Gigabyte presents a barbershop quartet of Xeon D mobos

For most gerbils, Gigabyte is a name associated with consumer-grade motherboards and graphics cards. However, the company has always operated in the server arena, too, and it's showing what it can do with four motherboards built around Intel's Xeon D products.

These motherboards don't have a standard socketed CPU and chipset setup—Xeon Ds are systems-on-a-chip (SoCs). The mobos can take up to 128GB of ECC DDR4 memory with a maximum speed of 2133 MT/s. Storage is handled by six SATA 6Gbps ports, one of them with SATA DOM support. An Intel I210 controller offers two Gigabit Ethernet ports for networking needs. A third Ethernet port handles remote management duties, in tandem with an ASpeed AST2400 controller and Avocent's MergePoint IPMI 2.0 software.

The new models differ in CPU power and network connectivity. The MB10-DS1 and MB10-DS4 motherboards include a Xeon D-1521 SoC, whose CPU portion is a four-core, eight-thread unit with 6MB of cache. That chip runs at 2.4GHz base and 2.7GHz boost clocks. While the MB10-DS1 relies on dual Gigabit Ethernet for connectivity, the MB10-DS4 brings out the big guns: two extra SFP+ 10GbE ports, courtesy of a Cortina CS4227 controller.

Should the Xeon D-1521's four cores not suffice for your needs, Gigabyte has you covered. The firm also offers the MB10-DS0 and MB10-DS3 models with Xeon D-1541 SoCs, which have an eight-core, 16-thread CPU with 12MB of cache and clocks ranging from 2.1GHz to 2.7GHz. As with the two models mentioned above, the MB10-DS0 has dual GbE connectivity, while the MB10-DS3 adds two 10GbE ports on top of that.

I'm entertaining thoughts of grabbing one of these to handle file storage and virtual machine hosting in my home. I bet more than a couple gerbils are thinking the same.

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