ASRock Rack ROMED8-2T Review an ATX AMD EPYC Platform

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ASRock Rack ROMED8-2T 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 ROMED8 2T IPMI Dashboard
ASRock Rack ROMED8 2T IPMI 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 ROMED8 2T IPMI Settings
ASRock Rack ROMED8 2T IPMI Settings

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 ROMED8 2T IPMI HTML5 IKVM BIOS

Many large system vendors such as Dell EMC, HPE, 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.

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, let us look at the test configuration before getting to performance.

ASRock Rack ROMED8-2T Test Configuration

For this test we utilized the following setup:

  • System: ASRock Rack ROMED8-2T
  • CPU: AMD EPYC 7702P
  • RAM: 8x 32GB DDR4-3200 ECC RDIMMs
  • Storage: 2x Intel DC S3710 400GB (OS), 2x Intel DC S3700 800GB data (via miniSASHD breakout cable)

We just wanted to note here that this system will handle most of the CPUs in the line. With a 225W maximum TDP, that leaves the AMD EPYC 7H12AMD EPYC 7F72, and AMD EPYC 7F52 as the publicly available parts that have default TDP of over 225W. We also think that the system is likely to be used primarily with “P” series parts which offer large discounts for single-socket only operation.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.8
Performance
9.5
Feature Set
9.9
Value
9.6
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Patrick,

    Is the ASRock Rack ROMED6U-2L2T slated for review at some point?

    We have a couple on the way here shortly as Micro-ATX is perfect for a small cluster node application.

    Thanks for the great articles. It’s great to see objectivity like this as it builds trust. 🙂

    Philip

  2. Just started coming to this site regularly since I put a rack in my basement. Really like the content!

    Anyone have power consumption numbers for this board with a low-end EPYC chip? I want something I could load up with RAM, but not something that idles at 100+ watts.

  3. On the AsRockRack website are CPUs with over 225W TDP listed in the supported CPU list. Are they compatible or just with extra airflow over the VRMs? What’s correct?

  4. i would like to know 2 things:

    – case used to house the board ? is it server rack case, used with air shrouder ??

    – how hot get CPUVRM when cpu is fully loaded at all cores ??

  5. I think there is a one small problem – and it’s with the name of this motherboard.

    ASRock Rack has already a motherboard named ROMED8-2T, and it has 4 PCIe 3.0 X16 and 3 PCIe 3.0 X8 and it’s for both ROME and Naples CPU’s (7001 & 7002 series).

    This board has the same name, and it’s a pity that they didn’t change it, so if you plan to buy this board, then MAKE SURE you’ll getting this one and not the older one.

  6. Patrick,

    You mention that this MB only support 1 DIMM per channel, but you don’t have any test which compare memory performance against ‘standard’ server MBs.

    Perhaps you could post an update with a comparison?

  7. hi there,

    thanks for the great review! I bought this board few weeks ago and there is one big trouble currently: neither bios nor ipmi lets me configure fan controls. Talked tomasrock already, they promised new firmware until, well, yesterday. now they told me it is going to be tuesday, we will see. right now all fans run at full speed and dont make use of any thermal management.

    did you guys experience something alike?

    cheers

  8. As the first person in Europe who got this board more than 2 months ago. Have to say I’m not super impressed. The fact they advertise Thunderbolt support and there is a TB header on the notherboard but it does not work at all and I made AsrockRack aware of this months ago and they seem to try and suppress this glaring issue. (I also have TRX40 Creator where they advertised Thunderbolt support but then removed it from website and BIOS (i still have the BIOS that contains a whole optuons page with Thunderbolt options.)

    Have to say I have been very disappointed by Asrock lately, and I used to be a hughe fan.

  9. I don’t see thunderbolt on their site for this or in the review. It’s an AMD platform so i wouldn’t expect it to have TB support. Intel has only certified a very small set of AMD for TB right?

  10. So they also removed it from their website now which reinforces my point. I have the printed manual that came with the motherboard that states TB support and also with all respect I have the motherboard in my hand You don’t. Why would Asrock go through all the trouble and implement a physical header on the motherboard and in the BIOS named Thunderbolt and then try to.erase it from the website?! Time for my EU commisary to investigate.

  11. I always get asrock if possible for any build, and they again show they are on top with their Motherboards, propped full of features pushing the limits of all the form factors. Hope to see the 2p ROME2D16-2T next!

  12. Thanks for the review. When I build my next system it will be with this motherboard. My own AI workstation.

  13. @Mario I am also facing the same problem, that there does not seem to be any fan control in either bios or ipmi…..
    For now plugging them to PSU, but thats one loud box now…

  14. Do you have access to linux drivers, firmware or an updated BIOS for this board? BIOS P1.10 sees the one SATA drive, the Boot menu sees the SATA drive, Windows sees the SATA drive, but Debian does not. I use Debian 10 (Buster) stable with kernel 5.6 from backports with linux-firmware (including non-free). Everything, including Debian, sees and installs on the two nvme sticks on the motherboard.

  15. Probably a stupid question but I’ll ask anyway. With Zen three coming out, will this board be compatible or should I be patient and wait? Really want to set it up with Milan!

  16. Also, with 8 dimm channels, would I benefit from filling all slots and dispersing the memory in say, 128gb segments at 1tb vs 4 256gb ram? Cost prohibitive!

  17. I have this motherboard and after 2 months one of the 10gb ethernet ports went out (totally dead – no lights etc even though driver still sees port). Asrock won’t do a cross-ship which means I’m down for weeks on my server. I stuck an Intel X520 card I had in to cover me and am now debating what to do. Sort of disappointed in Asrock for not offering to cross-ship a $600 motherboard and wondering if quality control is not up to snuff. This was my first venture away from Supermicro and I’m regretting it.

  18. Hello Longreen – Do you know what BIOS version has Thunderbolt in it? Is it still on the latest version but not working?

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