four different 1U form factor barebones servers on offer. All sport a whopping 24 slots for six channels of registered DDR4 memory. Those modules can be up to 64 GB each, for a total of 1.5 TB of memory capacity. All four are based on Intel's C621 server chipset and have a pair of Gigabit Ethernet jacks along with a dedicated Gigabit port for server management. Display output comes courtesy of an integrated Aspeed AST2500 graphics adapter on the PCIe bus.

The servers' storage capabilities vary quite a bit, but as many as 10 hot-swappable internal 2.5" or four 3.5" bays are available. Storage can be added by using backplane connectors, as well. The R181-NA0 and R181-2A0 support another 10 devices with their backplane ports. The other two models offer up U.2 and SAS ports for external storage. A pair of OCP mezzanine slots and an optional riser card add a single PCIe slot for additional system expansion. All four barebones servers have dual redundant 1200 W 80 Plus Platinum power supplies and support Windows Server 2012 and 2016, Linux, and VMWare operating systems.

The four 2U options are also built around Intel's C621 server motherboard chipset with the same two sockets and 24 DIMM slots. The extra interior volume goes towards increased internal storage and optional riser cards that add as many as three PCIe slots. The R281-2O0 and R281-NO0 have 24 hot-swappable 2.5" bays on the front of the chassis. The 2O0 sports SAS interfaces and the NO0 instead opts for U.2 drives. The R281-N40 offers a blend of four U.2 drives and 20 SAS devices. The R281-3C0 only has 12 front-facing bays, but each of them can hold a 3.5" SAS drive. The power supplies have the same power output as those used in the 1U servers.

Folks interested in rolling their own dual-socket workstations or servers should cast their eyes towards Gigabyte's pair of LGA 3647 motherboards. Both fit into E-ATX cases with 12" x 13" (31 cm x 33 cm) footprints. The C621-powered MD61-SC2 has 16 slots for RDIMM or LRDIMM memory, with a maximum total capacity of 1 TB. As many as 12 SATA III 6 Gbps devices are supported, along with U.2 ports on the backplane connected to CPU 1. An AST2500 chip provides graphics, or a discrete video card can be added to one of four PCIe x16 slots. One Gigabit Ethernet port is dedicated to the management interface; two more Gigabit Ethernet ports and two SFP+ 10 Gigabit jacks are also integrated into the motherboard.

The C622-powered MD721-HB0 motherboard adds even more expandability. Most of the specs are the same, but the U.2 jacks are internal, and the board sports two M.2 slots. The PCIe slot arrangement changes to three x16 slots, two x8 slots, and one x4 slot.

Gigabyte didn't provide pricing or availability information, but given the extraordinary capabilities of the Purley platform, you can bet this gear will be expensive.

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