The MW34-SP0 is the Intel board powered by the new W680 workstation chipset and the MC62-G41 is the Threadripper supported board powered by the WRX80 chipset.
These boards are workstation specific, designed for power users and professionals who need access to server and enterprise-level features. As such, these boards pack additional features and unorthodox connectivity configurations you will not find in the consumer space.
The MW34-SP0 is one of the first workstation motherboards designed to fit Intel’s new 12th Gen Alder Lake parts. On the surface, this board has a very similar feature set to Gigabyte’s consumer-friendly Z690 series. But when you look deeper, Gigabyte added a host of new features on this workstation board that has been brought over from the server industry.
Some of these features include the Gigabyte management console, which serves as a command and control interface for the system it’s running on. It includes real-time health monitoring and management of the host machine and runs on a browser-based graphical interface, which can be ideal for accessing the console remotely.
Other features integrated into the management console include support for IPMI — a device that allows the end-user to remotely access the entire host machine, including the BIOS. There is also an integrated monitoring tool for monitoring RAID adapters.
The board itself includes a plethora of connectivity which is nearly on par with Gigabyte’s Z690 consumer-focused boards. For PCIe connectivity, you get dual PCIe Gen 5.0 x16 slots — with the second one operating in x8 mode, and an x4 slot running on PCIe Gen 3. For storage, you get three M.2 2280 slots for drives and an additional 2230 slot for a WiFi card if needed.
However, the rear I/O is where connectivity becomes lacking compared to Gigabyte’s Z690 offerings. All you get are dual LAN ports (one of which is 2.5GB Ethernet) plus three audio jacks and four USB 3.2 ports (one of these is USB Type-C). Video ports include VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort.
DDR4 is the only memory standard supported on this board, with a maximum of 3200 MHz supported officially for both ECC and non-ECC configurations. Surprisingly, however, you gain access to CPU overclocking as well as memory overclocking support, thanks to the W680 chipset. This can be nice if you need to use higher speed memory modules or need to push the CPU cores a bit further for specific tasks.
The MC62-G41 steps things up a notch with its huge CEB form factor measuring 305mm x 267mm. It is a massive motherboard designed to power all 154 PCIe Gen 4 lanes from both AMD’s Threadripper 5000 Pro CPUs and WRX80 chipset combined.
To give you access to all that PCIe goodness, the board comes equipped with seven PCIe 4.0 x16 slots with just one of those being wired for x8, the rest come with the full x16 configuration.
On the right side of the motherboard, you have eight DDR4 slots flanking the right and left of the massive CPU sWRX8 socket, with support for up to 3200MHz DIMMs including ECC DIMMs. All eight memory slots combined give you a maximum supported memory capacity of 2TB.
Despite the unprecedented amount of PCIe connectivity, rear I/O and additional ports for storage are somewhat minimal. For M.2 storage you get just two slots that support both NVMe and SATA 3 drives, plus four SATA 3 ports for standard 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA-based drives.
But to make up for the lackluster storage options, this board also supports up to three SlimSAS ports for SAS-based SSDs, which are exclusive to the enterprise sector.
The rear I/O includes six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, with one of those being a Type C port. Two LAN ports (with no 2.5GB option), along with a single VGA connector for display out, and a set of three audio jacks.
Undoubtedly, most of your connectivity will be coming from the seven PCIe slots on the motherboard, with the use of RAID cards and additional add-in boards.
Like the previously mentioned Alder Lake workstation motherboard, this board also supports Gigabyte’s suite of management features included in its web-based management console.