If you are on the market, looking out for a consumer-focussed Intel C621A Chipset Ice Lake Motherboards, check out our article.
Intel has finally announced its new Ice Lake processors. But have you ever wondered which motherboard you should go with for use on an Ice Lake processor? But before that, it would be reasonable enough to understand Intel Ice Lake and what features the processor comes with.
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Ice Lake is the name given to the 10th generation datacentre CPU from Intel. In fact, Ice Lake also refers to the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor. The codename is used for the 10th generation Intel Core mobile and 3rd generation Xeon Scalable server processors based on the new Sunny Cove microarchitecture.
Ice lake is the second-generation microarchitecture to be used in the 10 nm manufacturing process. It is also called the 10 nm+ processes to indicate that this is the second-generation 10 nm manufacturing process, also called 10nm+. Some of the integrated features put Intel’s offerings over AMD’s. They are as follows:
Intel’s Sunny Cove core has actually previously been in the market. Intel has made a consumer alternative of the core and a server variant of the core. Ice Lake Xeon has the server alternative, with bigger, integrated caches and imperceptibly different optimization cases, but it’s the consumer variant that we have examined and experimented with in laptop form. Sunny Cove is indeed a part of Intel’s Ice Lake notebook CPU portfolio.
The Ice Lake processors have been one of the excellent options for high-end laptops, and that should perhaps explain why they are a much-preferred option for the manufacturers. Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 was probably the first laptop with the Intel Ice Lake processor.
Also Read: Best LGA 3647 Socket CPU Coolers For Intel Xeon Scalable Platform
The prime feature of the Intl Ice Lake processor is the 10nm Sunny Cove architecture. They are also known for the first chip to feature the next-generation Gen11 graphics on consumer parts. That apart, there are several advantages and benefits offered by Intel Ice Lake processor.
The new processors are believed to be delivering a 2x performance increase. You will also get access to great native support for Thunderbolt 3, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), and DL Boost. Even the graphics are pretty impressive. The new processor comes with 64 EUs or Executive Units. The boost speeds tend to be a little on the lower side. Now, that’s the consumer part of the story.
Now, on the server parts, here are some of the top advantages:
With the new Xeon chips, we have the LGA4189 socket. You may hear references to Socket P4, Socket P5, Socket P+, LGA4189-4, LGA4189-5, and more names. From the installation perspective, or to install CPU coolers, these all use the same cooler mounting. The LGA4189 CPUs are more significant than the LGA3647 parts that preceded them. The width is very close, but one can see they are slightly longer.
Important Note: Ice Lake Xeons, which now comes with eight memory channels rather than six, will require a new socket and a new set of motherboards. These Ice Lake parts come with 4189 pins and require an LGA4189-4 ‘Whitley’ motherboard spec. This is distinct from the LGA4189-5 ‘Cedar Island’ that is already in use for Cooper Lake, and the two are not interoperable, however, they do share a common power profile.
Both the 14nm Cooper Lake and 10nm Ice Lake come under the same product portfolio. Intel is dividing the two by stating that Cooper Lake is more focused on several specific high-volume customers looking to deploy quad-socket and eight-socket high-density server systems with specific deep learning or AI workloads. By comparison, Ice Lake is for the mass market consumers and is limited to only two-socket systems.
Having checked out Intel Ice Lake processors’ primary features and specifications, how about checking out the best motherboards that can be used with your Intel Lake motherboards? We will check a few of the excellent options that can prove to be practical enough.
Close on the heels of the Ice Lake-SP 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processor launch announcement, several manufacturers have been involved in offering the best Intel Ice Lake Motherboards. Gigabyte has been an excellent option for almost all your expectations.
MU92-TU0 / TU1 – Check on Newegg
The motherboard does provide you access to E-ATX sized pairing and offers you access to seven full-length PCIe 4.0 slots. You will also have access to 16 memory slots. The slots do support up to 2 TB of 3DS RDIMM/LRDIMM DDR4-3200 memory. With the regular LRDIMMs, you will be able to get access to 128 GB memory support. There is also support for RDIMM memory up to 64 GB.
In terms of storage, you can have access to a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot. You also have access to two SATA ports and two SlimSAS ports with support for up to eight SATA ports. The other features you stand to gain with the two Gigabyte motherboards would include a standard 24-pin ATX 12 V motherboard power input, two 8-pin 12 ATX CPU power inputs, seven 4-pin fan headers, an Intel VROC connector, a PMBus, and an IPMB connector.
Look wise; they appear like the Gigabyte blue PCB. The MU92-TU1 uses ASPEED’s latest ARM-based AST2600 BMC controller. The MU92-TU0 uses an ASPEED AST2500 BMC controller. Both the models come with dual 10 GBase-T Ethernet, which an Intel X710-AT2 controller controls. You can also get access to two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a D-Sub video output and MLAN port for the BMC, a COM port, and an ID button with LED.
