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Overview of GIGABYTE's DDR4 Intel Xeon C612 Server Motherboards

Overview of GIGABYTE's DDR4 Intel Xeon C612 Server Motherboards
GIGABYTE presents its new line up of server motherboards, utilizing the new Intel C612 chipset that supports DDR4 and Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors.
By: William Harmon | Motherboards in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:39 pm

An overview of GIGABYTE's new DDR4 Xeon Server Boards

 

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GIGABYTE is ready with its new line of server motherboards that utilize the Intel C612 chipset, Haswell-EP processors, and DDR4, and shows them off with their latest press release.

 

GIGABYTE has also added a few innovative features on this new line up, so let's look at GIGABYTE's new platform features.

 

 

DDR4 Memory Performance Edge

 

On Intel's previous server platforms, by design, the maximum supported memory frequency has always automatically downgraded with more DIMMs added. As this trade-off between performance and capacity represents a dilemma to many memory-hungry server applications, GIGABYTE offers a unique solution. All GIGABYTE motherboards based on the LGA 2011-3 socket support, by default, a maximum frequency of 2133 MHz in any memory configuration.

 

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Easy BIOS Update

 

Because updating the version of a BIOS can be a troublesome experience, GIGABYTE has developed an integrated function (no utility to install) that allows you to update the BIOS of your motherboard(s):

 

  • Without having to install CPU(s), memory, drives, operating system, etc.
  • Without having to power on the system (but a power supply must be connected)
  • One board at a time via standard IPMI 2.0 web interface
  • Multiple boards simultaneously via command line

 

 

Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600/1600 V3 Product Families

 

Based on the Haswell microarchitecture, these new Intel processor families bring a new set of performance enhancing features. In addition to the usual boost in frequencies and core numbers, the Intel Xeon E5-1600/2600 V3 families are the first in the server industry to support the brand new DDR4 memory technology. Moreover, these new processors include encryption performance, overhead reduction features, and technologies improving run time and migration VM integrity.

 

 

DDR4 Server Memory Support

 

The Intel Xeon E5-1600/2600 V3 families are the first generation of server processors to support exclusively the new DDR4 technology on the market. Still built on a quad channel architecture, these new memory modules feature an increased stock frequency of up to 2133MHz, and a lower voltage of 1.2V per module. Together, these two main improvements can deliver a large bandwidth performance boost to memory intensive applications, but also considerable energy savings to large-scale server deployments.

 

 

GIGABYTE MW50-SV0

 

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The MW50-SV0 is GIGABYTE's first workstation motherboard supporting the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 V3 product families. Eager to offer the most flexible product for the largest number of workstation applications, GIGABYTE has included on this motherboard all the features required to reach that goal.

 

Notably, it features a mezzanine card slot with four PCIe lanes, with custom mounting sockets to receive one of GYGABITE's proprietary LAN controller cards. Positioned right between the board's CPU socket and its rear I/O, it can add more LAN ports (including 10GbE fiber ports) to the standard interface, and fit into a larger range of possible network scenarios.

 

Moreover, it includes comprehensive audio connectivity with five audio jacks, an optical S/PDIF output on the rear panel, a front audio header, an S/PDIF-In header, and an S/PDIF-Out header on the board.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 8 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Intel I210 controller)
  • 1 x GbE LAN port (Intel I218 controller) supporting Intel vPro
  • Rear I/O add-on card slot
  • 3-way and 2-way NVIDIA SLI & AMD CrossFireX support
  • 1 x mSATA 6Gb/s slot
  • 13 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports

 

 

GIGABYTE MU70-SU0

 

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While having twelve memory DIMMs on an ATX form factor is already quite uncommon, being able to run all of them at full speed is definitely unique! This means this motherboard can receive up to 768GB of DDR4 memory running at 2133MHz frequency. The MU70-SU0 is therefore an ideal platform for any server running memory intensive applications.

 

Moreover, this motherboard uses a mezzanine card slot with four PCIe lanes, with custom mounting sockets to receive one of GIGABYTE's proprietary LAN controller cards. Positioned right between the board's CPU socket and its rear I/O, it can add more LAN ports (including 10GbE fiber ports) to the standard interface and fit into a larger range of possible network scenarios.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 12 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 4 x GbE LAN ports (Intel I210 controller)
  • Rear I/O add-on card slot
  • 1 x mSATA 6Gb/s slot
  • 9 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • ASPEED AST2400 remote management controller

 

 

GIGABYTE MD30-RS0

 

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The main interest of the MD30-RS0 is the presence of two 2011-3 sockets on an ATX form factor without doing any trade-off on other features. This board still provides eight memory DIMMs, a large storage platform, and various full-length PCIe slots.

