On the back of Intel’s muted launch for the Xeon E3-1200 v5 platform, the server based business units from normal motherboards consumer facing companies are announcing their C230 series. We covered GIGABYTE Server’s offering in a previous pipeline post, and next up comes ASRock Rack with ATX, microATX and mini-ITX offerings for workstations set up for server-based airflow.

C236 WS

First up is the full ATX model, giving support for dual PCIe co-processors at PCIe 3.0 x8/x8, dual Intel networking (I210 and I219), another PCIe 3.0 x4 slot from the chipset, a total of eight SATA ports with SATA Express in there as well, an onboard USB 3.0 Type-A port and eight other USB 3.0 ports through two headers and a four ports on the rear panel.

Compared to the consumer ASRock motherboards, this is eminently more clinical and aimed at its specific market – there is low end onboard audio (ALC662 or lower), COM and TPM support, display outputs and PCIe to PCI bridges for legacy connections.

C236M WS (link)

The micro-ATX member of this family carries over a number of features, such as the dual networking (this time I219-LM and I210) and eight SATA ports, but also implements an M.2 connector and a SATA DOM. Audio is boosted up to at least the ALC892 with 5.1 support, and the power delivery on the processor gets a heatsink for good measure. Perhaps surprisingly we see a total of six fan headers as well.

Despite the layout of the PCIe slots, the bottom open-ended x8 is part of the CPU lanes, offering x8/x8 configuration with a PCIe 3.0 x4 at the top from the chipset. Unfortunately, despite the free PCIe lanes in the system, that M.2 slot is only geared for PCIe 3.0 x1 bandwidth.

C236 WSI (link)

Similar to the boards from GIGABYTE Server, the smaller mini-ITX one is the more interesting out of the set. Here’s a small board with support for up to 32GB of ECC DDR4 memory, a total of eight SATA ports, dual network controllers (again I219 and I210), a full PCIe 3.0 x16 and a rear-IO COM header.

There’s an interesting large gap in the bottom left however, showing solder pads but no integrated chip. The size of the pad suggests that there is room here for an Alpine Ridge controller, suggesting that in the future there might be a version with either USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3.

Availability of these motherboards will be dependent on B2B distribution channels, although we might see one or two filter into commercial channels as well.

Source: ASRock Rack

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  • Konstantin2233 - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    What i want to know- is when E5 Skylake CPUs/mobos are going to launch.
  • extide - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    I dont think even Broadwell E5 has launched yet has it? It will probably be Q1 or Q2 of next year at least.
  • Casper42 - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    Broadwell E5 is April 2016
    Skylake E5 is likely a year after that. (2017)
    And then don't forget that we now get Cabylake which is closer to a Skylake Refresh than a Tick. (2018?)
    And then finally comes Canonlake which will be 10nm (2019?)
  • vred - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    Sometime in 2017 IIRC.
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    If you mean the forthcoming Broadwell-EP (E5 v4), then the current LGA2011-3 boards should do nicely, probably after a UEFI update.

    If you mean Skylake-EP (E5 v5), that's a while out yet.
  • SuperSpy00bob - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    That Mini-ITX looks like a tasty FreeNAS board.

    I wonder what powers it's extra SATA ports. Or, does the C236c chipset support 8 natively?
  • Vepsa - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    C236c chipset supports 8 SATA natively.
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - link

    Ark says 8 supported on the chipset, and I see no extra controller either.
  • Sublate - Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - link

    I can't see how that would translate into any kind of noticeable performance gains, I'm assuming it will consume less power though?
  • ZeDestructor - Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - link

    Many cheap non-Intel/LSI/PMCS/Adaptec controllers reportedly have issues working reliably (I can't confirm or deny, having only used Intel SATA and LSI SAS controllers so far), so many people (myself included) insist on Intel or better SATA controllers.

    less power use is a nice bonus too...

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