ASRock Rack W480D4U

Although ASRock and ASRock Rack are similar in name, they are separate entities under the same company in the motherboard space. ASRock Rack by comparison caters to the workstation and server markets. The ASRock Rack W480D4U is an interesting model with its micro-ATX size, and support for both ECC and non-ECC memory up to DDR4-2933. Included are a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet and an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller.


Sorry for the slightly blurry image, this is all that is currently available

Looking at the design of the ASRock Rack W480D4U, it isn't anything fancy with a standard green PCB, and blue and white memory slots. These four memory slots include support for up to DDR4-2933, both ECC and non-ECC modules are supported, and up to a maximum of 128 GB can be installed. There is a single full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, with a half-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slot, and a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Included on the board is an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller which provides access to ASRock Racks intuitive interface and control panel. For storage, the W480D4U is using two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots with eight SATA ports with one port supporting SATA DOM, with all the SATA ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. The board is also equipped with seven 4-pin fan headers which are exceptional for a board of this size.

The rear panel includes two USB 3.1 G2 Type-A and two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports, with two Intel I20 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a dedicated Realtek RTL8211E Ethernet port for the boards IPMI controlled by an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller. Finishing off the rear panel of the W480D4U is a D-sub video output for the BMC, a serial port, and UID LED button.

The ASRock Rack W480D4U conforms more to what is expected from its workstation and server series of models, with its green PCB and unassuming controller set. The board doesn't include integrated audio which isn't a negative, and overall it packs a nice punch for a micro-ATX Xeon focused model with seven 4-pin fan headers, support for 128 GB of DDR4 memory, and dual Gigabit Ethernet. 

ASRock W480 Creator ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace
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  • Deicidium369 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Most people who opt for this board will use it as a small office server - and most would not even need to expand. Add a couple sticks of ECC or not memory, a couple of SATA drive and they would be set. several USB3.2 ports, 2.5Gb/s Ethernet and integrated graphics. Perfect small business server. Reply
  • MDD1963 - Saturday, June 27, 2020 - link

    had a person on a forum tentatively planning on using an X299/ i9-7900X as the basis for a simple home media/file server build....(undoubtedly on a 1 GbE network at home, no less) Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    I think the lack of PCIe 4.0 is the sole deal breaker. Intel has it on their high end server platforms, why hasn't this filtered down to the workstation...you'd think they would just tweak the same chipset - the silicon support IS THERE in Comet Lake CPU's as they have already announced Rocket Lake (the same microarchitecture as Comet Lake) will support PCIe 4.0 later this year. I mean what is that going to require yet another chipset?

    Two totally different platform launched in the same year, really Intel?
    Reply
  • Deicidium369 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Vast majority of small businesses who would opt for this CPU could care less about PCIe4 or more cores.

    Rocket Lake S will be built on the same process as Comet Lake - but will be basically a Tiger Lake in architecture (Willow Cove, Xe LP 24EU). Z490 will support PCIe4 on some boards - but Rocket Lake will launch with the Z590 which will be PCIe4. Will be great to finally have PCIe4 reach mainstream status. Same LGA1200 socket, different chipsets.
    Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    You are joking right? Why would somebody buy a high end workstation in June 2020 with PCIe 3.0, when PCIe 4.0 SSD's have been out for months and even the PlayStation 5, a VIDEOGAME CONSOLE, will have a PCIe 4.0 SSD next year, all the while Intel will be revising these CPU's and presumably the chipset around PCIe 4.0 within 6 months?

    Anybody buying into this platform is getting screwed. To say someone who wants a W1200 doesn't care about PCIe 4.0 is as ridiculous as saying someone who buys a Corvette doesn't care about 0-60.
    Reply
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Intel themselves are selling PCIe 4.0 SSDs. They just don't have anything that can use them at that speed. Reply
  • Foeketijn - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    No. These servers are the cheapest servers. That is the sole purpose. You want high end? You need a different platform. Box from the shelve. Install Windows server. Done.
    No upgrades, no performance parts. Just run it as long as it runs.
    Reply
  • timecop1818 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    nobody cares about pcie4, and definitely not the target audience for this cpu/boards. Reply
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Intel doesn't offer PCIe 4.0 on any of their CPUs yet. Not even Cooper Lake, which launched last week. Reply
  • Foeketijn - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    Even if they would be PCIe 2.0 they would sell. Current xeon servers are still also sold with iron drives.
    The box will say, Intel and Xeon, Windows server will run on it, and the barebone is less then 600 bucks. All potential customer needs.
    Reply

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