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.

Comments closed
    • Peter.Parker
    • 2 years ago

    I’d love to have one of these, but the truth is I can barely afford to own a [i<]picture[/i<] of this motherboard.

    • freebird
    • 2 years ago

    Something like this and even the Threadripper boards need to be XL-ATX so there is plenty of room for dual slot GPU. At least that is what I’d look for in a board with a Crap load of PCIe bandwidth…

    Maybe I’ll think about it if they go XL-ATX with PCIe v4.0 or even PCIe v5.0 (2019-2020) which would probably be about when I could afford one.

    Or maybe a whole new design is needed. where the CPU, memory and SSD (or whatever is next) come in LiQuid Cooled “brick” and air or LQC GPU “brick” just attaches to the PCIe backplane & power plane… along with a PSU “brick” too.

    • yokem55
    • 2 years ago

    Now this would make a heck of a linux multi-seat setup with all those full size slots and usb3 ports on the back. Drool.

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    I can see the point of metal reinforcement for the PCIe slots, but why on the DIMM slots as well? Just so they match the PCIe slots?

    • ptsant
    • 2 years ago

    The heatsinks on the VRMs do not inspire confidence. Must be coupled with 12000 RPM Delta fans. Preferably of the 24 cm variety.

    Also, no RGB leds.

    Will buy the Asrock Garming Fatal1ty Killer RGB Pro instead.

      • the
      • 2 years ago

      It’ll get the job done.

      The flip side is that these Xeon’s actually have lower TDP than the high end Core i9s which traditionally hasn’t been the case.

      • Waco
      • 2 years ago

      You’d be surprised how much more efficient a design like that is versus the garish monstrosities that adorn expensive GAMERZ boards. Bigger isn’t better much of the time.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    Thats the nicest mobo I’ve seen in who knows how long.

    • Blackfell
    • 2 years ago

    This…this is what I want out of a motherboard. Heatsinks that actually work as heatsinks. A nice pile of usable I/O ports on the back. No garish printing on the PCB. No bizarre logo (looking at you Gigabyte with that strange bird and bicep logo). An M.2 slot not marinating in the heat of all the expansion cards. And NO RGB LEDs everywhere.

      • swaaye
      • 2 years ago

      I’m not so sure about the value of metal slots though. Looks good but yeah.

        • NTMBK
        • 2 years ago

        When you have a beefy Quadro hanging off the slot, you appreciate the extra strength.

          • frenchy2k1
          • 2 years ago

          Your graphic cards are not supposed to “hang off the slot”, this is why they are tied to the case.
          Realistically, reinforced PCIe slots are a gimmick.
          It looks cool, but your cards should NOT be placing much stress on them in normal usage.
          If they do, you have bigger problems…

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            This. The metal reinforcement is pointless. I’d remove it and then it’d be the perfect example of no-excess design.

          • psuedonymous
          • 2 years ago

          The question you need to ask is: “what is the metal reinforcing”? Every metal PCIe slot I’ve seen has been a piece of sheet-metal wrapped around the plastic portion of the slot. This means that no matter how string that metal may be, the load of the GPU is still borne by the solder connections of the slot to the board. And if a slot is going to fail from overloading, that failure is more likely to be at the solder joints than the bulk plastic.

          They also fail to reinforce the retention tab, which is the point where the 200lb gorilla applies pressure and is thus the part most likely to actually fail.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        Are those reinforcements grounded? That could help with signal integrity. Might be a requirement for PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 if so.

    • Goty
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]That's not a motherboard. [i<]That's[/i<] a motherboard[/quote<] /Paul Hogan

    • albundy
    • 2 years ago

    that is a really nice looking board. they put in all the bells in whistles…and dropped the ball on the crabtacular audio.

      • ptsant
      • 2 years ago

      Indeed. Then again if you pay $$$$ for audio processing, you generally buy external DACs etc. Onboard audio is generally for gaming and multimedia.

      • just brew it!
      • 2 years ago

      Doesn’t seem like much of an issue to me. It’s obviously not aimed at the HTPC crowd, and anyone looking at this for a DAW use case is going to be using discrete audio interfaces anyway.

      At least they used an ALC1150.

    • juzz86
    • 2 years ago

    That’s sexy.

      • drfish
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah. I’ll take a DOA board for my wall please. If only “gamer” designs looked so nice.

        • juzz86
        • 2 years ago

        You’re not wrong, Fish.

        The pedant in me wants a pair of SATA Express to tidy up that side, but otherwise if gamer gear came like this we’d be in heaven!

          • frenchy2k1
          • 2 years ago

          Was there ever any device released that used SATAe?
          As in, ever?
          I thought M.2 took the place in portable and U.2 in servers and workstation (both allowing PCIe gen3 x4 while SATAe was limited to Gen2 x2).

          I don’t think it will *ever* pick up.
          Or maybe you were thinking about eSATA? for external drives?

            • juzz86
            • 2 years ago

            No, not for actual SATAe. The port clusters themselves just tidy up the SATA ports nicely 🙂

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    Watch out or you’ll get [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBbVnw-B3Zw<]Heavy Metal Fatigue[/url<].

      • smilingcrow
      • 2 years ago

      Wasn’t expecting Mr Holdsworth!

        • just brew it!
        • 2 years ago

        [i<]Nobody[/i<] expects Mr. Holdsworth!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      I half-expected something from [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtBcwDY9D_M<]the Red Rocker[/url<] or perhaps [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNG_Kn-m73M<]taking a ride with a former Eagle[/url<], so this one caught me off guard.

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