Gigabyte MW51-HP0 brings heavy metal for Xeon W

A lot of people use computers for leisurely pursuits like gaming or watching videos. A portion of users get professional work done on their machines. A smaller subset still relies on every bit of CPU, GPU, and I/O horsepower available to get things done faster. Gigabyte's metal-encrusted MW51-HP0 is designed for folks in this last group. This board has an LGA 2066 socket and a C422 chipset ready to power one of Intel's Xeon W processors, eight DIMM slots for registered ECC DDR4 memory across four channels, generous storage connectivity, and support for up to four graphics cards.

The motherboard adopts a CEB form factor, meaning it'll fit in an E-ATX case but the processor socket is positioned differently than in a common desktop board. The eight DDR4 DIMM slots and the seven full-length PCIe slots are all reinforced with metal. The metallic memory and expansion slots, the exposed I/O connectors, the bare aluminum heatsink, and black PCB combine to give the motherboard an aesthetic that says "business." Four of the slots are wired up with full PCIe x16 to 16 lanes of communication, while the other other three are PCIe 3.0 x8 electrically.

The board has a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2-22110 slot, one U.2 port, and ten SATA connectors. The rear I/O plate is studded with eight USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C connectors, audio jacks, and a PS/2 terminal for those still hanging onto buckling-spring keyboards. The pair of Gigabit Ethernet jacks are powered by two Intel I210 controllers.

Gigabyte didn't provide any pricing or availability information for the MW51-HP0. Given the board's Xeon W processor support and serious workstation aspirations, you can bet it will be pricey when compared to mainstream offerings despite its wholesale lack of RGB LEDs.

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