ASRock Rack Shows off its Knights Landing System at IDF 2016

ASRock Rack 2U4N-F X200 node and system
ASRock Rack 2U4N-F X200 node and system

ASRock has been aggressively marketing its Intel Knights Landing rackmount systems. The ASRock Rack 2U4N-F X200 is a in 2U design that supports Intel Omni-Path networking in a high density form factor.

With Knights Landing (KNL) the multi-core processor is now bootable. This means that the large chip is now the primary component in each compute node. We have seen great interest in the 4 node in 2U form factors due to their popularity. The designs also have significant development behind their cooling. The KNL chips use about twice the power of an Intel Xeon E5-2600 V4. During systems development from ASRock Rack and other vendors a major hurdle to bringing these systems to market has been cooling. There is less surface area for a heatsink than with a PCIe add-on card. In 1U/ node height form factors that means that total heatsink size is extremely limited. As a result, ASRock Rack is using copper in their passive heatsink along with ample fans to keep the KNL chips cool.

ASRock Rack 2U4N-F X200 node and system
ASRock Rack 2U4N-F X200 node and system


Since the systems are bootable, the ASRock Rack 2U4N-F X200 also has 4x 2.5″ hot swap bays per node. This allows for local SSD storage to cache data for the KNL processors and/ or act as boot media.

Overall we are extremely excited about this class of systems. The developer machines have been popular due to the accessibility of the form factor but the 2U / 4 node designs are going to be the bulk of KNL Xeon Phi deployments. You can stop by the ASRock Rack booth for more information on the

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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.


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