ASRock Rack 2U4G-ROME/2T Review AMD EPYC and 4x GPU Server

5

ASRock Rack 2U4G-ROME/2T  Test Configuration

For our solution we had a fairly basic configuration:

  • System: ASRock Rack 2U4G-ROME/2T
  • CPU: Multiple AMD EPYC single-socket CPUs (EPYC 7003 and 7002 series)
  • Memory: 8x 32GB DDR4-3200 ECC RDIMMs (256GB total)
  • Networking: 1x NVIDIA-Mellanox ConnectX-6 PCIe Gen4 200GbE, 1x Broadcom OCP dual 25GbE
  • Accelerators: 4x NVIDIA A100 PCIe
  • SSD: 1x 2TB Intel DC P3520, 1x 6.4TB Kioxia CM6

Something that we did want to mention here is that ASRock Rack is not vendor locking CPUs as we find in servers from vendors such as Lenovo and Dell EMC. We covered how AMD PSB Vendor Locks EPYC CPUs for Enhanced Security at a Cost. ASRock Rack has a more eco-friendly design that does not vendor-lock AMD EPYC CPUs to ASRock Rack-only servers. You can learn more about what is happening and why it is important you know if your server vendor is doing this either in that article or in the video below.

Since ASRock Rack is not doing this vendor locking at this time, we are able to look at an array of processor options in our performance testing.

ASRock Rack 1U10E-ROME/2T Management

In our hardware overview, we showed the out-of-band management port. This allows OOB management features such as IPMI but also allows one to get to a management page. ASRock rack seems to be using a lightly skinned MegaRAC SP-X interface. This interface is a more modern HTML5 UI that performs more like today’s web pages and less like pages from a decade ago. We like this change. Here is the dashboard.

ASRock Rack MegaRAC SP X Dashboard
ASRock Rack MegaRAC SP X Dashboard

Going through the options, the ASRock Rack solution seems as though it is following the SP-X package very closely. As a result, we see more of the standard set of features and options.

ASRock Rack MegaRAC SP X System Inventory
ASRock Rack MegaRAC SP X System Inventory

One nice feature is that we get a modern HTML5 iKVM solution. Some other vendors have implemented iKVM HTML5 clients but did not implement virtual media support in them at the outset. ASRock Rack has this functionality as well as power on/ off directly from the window.

ASRock Rack ROMED8 2T IPMI HTML5 IKM BIOS
ASRock Rack IPMI HTML5 IKVM BIOS

Many large system vendors such as HPE, Dell EMC, and Lenovo charge for iKVM functionality. This feature is an essential tool for remote system administration these days. ASRock’s inclusion of the functionality as a standard feature is great for customers who have one less license to worry about.

Beyond the iKVM functionality, there are also remote firmware updates enabled on the platform. You can update the BIOS and BMC firmware directly from the web interface. This is something that Supermicro charges extra for.

ASRock Rack MegaRAC SP X BIOS Update
ASRock Rack MegaRAC SP X BIOS Update

We are going to note that our test system came with a default admin/ admin username and password. It was an international system that ASRock Rack sent us so technically it was not sold in California. Still, we expect to see more random passwords coming to ASRock, and do not be surprised if a platform you purchase has a unique password. We explain why here:

Next, we are going to move onto the performance of the server.

5 COMMENTS

  1. We plan to use this chassis for our new AI stations.
    Would the GPU front risers provide enough space to also fit a 2 and 1/2 slot wide GPU Card with the fans on top like a RTX3090?

  2. Markus,

    I was wondering the same thing as you!

    the HH riser rear cutout also looks like it could take two single width cards.

    in fact I will be surprised if this chassis doesn’t attract a lot of attention from ebtrepid modders changing the riser slots for interesting configurations.

  3. jetlagged,

    I think I have to order one and test it myself.
    At the moment we design the servers for our new AI GPU cluster system and now, since it looks like NVIDIA had successfully removed all the 2 slot wide turbo versions of the RTX3090 with the radial blower design from the delivery chains, it has become very difficult to build affordable space saving servers with lots of “inexpensive” consumer GPU cards.

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