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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  • YB1064 - Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - link

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

  • 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"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • abeetz - Sunday, January 23, 2022 - link

    For one, the W480 Vision W from Gigabyte includes AMT, as far as I can tell. Some are selling it as a workstation board, and the W-1370 / 1370P CPUs are positioned as workstation processors. But I don't see any downside to using this as a pretty beefy server. It does have a fancy audio section, but that in itself shouldn't disqualify server use. Happy to get anyone else's take on this here. Saying this, of course, because I was able to get a hold of that motherboard + W-1370P CPU, both currently rare, and am considering them as a server for a small business whose network I run.
  • abeetz - Sunday, January 23, 2022 - link

    Correction - I meant that some are selling it as a SERVER board...
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Slash3 - Thursday, June 25, 2020 - link

    Pro series APUs do support ECC, but non-Pro APUs do not.

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