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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  • 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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