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The Gigabyte Mu72 SUO is a server motherboard. It is an ATX motherboard and comes with a single LGA4189 socket. The availability of eight memory slots supports up to 2 TB of 3DS RDIMM/LRDIMM DDR4-3200 memory. It also offers support for regular LRDIMMs of 128 GB and RDIMMs up to 64 GB for servers.
The motherboard comes with seven full-length PCIe 4.0 slots. You will have support for both x16/x0/x16/x0/x16/x0/x16 and x16/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8. The storage options would include one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot and three SlimSAS connectors, which allow for up to twelve SATA ports. The Gigabyte MU72 SUO comes with an ASPEED AST2600 BMC controller.
You would also find access to a dedicated management Ethernet port and D-Sub video output. It also has a dual gigabit Ethernet which is driven by a pair of Intel I210-AT Gigabit controllers. The rear panel of the motherboard does come with four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a COM port, and an ID button with LED. A few other features that would make it a reliable option include seven 4-pin fan headers, a TPM header, and an Intel VROC connector. The power supply comprises one 24-pin 12 V ATX motherboard power, one 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power, and a 6-pin PCIe power input. This will assist you in delivering optimum power to the full-length PCIe slots.
Apart from Gigabyte, other motherboard manufacturers are yet to announce their motherboards for the Intel Ice Lake processors. However, a few of the server & enterprise focussed manufacturers have been coming up with the best motherboard options for your expectations.
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With not much competition for the motherboards designed for the Intel Ice Lake processors, we found that Axiomtek has been one of the promising options. The brand has developed one of the exciting options for the best motherboard for the new 10 nm processor.
The Axiomtek IMB700 motherboard is an ATX sized solution. It does have six memory slots that are capable of support for up to 384 GB in hex-channel. You would also have access to two Gigabit Ethernet ports six SATA-600 storage slots. The motherboard also comes with a single LGA4189 socket based on Intel’s C621A chipset.
You would find it offering a very simplistic-looking Greek PCB. That would make it one of the excellent options for professional and industrial-grade motherboards. You have access to a single LGA4189 transposed socket that can accommodate six memory slots that can work with both LRDIMM and RDIMM DDR4-3200 memory that can provide you support for a memory capacity of up to 384 GB. For the sake of storage, you will have access to a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 slot and six SATA-600 ports, including support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.
The motherboard does come with three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots – two of them operating at PCIe 4.0 x16, with the other operating at either PCIe 3.0 x16 or x8. The rear panel comes with an array of ports and connectors that include four USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports, one D-Sub video output, a PS/2 keyboard, and a mouse combo port. You can also access an RS-232/422/485 port and dual Intel i210-AT Gigabit Ethernet.
This is yet another server motherboard from the brand and designed for Intel’s 3rd generation Xeon Scalable Processors – codenamed Ice Lake-SP.
The processor does provide you access to an enhanced experience with the highest processing speed and Intel’s deep learning boost technology. The processor does offer you access to a greater degree of acceleration and an efficient operation for AI-specific applications. You get access to three PCIe Gen 4 (x16) slots and one PCIe 3.0 (x8) with an x16 form factor. For storage, you have access to eight SATA III (6Gbit/s) ports with RAID support, as well as NVMe and support Intel’s Optane Persistent Memory 200.
The motherboard can also be used for industrial applications that would include eight SATA III (6Gbit/s) ports with RAID support and NVMe and support Intel’s Optane Persistent Memory 200.
The prime factor that would make the Intel Ice Lake processor one of the most promising options is that it comes with the path-breaking 10 nm manufacturing process. The ability to have as many as eight memory channels should be akin to making it a formidable choice for memory-intensive workloads.
The processor moves to a complete PCIe 4.0 technology. In addition to that, you can also expect a 2X bandwidth increase on the PCIe Gen 4.0 architecture. Built-in acceleration and security have been a few of the excellent options for achieving the best standards ever. Ice lake processors are designed to provide you up to 56 percent more AI performance. You will also find it offering a 66 percent boost in terms of image recognition.
The SKU stack can be yet another excellent option for most of the expectations you may have. The Ice Lake family of the processors comes with 56 SKUs. They are classified into ten segments with the highest per-core scalable performance, scalable performance, and single socket optimized parts. You would also find the SKUs optimized for cloud, networking, media, and other workloads.
Well, the Intel Ice Lake processors have been quite promising in every respect. However, many motherboard manufacturers are working on offering the best motherboards for the Intel Ice Lake processors. We found none of the popular motherboard manufacturers except for Gigabyte seem interested in providing the specific motherboard for the purpose.
Check out the best options offered to you from Gigabyte and Axiomtek and get access to a greater degree of performance for most of your expectations.
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