ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace

With most brands opting for a light-handed W480 product stack, ASUS currently has just one model. The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace is a premium model with an extensive feature set including dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports on the rear, an Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet port, with a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet port for ASUS's own control software, and two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots.

The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace follows a similar design to previous WS series models from ASUS, with an all-black aesthetic with a black PCB, black straight-edged heatsinks, and a silver plate on the chipset heatsink. Dominating the lower portion of the board are three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+x4, and also has two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. There are two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots which each come with an M.2 heatshield, and six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Onboard is a single USB 3.2 G1 Type-C header, while the board has a better quality USB 3.2 G2 Type-C header too. For memory, there are four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-4800, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB, and has support for both ECC and non-ECC memory dependant on processor support.

On the rear panel is a ton of connectivity which includes dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports with two DisplayPort, four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. The board has an Intel I225-LM 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, with an assisting Realtek RTL8117 Gigabit interface management Ethernet port. Devoid of any wireless connectivity, the ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace is using a Realtek ALC S1220A HD audio codec which powers the five 3.5 mm audio codecs and S/PDIF optical output. In contrast, an HDMI video output allows users to leverage Intel's UHD graphics on supported processors. 

The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace combines a subtle and sleek aesthetic with a premium controller set. ASUS hasn't provided any pricing as of yet, but we expect this model to sit towards the higher-end of the W480 product stack and will most likely have a price tag to match. The inclusion of dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C and two Type-C headers provides plenty of connectivity options, with a solid rear panel and a dedicated IPMI interface which can be accessed by one of the rear panel Ethernet ports. The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace has an MSRP of $280, which represents good value for money when compared to a model with the same feature set on the Z490 chipset.

ASRock Rack W480D4U DFI CMS310-W480
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  • Foeketijn - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    Because the whole server is going to cost way less then 1 Epyc CPU. Reply
  • dragosmp - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    DFI

    I fondly remember a Lanparty Nforce4 AM2 board

    Most their good folks went to Biostar, I seem to remember, and then to Gigabyte. Glad to see they're still around as a company, although they may not have anything to do with the DFI of old
    Reply
  • Foeketijn - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    Ah, a man of culture! Those where the hardware times. The times when the chipset mattered, and the latest CPU could do things you couldn't do with last years CPU. When the midrange GPU was affordable and still beat last years high end GPU.
    Having said that. On the CPU front AMD is making life interesting a bit lately.
    Reply
  • bolkhov - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Gavin,

    Regarding Supermicro X12SAE: it is NOT the only ATX W480 model from Supermicro; the second one is X12SCA-F. Its main difference is BMC (hence the "-F"), thus, the IPMI/BMC mentioned in X12SAE docs are about X12SCA-F.

    In X11 lineup these mobos' predecessors were X11SAE/X11SAE-F (Skylake/Kaby) and X11SCA/X11SCA-F (Coffee). For some unknown reason in the X12 lineup this pair was separated, and current Supermicro's site is, to put it mildly, not very informative/straightforward/useful (previous version had much better information accessibility), so it isn't easy to grasp the whole W480 lineup.
    Reply
  • Foeketijn - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    This chipset is for people who need a server. Which CPU? Intel I guess.
    I am wondering why so many motherboard are made. Maybe because they are a drop in replacement for the consumer chipset. So R&D cost are minimal.
    In the end 99% of those chipsets are sold by HP/Dell/Lenovo in less then 1000 bucks windows server boxes.
    If only those 3 would make the same Ryzen based servers like Asrockrack. Then still the bulk would be intel, since in this branch, hardware minded people are scarce (you did your 3 year IT course, and now you can maintain a Windows Server, as long everything goes as planned).
    Reply
  • bolkhov - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    BTW, regarding ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace:
    according to User Manual, two Display Port connectors on the rear panel are NOT outputs, but are INPUTS, for those TB3s. Probably to connect discrete GPU outputs, for those to be tunneled to TB3s.

    Dunno if iGPU output pipes are routed to TB3s internally or if HDMI is the only iGPU output; the User Manual keeps silence about it.
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Saturday, June 27, 2020 - link

    That ASRock W480 Creator has the most impressive rear IO I've ever seen. Why don't high end desktop boards have a set like that? Reply
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