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Gigabyte MZ01-CE0 AMD EPYC Workstation Motherboard Review

The Gigabyte MZ01-CE0 is a hefty piece of kit, and certainly won’t be a gateway for enthusiasts hoping to enter the high-end world of EPYC. But it has some great characteristics for certain types of workstation and server applications. If you’re looking to create a workstation with huge GPU compute capability, the four full-speed x16 PCI Express slots will be highly beneficial.

For a video editing workstation needing massive storage, the SlimSAS and support for 16 SATA drives will make this easy to achieve. Similarly, the board will be ideal for a storage server or Hyper-Converged Infrastructure virtualisation server. AMD’s EPYC, with its 32 cores and eight-channel memory, will be great for running lots of virtual machines too.


Our biggest dislike is the BIOS design, which is uncomfortable to operate now we’re used to the highly graphical UEFI interfaces we see with most consumer-grade motherboards. There are lots of features for the intended user type there, but tracking them down can take quite a few keyboard presses.

Overall, though, this is a powerful and capable motherboard. We only managed to find one vendor in the US selling it, but the $700 price is quite reasonable for this kind of product. It’s extortionate compared to a consumer, enthusiast or pure workstation motherboard, but is par for the course for a server board with this feature set.

In other words, this is a great platform for our first look at EPYC.

We found the MZ01-CE0 for $700 from GamePC in the US HERE. We don’t yet have a buy link for a UK retailer.

Pros:

  • EPYC CPUs offer eight-channel memory.
  • Four full-speed PCI Express x16 slots.
  • Supports up to 16 SATA drives via SlimSAS adapters.
  • Two Gigabit Ethernet and two 10Gigabit Ethernet LAN connections.

Cons:

  • Old-fashioned, keyboard-only BIOS interface.
  • SATA connections require SlimSAS adapters.

KitGuru says: The Gigabyte MZ01-CE0 is a powerful platform for EPYC servers and workstations looking to offer huge amounts of SATA storage or multi-GPU configurations.

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Rating: 8.0.

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