 

In addition to its ten SATA III 6Gb/s ports, the MD30-RS0 has two Mini-SAS 6Gb/s connectors that can be activated with the addition of GIGABYTE's proprietary CRA220-8 add-on SAS card, providing at the same time RAID 0/1/1E/10 levels for these ports.

 

In spite of its very packed placement, this board still uses standard sockets, and not narrow ones. Therefore, users have a larger choice of available cooling devices to install on this board.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 2 x LGA 2011-3 sockets on an ATX form factor
  • 8 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Intel I210 controller)
  • 10 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • Up to 8 x SAS 6Gb/s ports
  • ASPEED AST2400 remote management controller

 

 

GIGABYTE MD50-LS0

 

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This model offers all the standard features expected from a professional board dedicated to running standard server applications, and is an ideal entry point into dual socket hardware.

 

In addition to its ten SATA III 6Gb/s ports, the MD50-LS0 has eight SAS 6Gb/s ports that can be activated with the addition of GIGABYTE's proprietary CRA220-8 add-on SAS card, providing at the same time RAID 0/1/1E/10 levels for these ports.

 

With both of its sockets completely offset, the board's processors are able to receive equally cold airflow without disturbing each other's thermal levels, and the operating efficiency of the CPUs.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 8 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Intel I210 controller)
  • 10 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • Up to 8 x SAS 6Gb/s ports
  • ASPEED AST2400 remote management controller

 

 

GIGABYTE MD60-SC0

 

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This motherboard is a beefed up version of the MD50-LS0, with a larger memory platform and an onboard 10GbE fiber network solution. In the context of virtualized environments always getting more popular, and asking for more and more resources from the networking side of a system, this motherboard is ready for high-performance virtual applications thanks to its high-end Intel 82599ES controller. Capable of load balancing, FCoE support, and low latency transfers, this solution simplifies a network's topology while boosting its overall performance.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 16 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 1 x QSFP+ port supporting two 10GbE outputs via split cable
  • 10 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • Up to 8 x SAS 6Gb/s ports
  • ASPEED AST2400 remote management controller

 

 

GIGABYTE MD70-HB0

 

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This model integrates a LSI SAS 3008 controller directly on the motherboard, which provides eight SAS 12Gb/s ports. This controller also features the LSI DataBolt technology that makes the aggregation of lower bandwidth drives into 12Gb/s data streams possible. For users already owning SATA/SAS 3Gb/s or 6Gb/s drives, this means the benefits of a 12Gb/s bandwidth can be enjoyed without having to make a large investment in new SAS 12Gb/s drives.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 16 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 2 x 10GbE BASE-T LAN ports (Intel X540 controller)
  • 8 x SAS 12Gb/s ports
  • 10 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • ASPEED AST2400 remote management controller

 

 

GIGABYTE MD80-TM0

 

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This model is at the top end of this new lineup, and it can accommodate the maximum amount of memory offered by the Intel Xeon E5-1600/2600 V3 families with twenty-four DDR4 memory DIMM slots. This motherboard also features an onboard M.2 slot, which can receive M.2 SATA SSD cards up to 6Gb/s, or M.2 PCIe SSD cards up to 10Gb/s.

 

Key Features:

 

  • 24 x DDR4 DIMM slots
  • 2 x 10GbE BASE-T LAN ports (Intel X540 controller)
  • 8 x SAS 12Gb/s ports
  • 10 x SATA III 6Gb/s ports
  • Onboard M.2 slot
  • ASPEED AST2400 remote management controller

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

GIGABYTE has come out with an impressive lineup of server motherboards that look to be very good performers. The new C612 chipset and E5-2600 v3 processors add many new features to server platforms, and this new line up of motherboards from GIGABYTE takes advantage of them, and adds a few new ones.

 

The new BIOS updating feature allows you to flash without the need of a processor, memory, drives, or even an OS installed, and completely through IPMI, and adds flexibility to server management to keep everything updated. We are really looking forward to testing these new motherboards in our lab.

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