Multiple European retailers have begun listing Supermicro's MBD-X13SAE-series motherboards based on Intel's yet-to-be-announced W680 chipset. That chipset is designed for upcoming Intel's Xeon E-3300-series 'Alder Lake' CPUs in LGA1700 packaging. The listings imply that Intel's next-generation entry-level Xeon E platform for entry-level servers and workstations is nearing its launch. But some retailers will sell you the motherboards today.
Supermicro's MBD-X13SAE-series family will include at least two Intel W680-based models: the MBD-X13SAE and the MBD-X13SAE-F, according to a listing at Sona.de (spotted by Twitter leaker @momomo_us). Both motherboards support all of the processors in Intel's LGA1700 form-factor, including the unannounced Xeon E-3300-series CPUs featuring the hybrid Alder Lake architecture, and are equipped with four memory slots supporting DDR5 memory modules with or without ECC (according to Ahead-IT.eu). Also, the new platforms naturally support PCIe 5.0 as well as other advantages that Alder Lake has to offer.
Traditionally, memory link ECC (do not confuse with DDR5's on-die ECC technology that is implemented to improve DRAM IC yields) is one of the key features that differentiates Intel's Xeon E-series CPUs that support memory modules with from similarly configured Core processors that do not support ECC capability. That said, Intel's E-3300-series CPUs and Intel's W680 platform will require DDR5 memory modules with ECC to show one of its key advantages over desktop-oriented platforms.
But while the Intel's Xeon E-3300-series processors and Intel's W680 platform are getting closer, we still have little idea about what to expect from new CPUs and chipset. Early leaks indicated that the new entry-level server/workstation platform will offer up to 16 CPU cores with TDPs of 35 W, 65 W and 125 W. Meanwhile, we have no idea whether Intel intends to enable AVX-512 support on its upcoming Xeon E-3300-series processors, or will keep it disabled, like it does with 12th Generation Core CPUs.
As far as availability is concerned, Supermicro's MBD-X13SAE-series motherboards based on Intel's W680 chipset can be ordered today from several European retailers. Two Intel W680-based platforms — the MBD-X13SAE (priced at €442 with VAT or $425 without tax) and the MBD-X13SAE-F (priced at €492 with VAT or $473 without tax) — can be ordered from Sona.de or CTT.de and delivered in 3 – 5 business days. The Netherlands-based Ahead-IT.EU promises to ship these motherboards in 5 – 7 days, whereas Italy-based IsyCorp says that these products are available from the manufacturer.
Given that so many retailers are about to ship their Intel W680 motherboards, it looks like the launch of Intel's next-generation Xeon E-3300-series platform is imminent.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.