iBASE has published specifications of its upcoming MB995VF-C246 motherboard aimed at entry-level/embedded servers and workstations that will support Intel’s upcoming (but not yet announced) Xeon E processors. The mainboard generally resembles platforms for desktops, but due to positioning it boasts with enhanced durability, reliability, as well as legacy I/O capabilities.

The iBASE MB995VF-C246 motherboard is based on Intel’s as-yet unannounced C246 PCH and therefore supports Xeon E processors. The mainboard relies on design originally developed for the MB995VF based on the Intel Q370 PCH, and according to the listing will also support 8th Gen Core i3/i5/i7 as well as Pentium CPUs for business desktops. Given its positioning, the motherboard fully supports iAMT 11 remote management, TPM 2.0, vPro, and iSMART features.

The MB995VF-C246 motherboard from iBASE is outfitted with a multi-phase VRM for CPU that is based on solid-state coils designed to sustain prolonged workloads. The platform carries four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64 GB of DDR4-2667 memory (either ECC or non-ECC), one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot for graphics cards, a PCIe 3.0 x4 for high-end SSDs, a PCIe 3.0 x1 for various add-on boards, one mini PCIe, as well as three PCI slots. Moving on to storage options. The MB995VF-C246 has six SATA ports, and one M.2-2280. The platform can support up to six SATA SSDs/HDDs as well as two PCIe/NVMe drives of different capacity.

When it comes to networking connectivity, the motherboard has two GbE controllers, and an M.2-2230 slot for a Wi-Fi card. As for general I/O, the MB995VF-C246 has four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, five USB 3.1 Gen 1 headers, a USB 2.0 via a pin-header (internal port), a DVI-D output, a DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI 2.0a, four RS232 ports, two RS232/422/485 connectors, and a 7.1-channel audio.

The iBASE MB995VF-C246 is positioned for embedded computing, which is why it has PCI slots (often used for outdated add-in cards) as well as various legacy ports. Meanwhile, presence of up-to-date slots and ports indicates that one can easily build a contemporary server or workstation using this motherboard.

iBASE guarantees a 15-year lifetime for its MB995VF motherboards, so people looking to build an embedded system based on these platforms can be assured that they will be able to procure these mainboards in the years to come. The new mainboards are expected to become available shortly.

iBASE's Motherboard for Intel's Xeon E CPUs
  MB995VF-C246
Supported CPUs LGA1151 v2 CPUs
Xeon E
8th Gen Core i3/i5/i7
PCH Intel C246 + Fintek F81966D-I controller
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics from CPU
PCIe 3.0 x16 slot
Display Outputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2
1 × DVI-D
1 × HDMI 2.0a
Memory 2 × DDR4 DIMM
Up to 64 GB of DDR4-2667
ECC or non-ECC
Slots for Add-In-Cards 1 × PCIe 3.0 x4
1 × PCIe 3.0 x1
1 × miniPCIe
3 × PCI 32-bit/33 MHz
Ethernet LAN 1: Intel I219LM GbE PHY
LAN 2: Intel I210AT GbE PHY
Storage 6 × SATA 6 Gbps
1 × M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
Audio Realtek ALC888S-VD2-GR
7.1-channel audio
USB 4 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
5 × USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
1 × USB 2.0 Type-A
Serial Ports 4 × RS232
2 × RS232/422/485
Wi-Fi M.2-2230 slot
Operating Temperature 0°C~60°C (32°F~140°F)
Form-Factor ATX (305 mm × 244 mm | 12" × 9.6")

Related Reading:

Source: iBASE

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  • CaedenV - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    Ya! I saw the thumbnail and was like... waitaminute, motherboards still come in green? how retro! Reply
  • bolkhov - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - link

    No BMC (IPMI)? A bit odd for a server-grade board, even for an entry-level.

    BTW, iBase specs are known for months, and these aren't the only known.
    Supermicro lists several SKUs on C242/C246 "OS Compatibility" pages, see
    https://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/OS/C2...
    https://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/OS/C2...
    ...and a dozen more is known from distributor's sites.
    Reply
  • npz - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    The implication is probably to use vPro instead.

    Usually BMC are for real servers without the onboard GPU, as the Aspeed chip has its own integrated VGA chip
    Reply
  • edzieba - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    Didn't the last few generations of Cxxx series chipsets support only Xeons (+ a smattering of Pentiums) and not i3/i5/i7 chips? Or was it just vice-versa (Xeons in Zxxx/Hxxx boards) that were incompatible? Reply
  • bolkhov - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    The latter is true: Xeons work only in C2xx boards, not Zxxx/Hxxx/Bxxx, but C2xx chisets happily accept consumer CPUs.
    BTW, these "few generations" are actually a single one: C232/C236 (Skylake/KabyLake). All the previous generations allowed to mix consumer/professional chipsets and CPUs freely. That's why E3-1230/1240v2/v3 were popular among non-iGPU public: "i7 for the price of i5".
    Reply
  • mpbello - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    It is already old with max 64GB ram and very few PCIe lanes. Reply
  • kgardas - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    It's needs to be cheap. Also Ryzen supports just 64GB too, then the question is what is faster if Xeon E + all security patches or Ryzen?
    IMHO there is still market requiring the highest single-thread perf available for normal money and Xeon E should end @4.7GHz which is pretty nice...
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    It's notable that a motherboard built for long-term durability doesn't have elaborate power delivery or random bits of metal posing as heatsinks/spreaders all over it. Also absent are metal slot reinforcements for PCIe devices and the DIMMs. These sorts of products are purchased by people with a clue so I guess no one is going to try to spoof them with angles, eagles, and RGB. Reply
  • romrunning - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    For a board that is designed for Xeons, I would have thought 10GBe would have been either the standard or at least a LOM option. Reply
  • bolkhov - Thursday, July 12, 2018 - link

    Supermicro has many dual-10GbE C236-based boards; C246 will follow suit. Reply

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