Everyone wants to know what's in Intel's new Ice Lake Xeon server platform, right? Well the first promited board has been disclosed: Axiomtek (who?) has unveiled its latest motherboard compatible with Intel's Xeon Scalable Ice Lake processors based on the LGA4189 socket. The Axiomtek IMB700 is an ATX-sized solution with six memory slots capable of supporting up to 384 GB in hex-channel, with two Gigabit Ethernet ports six SATA-600 storage slots.

During the virtual Hot Chips 2020 industry event show, during our live blog of Intel's segment, Intel unveiled some details about its upcoming Ice Lake Xeon Scalable processors. Based on Intel's 10nm+ manufacturing process, we confirmed that Intel had started production on its Ice Lake-SP chips at the beginning of the year. With not much furor surrounding expected motherboard models at the moment, Axiomtek has unveiled its IMB700 with a single LGA4189 socket based on Intel's C621A chipset. Note that this is the same family of chipsets as current Skylake and Cascade Lake Xeons.

The Axiomtek IMB700 features an ATX PCB with a very simplistic green PCB which is common on professional and industrial-grade motherboards. Some of its key features include a single LGA4189 transposed socket, with six memory slots that can accommodate both LRDIMM and RDIMM DDR4-3200 memory, with a total capacity of up to 384 GB. For storage, the IMB700 features a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 slot and six SATA-600 ports, including support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

Located in the center of the board are three full-length PCIe slots, with the top two operating at PCIe 4.0 x16, with the other operating at either PCIe 3.0 x16 or x8. There's also three half-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slots, although one of the half-length slots shares bandwidth with the blue-colored full-length slot. 

On the rear panel is a basic array of input and outputs, including four USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports, one D-Sub video output, a PS/2 keyboard, and mouse combo port, as well as an RS-232/422/485 port, and dual Intel i210-AT Gigabit Ethernet. In regards to audio, Axiomtek offers its AX93242 HD audio converter board as an additional extra.

At present, Axiomtek hasn't unveiled any pricing information, but the official product page does state the IMB700 is coming soon. We're waiting for Intel to fully disclose its Ice Lake Xeon platform.

Source: Axiomtek

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  • TomWomack - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Umm, wasn't one of the key points of Ice Lake, taken as a starting point by everyone trying to build chips intended to compete with it at its initial expected launch in 2018, that it had eight-channel DDR4? Unless Intel are doing something very aggressive with pricing, so that low-end Ice Lake is cheaper than current low-end Sky Lake, I don't see the point of a six-channel motherboard for it.
  • brucethemoose - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    Is there even space for 8 slots in that config? Looks like the final slot would mash up against the first PCIe slot, at best.
  • PixyMisa - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    They often cut boards down to 6 PCIe slots for precisely that reason.
  • frbeckenbauer - Saturday, March 6, 2021 - link

    There's plenty ATX boards with similar layouts and 8 DIMM slots.
  • kgardas - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    384 GB max only? Even W-22xx in some boards may use up to 1TB so I'm not so sure this is the right max number...
  • Slash3 - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Yeah, that's a bit of a weird one, but it's what's stated on the official site and in the product PDF. Maybe they just didn't have any 128GB or 256GB LRDIMMs on hand to try? Odd.
  • Everett F Sargent - Thursday, March 4, 2021 - link

    It would (maybe) be the 1st MB to support two 16x lanes at PCIE 4.0 and at the same time provide only one M.2 at PCIE 3.0! That makes no sense whatsoever. Ice Lake-SP is supposed to be PCIE 4.0. I think Ice Lake-SP needs a PCIE 4.0 chipset. Until then, I would use a PCIE 4.0 drop in card (on this particular MB) that supports 4x PCIE 4.0 for four M.2 at PCIE 4.0, if possible (bootable).

    Otherwise, these server MB's are starting to look like two decade old technologies, stale, boring and expensive.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    "simplistic green PCB" - Back in the day, many, MANY, consumer boards were green. Those were the days. Things were a LOT cheaper back then (Or, should I say, there was a low end bracket).
  • notb - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    Why would you even need "low end bracket" in 2021? DIY PCs are either for gaming or for showing off. :)
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 5, 2021 - link

    > Axiomtek (who?)

    LOL. As their website says, they're a specialty industrial PC maker.

    Perhaps that goes some ways towards explaining some of the weird things about it, like why only ATX (not EATX) and only 6-channel RAM. I'd guess that maybe its VRM isn't even spec'd to handle the highest core-count CPUs, in which case the final 2 channels might not be missed.

    Also, if you count each PCIe 3.0 lane as 1/2 a PCIe 4.0 lane, then I count a total of 48 PCIe 4.0 lane-equivalents, not including the M.2 slot. So, does that add up? How many lanes is Ice Lake SP supposed to provide? Maybe not all of the models provide the maximum lane count.

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