GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 Conclusion

The GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 is an example of a high-end single-socket LGA 4094/SP3 motherboard. It is designed for use in server and workstation scenarios, with a rotated CPU socket with compatible with many U1 chassis. Decked out with a GIGABYTE blue PCB, it has some premium features with networking support among the talking points. The MZ31-AR0 is equipped with a Broadcom BCM 57810S 10 G Ethernet controller which provides two SFP+ 10 G ports on the rear panel, in addition to a single Gigabit port with its sole intended purpose for remote access via the Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller. The AST2500 also includes a D-sub video output for those looking to access the operating system without the use of a graphics card.

For professional users not in a position to utilize the increased bandwidth of PCIe 4.0, the GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 has plenty to offer from a hardware perspective. There's a total of seven PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x8/x16/x8/x16/x16/x8/x16. Breaking it down, there's four full-length PCIe 3.0 x16, one full-length PCIe 3.0 x8, and two half-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slots on board; that's a total of 88 PCIe 3.0 lanes worth of expansion support. It's worth noting that using a large graphics card will be an issue on the top five PCIe slots as it clashes with the memory slots, but HHHL form factor expansion cards will have no issues at all. Users looking to use a large graphics card with this model will need to install it into the bottom PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. 


GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 with an AMD EPYC 7351P

Touching more on memory support,  the larger E-ATX form factor has allowed GIGABYTE to include sixteen memory slots which equate to a total memory capacity of 2 TB. This includes both RDIMM and LRDIMM DDR4 memory with a maximum support speed of up to DDR4-2666. The GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 also has four SlimSAS slots which have support for up to sixteen SATA devices, which means four SATA slots from one SlimSAS with two SlimSAS cables included in the retail packaging. For users looking to used M.2 NVMe drives, the board only has one with support for up M.2 2280. While one could question GIGABYTE for not including more than one, the E-ATX PCB is quite well laid out with barely any room for more, and users could always use a PCIe M.2 adapter if they required more.

In our performance testing, we used the AMD EPYC 7351P and compared it to the ASRock EPYCD8-2T and X399 models tested with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and one with a 2950X; all of these feature 16-cores and 32-threads. The performance of the MZ31-AR0 in our system tests showed the highest levels of power consumption in both long idle and idle power states, with a little more power used than the ASRock model at full load. This isn't too much of an issue, but due to a heavier controller set and with BMC initialization taking some time, we did get longer POST times as a result. We expect this from professional-grade server and workstation hardware, and it isn't a negative point. In computational tasks, the MZ31-AR0 is highly competitive against the ASRock model.

 

Looking at the direct competition in the single-socket LGA 4094 market, the ASRock EYPCD8-2T ($460) and the Supermicro MBD-H11SSL-NC ($470) have a more modest controller set, and both are ATX with twelve memory slots against the MZ31-AR0's E-ATX frame and sixteen memory slots. The GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 currently retails for $565 at Amazon, which with its dual SPF+ 10 G Ethernet on the rear panel and seven PCIe expansion slots offer real value when paired up with AMD's EYPC 7001 Naples series of processors.

The prices on the 7001 series have dropped to even better levels since AMD introduced its EPYC 7002 Rome family with PCIe 4.0. Users not too fussed about PCIe Gen4 will find real value from the current market on Naples processors, and the GIGABYTE MZ31-AR0 is a very solid option for those considering the LGA 4094 platform.

CPU Performance, Short Form
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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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