GIGABYTE Reveals Three New Intel C230-based Motherboards

by MAC     |     January 8, 2016

GIGABYTE have unveiled three interesting new productivity-oriented motherboards that support Xeon processors and even ECC memory.

GIGABYTE have just unveiled three really interesting new motherboards that feature Intel's workstation-oriented C230 series chipsets. The X150M-PLUS WS and X150-PLUS WS are based on the C232 chipset, while the X170-Extreme ECC uses the higher-end C236 version. By utilizing this particular chipset series, these motherboards support the Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors that Intel have blocked from working on motherboards that use regular consumer chipsets.

While GIGABYTE are calling these new models "high-end desktop class motherboards", what we see them as are potentially budget-friendly workstation-class motherboards. This is especially true since one of the models actually supports Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory, which is a must-have feature on many workstations and one that is not supported by any consumer-oriented chipset on the Skylake LGA1151 platform. The very fact that these models exist is a very interesting development, since GIGABYTE does have their own line of professional workstation-class motherboards that generally carry a hefty price premium when compared to consumers boards.

The X150M-PLUS WS is based on the Micro-ATX form factor, but since it is actually narrower than the standard mATX dimensions it can only fit two DDR4 memory slots. It features one PCI-E x16 and two PCI-E x1 expansion slots, all of which are PCI-E 3.0. This model comes equipped with six SATA 6Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Realtek-powered GbE LAN port, and an onboard Realtek ALC887 audio codec.

The full-sized X150-PLUS WS differentiates itself with two additional DDR4 slots, an M.2 SSD connector, a SATA Express connector, one additional PCI-E x16 slot, and a superior Intel GbE LAN controller.

We don't have a specs list or even a picture of the X170-Extreme ECC, but we strongly suspect that it is based on the C236 chipset since GIGABYTE do mention that this model supports "even more USB3.0 ports and SATA3 Connectivity". The benefits of this higher-end chipset are more PCI-E lanes, more USB ports, more SATA ports, virtualization support, additional managements features, as well as Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Smart Response Technology. This particular model also supports ECC memory, which is absolutely essential for some mission critical applications.

Product Press Release:

Maximum Power for Performance Demanding Users

Featuring support for the Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 v5 processors on the LGA1151 socket, the GA-X150-PLUS WS (ATX form factor), GA-X150M-PLUS WS (Micro-ATX form factor) and GA-X170-Extreme ECC are high-end desktop class motherboards designed for enthusiast desktop users that require the raw computing horsepower for content creation, video editing, gaming and design.

The X150-PLUS WS has all the connectivity any extreme computer enthusiasts may need to perform at their best. With an onboard PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 connector that provides fast transfer speeds of up to 32Gb/s, an Intel® GbE LAN port with the cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software to eliminate lag, and 2-Way graphics support with the x16 PCIe lane coming directly from the processor for a clean and unrestricted bandwidth, allowing the system to be ready for any demanding application or task. The GA-X150-PLUS WS also features four DIMM slots to support the most recent DDR Standard, DDR4 memory, and many more industry leading features such as GIGABYTE Patented DualBIOS™ technology that protects your computer from hardware malfunction or power failure during the update process and a great utility package with the GIGABYTE APP Center.

For those looking to benefit from the power of the Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 v5 processors without the extreme features, the budget friendly and compact X150M-PLUS WS is a perfect choice. With its x16 direct PCIe lane from the processor, fast dual channel DDR4 memory support and smaller Micro-ATX form factor, the X150M-PLUS WS is the ideal motherboard for a small PC that demands lots of Core power.

Aside from the X150 Series High-End Desktop Motherboards GIGABYTE is also introducing the X170-Extreme ECC, this board is just one of the few newly launched boards that can support ECC (Error-Correcting Code) Memory that is crucial for systems that are unable to accrue downtime. With even more USB3.0 ports and SATA3 Connectivity, the X170 Motherboards are perfect for enthusiasts looking for a solution that can provide stability as well as performance all at the same time. Select X170 model Motherboards even support vPro, a feature that provides users a variety of functions such as encrypted Wireless Communication, security features, remote management and etc.., allowing users to have even more control over their high-end desktop needs.

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