Visual Inspection

The GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 is an E-ATX motherboard designed for workstation and server environments. Rev 1.x is compatible with AMD's EPYC 7001 family of processors, and features a rotated LGA 4094 CPU socket which makes it suitable for 1U chassis types for airflow, although users can use it in with compatible chassis that support E-ATX form factors. It uses GIGABYTE's recognizable blue PCB, with black PCIe slots, white power inputs, and black and blue alternating memory slots.

Using an E-ATX sized PCB, this has allowed GIGABYTE to include plenty of expansion support. In the bottom left-hand corner there are seven PCIe expansions slots including five full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slot, and two half-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slots. The configuration used with all slots combined is x8/x16/x8/x16/x16/x8/x16, with GIGABYTE opting for single slot spacing between each slot.

Providing power to the board is a single 24-pin 12 V ATX power input, while the for CPU power is a pair of 8-pin 12 V ATX power inputs. Located around the board is plenty of headers and I/O. For cooling the MZ31-AR0 has two dedicated 4-pin CPU fan headers and five for chassis fans. A front panel header allows users to connect up power, HDD LED indicator and reset buttons for a chassis, while the board also includes a single TPM and COM2 header. For use in 1U or compatible server blades, the board includes a single HDD backplane header, a PMBus, and IPMB header, with a clear CMOS and BIOS recovery jumper.

Due to the E-ATX sized frame, GIGABYTE includes a total of sixteen memory slots which has support for up to 2 TB of LRDIMM and RDIMM ECC memory modules (Ian: I tried 2TB, it worked!). The GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 has support for up to DDR4-2666 memory when used in a 1 DIMM per channel configuration, but DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2133 are also supported with this model. Due to the location of the PCIe 3.0 slots and the memory slots, there may be some incompatibility with larger expansion cards as our testbed NVIDIA GTX 1080 protrudes over the right-hand side memory slots. The only two slots not restricted are the two bottom PCIe 3.0 slots (x8/x16).

The board is well-equipped on storage with four SlimSAS ports with each port offering support for up to four SATA devices and drives. This gives a total of sixteen SATA slots, with assistance from a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot which supports up to M.2 2280 form factor drives.

Located in the top left-hand section near to the rear panel I/O is the Aspeed AST2500 remote management controller which is assisted by a rear panel Gigabit Ethernet port which allows BMC control from a network, and a single D-sub video output. Just above this is a silver cross-cross heatsink which keeps the Broadcom BCM57810S Ethernet controller cool. The Broadcom BCM 57810S provides two SPF+ 10 G Ethernet ports on the rear panel, although the ports do support Gigabit networks too.

As the GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 is designed for workstation and server systems, the power delivery equipped is modest but effective in delivering enough power to support up to 32-core AMD EPYC processors. Its power delivery is using a simple 6-phase setup with no heatsink used, which means cooling it will rely on having adequate passive airflow in whichever chassis it is installed into.

On the rear panel is little in the way of USB support with two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports. This required us to use a USB hub to install our testbed operating system (Windows 10 1909) with a keyboard and mouse plugged in; shrewd users can do so while just using a keyboard or mouse. Also present is an ID button with an LED, one Gigabit Ethernet port for the BMC, two SFP+ 10 G Ethernet ports powered by a Broadcom BCM 57810S Ethernet controller. A solitary serial port and D-sub video output powered by the Aspeed AST2500 remote management controller finish off a basic, but effective rear I/O.

What's in The Box

Included in the retail packaging is two SlimSAS to SATA cables which gives users the ability to install up to eight SATA devices out of the box. Also present is an I/O shield and a quick start guide. When bought in bulk (10 units), each box comes with just an I/O shield.

  • 2 x SlimSAS cables (four SATA per cable)
  • Rear Panel I/O shield
  • Quick Start guide
GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 Overview BIOS And Software
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  • sonny73n - Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - link

    Wow, two Gigabyte motherboards reviews in a week!?
    I have to find something else to read.
    Reply
  • vidarwallace - Thursday, March 26, 2020 - link

    I just bought a brand new BMW after having made $6375 this past one month and just over 12k last 4 week. This is the best and most financially rewarding job I’ve ever had. I actually started this few Weeks ago and almost immediately started to bring home minimum 74BUCKS p/h. I use details from this webpage... www.icash68.com Reply
  • close - Thursday, March 26, 2020 - link

    Oh if only AT had a smarter comment section, maybe some bot protection, "modern" stuff like this that mom&pop sites had for a decade...

    More on topic, I wish I saw this in an OEM system. An AMD based "Mac Pro" answer that actually ticks all the boxes (I'm looking at you memory support).

    Current Threadripper proposed solutions do not cover the top "heavyweight" configurations. They may surpass the Mac Pro in some areas but fall short in others. There's no reason an AMD solution couldn't surpass a Mac Pro in *every* category and for every individual criterion.
    Reply
  • Foeketijn - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    You are so right, this is the stuff every comment system will block. It's so unprofessional. And I can't understand that a tech website with bleeding edge articles since before y2k doesn't care. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, March 27, 2020 - link

    At least this place doesn't have asinine argumentum ad populum as its underlying comment engine. You know, all of the groupthink up-voting and down-voting. Reply
  • Threska - Sunday, March 29, 2020 - link

    Good moderators are expensive. Just look at the train-wreck that's Facebook

    (https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/25/18229714/cogniz...
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, March 30, 2020 - link

    For the *lack* of moderators, we're *all* subject to a smattering of mildly-traumatizing posts. And I'm not talking about that spam post. Reply
  • leexgx - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    don't post links to that website, as it gives them views and money (until they posted that train wreck of a PC build and issuing illegal copyright strikes, the site was ok)

    then again this website (anandtech) is a plage now if you don't have a adblock enabled (thought it was bad before but recently my addon adblock crashed and what anandtech website looks like now is super bad as well as clickjacking that opens a new website when you click anywhere)
    Reply
  • submux - Thursday, April 9, 2020 - link

    So... March 26th and the Corona virus is raping the economy. This person who is earning $6375 this past month, but 12k in the last 4 weeks... which causes me to assume means either his grammar or his accounting is severely flawed. And to show his incredible financial savvy, purchased a brand new BMW... using what I can only imagine is an income source with a questionable degree of uncertainty during a period of international economic uncertainty. Then he posts a comment on a product review for people who are in career positions that build $10,000+ servers. I also like the 74BUCKS p/h. I wonder if this is to circumvent spam filters (if AT even has one) rather than $74/hr. I think the p/h is quite charming ... in a "I've never seen more than $5 p/h in my life and decided to try scamming instead" kind of way. Also... by my calculations, that hourly wage is about double what he claims to have made last month.
    I'll just assume for the moment that he (though I suspect a script is involved) is not particularly good at his job.
    Yeh... sorry... quarantine is driving me a bit nuts.
    Reply
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