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? 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.
  • 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). 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
  • Dr_b_ - Monday, September 21, 2020 - link

    "This doesn't even compete with Threadripper, much less Epyc."

    Its not trying to. TR and EPYC are in a different cost tier entirely. Why would you buy a TR or EPYC and pay more, if you didn't need the number of cores or lanes they offered, and if your workloads weren't going to utilize those cores or lanes. And if you needed those cores and lanes, you wouldn't be looking at this segment. Think edge computing tasks, SMB, storage, virtualization.

    Intel also offers stability, and an IPC advantage, at least for now. Maybe ZEN3 comes along and changes the game, at least in terms of IPC, but the jury is still out on stability. Poor QA, insufficient testing and qualification, and really bad software, seems to be a systemic issue at AMD.

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