Choosing The Right W480 Motherboard

The Intel W480 chipset is based on Intel's latest LGA1200 socket and is designed to support Intel's Comet Lake Xeon W-1200 processors. The Xeon W-1200 series ranges from 6 core 12 thread models, up to 10 core 20 thread models, with the highest spec processor, the Intel Xeon W-1290P, including a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, and a Thermal Velocity Boost clock speed of 5.3 GHz on a single core. This is fascinating for the entry-level workstation model, with such high clock speeds supported under a TDP of 125 W. All of Intel's Xeon W-1200 processors include an Intel HD P630 integrated graphics, and all of the W480 options currently unveiled include at least one form of video output on the rear panel.

A lot of the more premium W480 models include at least 2.5 GbE Ethernet controllers, with two of the most recently announced models including 10 GbE Ethernet. One interesting thing to note is that the vast majority of W480 models from the product stack include at least three USB 3.2 G2 ports on the rear panel, with the most premium models from the prominent four vendors including an Intel Thunderbolt 3 controller with dual Type-C connectivity on the rear panel. This is similar to some Z490 models, but with a different target market in mind.

Some of the most notable W480 models include the ASRock W480 Creator and GIGABYTE W480 Vision D, with triple PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connectivity, with corresponding DisplayPort video inputs to allow users to reap the benefits of Thunderbolt. Another noteworthy model is the Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F with dual 10 GbE T-Base Ethernet with a more conventional design associated with Intel's Xeon range, with a green PCB, more simplistic design, and an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller with physical and remote access available to the boards IPMI.

At the time of writing, only a few of the vendors has announced its W480 pricing, some of the fancier models including the ASRock W480 Creator, ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace and GIGABYTE W480 Vision D are likely to reach the top end of the market in terms of pricing. We even have a model from the legendary company DFI, although some of the finer details including visual design, hasn't been unveiled at this time. DFI primarily caters for the embedded market.

Regardless of the feature a user is looking for, below is a list of which models include specific features worth highlighting.

Choosing the Right W480 Motherboard
       Options Size Price
10 Gigabit Ethernet
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F mATX -
Wi-Fi 6 / 802.11ax
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX -
Three or more PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX -
Eight or more SATA ports
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
GIGABYTE W480 Vision W ATX -
GIGABYTE W480M Vision W mATX -
Three or more USB 3.2 G2 (Rear Panel)
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace ATX $280
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX -
Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F mATX -
Supermicro X12SCZ-F mATX -
Supermicro X12SAE ATX -
Thunderbolt 3
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace ATX $280
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX -
 

As and when more Intel W480 models are announced and unveiled, we will endeavour to keep this overview updated, especially when more details emerge in regards to the pricing.

Supermicro X12SAE
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  • YB1064 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Underwhelming at best. Why would anybody go for this over EPYC? Reply
  • Jorgp2 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Lol Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    This doesn't even compete with Threadripper, much less Epyc. This chipset allows you to use LGA1200 Xeons which are identical to the 10th gen Core series plus ECC support -- which is essentially what you get with regular Ryzen line -- except the regular ryzen line goes to 16 cores and ECC is only "semi official" Reply
  • foobaz - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    The Xeon has one minor advantage over Ryzen - the Xeon does both ECC and integrated graphics. Ryzen APUs can't do ECC, so if you want ECC, you need to pair a Ryzen without integrated graphics with either a discrete GPU or a motherboard with onboard graphics like the X470D4U. Reply
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    For a server though, you want BMC, so you want a motherboard like the X470D4U.

    And for a workstation, in most cases you want discrete graphics.
    Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    When you're talking servers the dinky GPU doesn't factor in.

    The price difference between the Intel and AMD line they can more than afford to toss in any motherboard-integrated GPU they can think of.

    I'd say 99% of the time the server GPU is only used during initial setup and config. Everything is remote managed.

    I even go so far as to disconnect the mouse, keyboard and monitor on almost every server I set up. Keeps the business owner's kids from screwing with it.

    The iGPU is not a deciding factor in a server purchase.
    Reply
  • eek2121 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    I don’t know about that. Ryzen chips can do ECC, I actually haven’t looked at whether the APUs have a different memory controller, but all Ryzen chips support ECC. My X570 board let’s me enable it via the BIOS (F20a, AMD CBS menu). Reply
  • Slash3 - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    Pro series APUs do support ECC, but non-Pro APUs do not. Reply
  • duploxxx - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    Intel don't need to compete with threadripper. This workstation chipset will move to all default OEM workstations as usual. OEM that are affraid to change anything on there portfolio because of R&D funding budgets from Intel to keep using there chipsets and cpu. IT will swallow it anyhow as they see still Intel as the only fit for business.... and also because the decision body is most of the time led by people who are sitting far to long at an IT desk thinking they still know anything about HW. 100000's of these workstations will just be business as usual, CVE, underwhelming core performance vs competition, heat, it does not matter the only thing OEM (Dell, HPinc, ...) will offer are Intel based workstation. We use 1000's a year asking several years to get an alternative into the Z offering from HPinc to getdecent pricing on +10 cores …. the only answer is "we will look into it" Reply
  • edzieba - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

    Different use-cases. If you buy a workstation with the attitude of "more cores must be more better!" you will very likely end up wasting money on a system that does not perform as well as one chosen for the tasks you will be performing. Reply

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