ASRock Rack, the professional arm of ASRock, has launched an interesting B550 model which is aimed at the server and workstation market, but uses the mid-range chipset. The ASRock Rack B550D4-4L benefits from support for AMD's latest Ryzen 5000 series of processors, with a BMC controller, support for up to 128 GB of non-ECC DDR4-3200 memory, and includes a single PCIe 3.0 M.2 slot from the chipset.

The main feature on the ASRock Rack B550D-4L, which other B550 models do not have, is the inclusion of an ASPEED AST2500 BMC controller, which adds IPMI configuration access across a network. A Realtek RTL8211E provides connectivity for the IPMI management, and it also includes four more Intel i210 Gigabit Ethernet controllers with RJ45 ports on the rear. Also present on the rear panel is a pair of USB 3.2 G2 Type-A and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, with a single HDMI output for integrated graphics, a D-sub output for the BMC controller, and a DB9 serial port. 

Designed for use in a server and workstation environment, the ASRock Rack B550D4-4L uses a transposed AM4 PGA1331 socket with four memory slots located horizontally along the top. The memory slots allow for up to 128 GB of ECC and non-ECC UDIMM DDR4-3200 memory, while for storage, the board includes a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot with support for SATA drives too. For conventional storage drives, ASRock Rack also includes four SATA ports powered by the B550 chipset, which supports RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays, while an ASMedia ASM1061 chip controls another two ports.

The board uses a simplistic design, with a green PCB, which is typical of server-grade and workstation models. Towards the center of the B550D4-4L is a full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slot, with a half-length PCIe slot that runs in Gen4 x4 mode with a Ryzen 5000 processor installed. This board technically supports Ryzen 5000 (Gen 4), Ryzen 4000G APUs (Gen 3), and Ryzen 3000 CPUs (Gen 3), along with all Pro counterparts, but ASRock doesn't go into detail about how the PCIe is split with the other processors.

Located around the PCB is plenty of connectivity with a BMC_SMB header, a TPM header, a PMBus connector, as well as six 6-pin fan headers. It uses a conventional 24-pin 12 V ATX power input for power to the motherboard, with a single 8-pin 12 V EPS connector for the CPU. There is also a two-digit debug display for monitoring POST codes.

Although the ASRock B550D-4L will fit conventional chassis with its ATX size, it's primarily designed for 1U chassis and professional use cases such as server and workstation systems. ASRock hasn't unveiled any information about when it can be expected to launch at retail.

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Source: ASRock Rack

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  • Siv - Monday, January 4, 2021 - link

    If you can get ASrock to comment on the TPM version, that would be awesome! Reply
  • ITproblems2020 - Monday, January 4, 2021 - link

    Yes, I second this! This is crucial for our environments. Reply
  • Mentawl - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    There's a TPM header on the board, so looks like you can put any of Asrock's TPM modules on it. They offer both a 1.2 and 2.0 module at the moment. Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    All Zen cpus have fTPM (firmware TPM) -- TPM built into the PSP/SoC of Ryzen -- so you can always use that as an alternative to the discrete TPM. Intel has an equivalent fTPM built into Intel ME of some mobo chipsets. Most boards should have the ability to enable it; my Asrocks do.

    Of course that means the storage of keys is tied to the cpu and so you can't move the encrypted drives or files out. But that also means someone who gets a physical hold of your machine can't pull out the TPM and try to brute force or crack the TPM with side channel attacks (some electrical way) while locking you out of your machine.
    Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    "support for up to 128 GB of non-ECC DDR4-3200 memory"

    So completely pointless for its target market.

    "The memory slots allow for up to 128 GB of ECC and non-ECC UDIMM DDR4-3200 memory"

    Oh, so it does support ECC after all?

    *goes to Asrock's website*
    "DDR4 288-pin ECC/non-ECC UDIMM"

    Ok, so Anandtech just messed up. Or is the ECC support still limited somehow? As in, it works with ECC modules but doesn't actually use ECC? Or it works in the background but doesn't send a memory error event to the OS?
    Reply
  • edzieba - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    It's just the general wishy-washy state of ECC on non-professional AMD CPUs: it 'works', but nobody (neither AMD nor motherboard manufacturers) are actually willing to actually straight-up guarantee it is really working. QVL for the board isn't up yet, which is the ultimate arbiter of whether ECC will actually be supported, or remain in the realm of "well, if you plug in the sticks and it boots then great, but we won't do anything beyond that" Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    All Asrock boards officially support ECC on AMD even on consumer boards, so I would expect this one to work and show that when the rest of the specs is up, especially when all of the existing Asrock Rack X470 and X570 boards already have qualified support for ECC on Ryzen. Reply
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    BTW, interesting solution for the PCIe lane distribution. The 4.0 lanes from the CPU that usually go to the m.2 slow are here routed to the second physical PCIe slot, prioritizing that instead of unnecessarily high-speed SSD storage. The m.2 is instead routed through the B550, hence why it's PCIe 3.0 only. Worth it IMO if one expects to use two high-speed expansion cards. Though one coud've split up the main x16 slot into x8/x8 instead of (or in addition to) this. Reply
  • timecop1818 - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    Too bad its an AMD board, otherwise I like this arrangement. Because on a server you will generally boot something like ESXi off a shitty media (like even a USB stick) and then run hardware RAID for the datastores. This allows plugging in more high-speed IO devices like raid cards or heck even some M.2 riser card or a 10GbE, since the board seems to forget including one. Really, who needs 4 1Gb ports, they could have easily done a dual 1/10 or something combination. Reply
  • dsplover - Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - link

    I’ll be getting this. I’ve used their Rack boards with consumer chips for years.
    Z97WSm and H97WSm still running in 1U’s w/ 4790k CPU’s. Never a hiccup from day one.
    Their BIOS allows overclocking too which is great for Digital Audio Workstations where 4-4.4GHz on Intel chips was a great boost.
    Also have the X470D4U w/ a 3700X that has been 100% solid since summer.
    Only wish the AST ASPEEED 2500 had more RAM. 16MB’s is barely adequate, but fine for non 3D Monitoring.

    Love my ASRocks. B550 will be perfect,
    Reply

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