ASRock Rack 1U4LW-B650/2L2T Topology and Block Diagram
Here is the topology of the system:
Here is the block diagram of the motherboard to help folks understand how everything is connected:
Here, the big BOM option being taken advantage of is the Broadcom BCM57416 for the 10Gbase-T module.
ASRock Rack 1U4LW-B650/2L2T Management
The ASRock Rack 1U4LW-B650/2L2T has an onboard ASPEED AST2600 BMC. As such, it has a management interface for out-of-band management.
That means we get an updated ASRock MegaRAC IPMI management interface (and Redfish API) solution versus what we saw on the older platforms.
That includes features like HTML5 iKVM functionality included.
Recently, Supermicro made a change to licensing the remote media mounting feature that we covered in: How to Add Virtual Media to a Supermicro Server via HTML5 iKVM Web IPMI Interface. ASRock Rack does not charge for this feature and it is one that many admins use.
The new platform still uses the default username and password of admin / admin, but it now has a requirement to change the password after the first boot:
You can learn more about why this is required so the old ADMIN/ ADMIN credentials will not work in Why Your Favorite Default Passwords Are Changing.
Next, let us get to the performance and our final thoughts.
ASRock Rack 1U4LW-B650/2L2T Performance
On the performance side, the one item we wanted to check for was that the chips were running at full speed, or near full speed. We had AMD Ryzen 9 7900 data from the Falcon Northwest Talon AMD Ryzen 9 7950X workstation we reviewed and wanted to use that as a baseline.
Between the gaming motherboard, DDR5-5600 memory, and such, the gaming platform was faster, but the ASrock Rack server platform was generally only 1-5% off. That is very close.
The AMD Ryzen 9 7900 should be an existential threat to Intel. Just for a quick and easy look, here is Geekbench 5 with this 1U server versus the Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Ultra we just reviewed.
Geekbench 6 is not a good mutli-core benchmark, but here is that look:
For some reference, the 65W Intel Core i9-12900 peaked at much higher power loads as well. The AMD Ryzen 9 7900 would not go above 100W. For a server, that is important since it means it can be deployed into power-constrained environments.
Going beyond just the direct competition, let us take the Intel Xeon D-1749NT we just reviewed. To be fair to that part, the Xeon D-1700 line often has integrated 25GbE and QAT, but the D-1749NT is a 90W TDP part that will use more power than this AMD Ryzen 9 7900 setup.
Here are the Geekbench 5 results:
There are tons of numbers out there for the AMD Ryzen 9 7900. Many are tuned with higher memory speeds like the Falcon Northwest desktop system. At the same time, AMD has a very apparent price/ performance leadership role over Intel, especially once power is factored into the equation.
The one feature we wish AMD had, but it is harder with the DDR5 UDIMM/ RDIMM split, is ECC RDIMM support. ECC RDIMM support would bring it to a different level against the Xeon D series and would effectively be an endgame product (on a price/ performance/ power basis) over Intel’s single socket server line. AMD just has not committed enough to this type of server deployment to support it like Intel does the Xeon E/ W680 platforms and the Xeon D platforms.
We are discussing power consumption, so let us take a look at that.