ASRock Rack X470D4U AMD Ryzen Server Motherboards

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ASRock Rack 1U2LW X470 Top Computex 2019
ASRock Rack 1U2LW X470 Top Computex 2019

At Computex 2019, ASRock Rack showed off two AMD Ryzen server motherboards. The ASRock Rack X470D4U and X470D4U2-2L2T both utilize the AMD X470 chipset which means they will also support the new 8 and 12 core 7nm 3rd generation Ryzen parts announced at Computex 2019. ASRock Rack also has the motherboards in a server platform. As a bonus, the company also showed off the ASRock Rack X399D8A-2T which is a X399-based Threadripper server platform.

ASRock Rack X470D4U

The ASRock Rack X470D4U is a mATX platform that sports a socket AM4 along with the AMD X470 chipset. This allows the motherboard to support first, second, and third generation Ryzen parts according to the company. Four DIMM slots provide up to 64GB DDR4 support using 4x 16GB DIMMs and the company says it will support ECC UDIMMs on the platform.

ASRock Rack X470D4U Computex 2019
ASRock Rack X470D4U Computex 2019

Expansion slots are:

  • 1x PCIe Gen3 x16
  • 1x PCIe Gen3 x8
  • 1x PCIe Gen3 x4
  • 1x PCIe Gen2 x1

There are also two M.2 slots. One is a PCIe Gen3 x4 slot. The other is a PCIe Gen3 x2 or SATA slot. Both offer up to M.2 22110 (110mm) support. Networking is provided via dual Intel i210 NICs, the standard entry-level Intel 1GbE NIC.

A big differentiator is the Aspeed AST2500 BMC which provides IPMI and out-of-band management capabilities to the platform via a third (Realtek) NIC.

ASRock Rack X470D4U2-2L2T

The ASRock Rack X470D4U2-2L2T is a close sibling of the X470D4U. It also is a mATX socket AM4 platform based on the AMD X470 chipset.

ASRock Rack X470D4U2 2L2T Computex 2019
ASRock Rack X470D4U2 2L2T Computex 2019

Here one loses the PCIe Gen3 x4 slot but gains dual 10GbE networking via two RJ45 ports and an Intel X557 NIC. We were told there is a BOM option for adding two 1GbE NICs as well for a total of four data ports.

ASRock Rack 1U2LW-X470 1U Ryzen Server

To go along with the two motherboards, the company showed off the ASRock Rack 1U2LW-X470 server. This 1U platform is a cost-optimized solution that uses the ASRock Rack X470D4U from above.

ASRock Rack 1U2LW X470 Top Computex 2019
ASRock Rack 1U2LW X470 Top Computex 2019

The ASRock Rack 1U2LW-X470 uses one of the company’s cost-optimized chassis that is designed for low-cost dedicated hosting nodes. We have seen this chassis power a few other ASRock Rack servers. If you read our ASRock Rack Intel Xeon E-2100 Motherboards Spotted piece, you will see the same chassis and layout used in the similar Intel Xeon E-2100 series platforms. This gives customers the ability to use both AMD and Intel in the same chassis with the same layout.

Why the AMD X470 Chipset

We asked why the AMD X470 chipset. We were told that the new AMD X570 uses enough additional power that in these server platforms it would have likely needed to have an active cooler. The AMD X470 is a cooler chipset.

ASRock Rack X470D4U2 2L2T X470 Chipset Computex 2019
ASRock Rack X470D4U2 2L2T X470 Chipset Computex 2019

For those hoping for a 500 series AMD chipset, it seems you are out of luck for now. Our sense is that if ASRock Rack sees success with this platform, and AMD comes out with a lower-power chipset like a B550 or similar, then we may see an updated motherboard. Until then, if you want a Ryzen-based server, this is the top option out there.

That is, of course, unless you wanted Ryzen Threadripper servers.

ASRock Rack X399D8A-2T Ryzen Threadripper Server Motherboard

For those who want to be able to scale up to 32 cores, at higher frequencies, and do not need key features such as RDIMM support from AMD EPYC, the ASRock Rack X399D8A-2T is the ATX size AMD Ryzen Threadripper server motherboard answer.

ASRock Rack X399D8A 2T Computex 2019
ASRock Rack X399D8A 2T Computex 2019

On the ASRock Rack X399D8A-2T, one can find a full 8 DIMM slots for quad channel memory. Using 8x 16GB DDR4 DIMMs one can get up to 128GB of RAM and the company says it will support ECC UDIMMs. PCIe expansion is listed as:

  • 3x PCIe Gen3 x16
  • 2x PCIe Gen3 x8
  • 1x PCIe Gen3 x4

In addition, there are two PCIe Gen3 x4 slots with one supporting SATA. Networking is provided via two RJ45 ports with 10GbE from an Intel X550 NIC. The key feature here is the Aspeed AST2500 BMC for IPMI and out-of-band management.

Final Words

These are interesting platforms. The ASRock Rack X470D4U motherboards supporting AMD Ryzen chips add a new dimension. As we found out, the Intel Xeon E-2200 8-core refresh this week was only for workstations and the Intel Xeon E-2200 will re-launching for servers in August 2019. If ASRock Rack gets its X470 motherboards in the market it will enjoy higher core counts than Intel parts using the second generation Ryzen in the short term. It will even have 50% more cores than the Intel Xeon E-2288G when it is launched in about three months with the Ryzen 9 3900X. That is a big deal.

For markets with Intel CPU shortages, having an AMD Ryzen alternative helps tremendously as well.

On the AMD Ryzen Threadripper side, the ASRock Rack X399D8A-2T immediately struck me at a personal level. As my Threadripper workstation ages, I looked at the ASRock Rack X399D8A-2T and thought “there is a way to get my Threadripper CPU into a server later.” If you simply want a high core count and high-frequency CPU, at sub $850 these days, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X costs about half of an AMD EPYC 7371. Not everyone needs the extra RAM capacity and PCIe lanes, especially in ATX, and the two NUMA node design is better.

Time will tell if these are successful products, but they are surely unique and products we are interested to see if they gain traction in the market.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting boards! Have those actually been certified by ASRock to be PCIE Gen 4 compliant on all slots for the new 7nm Ryzen?

  2. Is ECC supported on all Ryzen CPUs or just the Ryzen pro CPUs? It is kind of an important distinction since the Ryzen pro CPUs don’t seem to exist in the normal retail channels or maybe at all.

  3. Officially Ryzen or Ryzen PRO does not support ECC, other than Threadripper that supports ECC (see AMD website). How is this situation? I need ECC support to be official from the manufacturer.

  4. @FredeBR Ryzen works with unregistered ECC DIMMs. But AMD does not ‘support’ it. If you must have supported platform then you get to pay AMD more for EPYC. That’s business.

  5. I like that Threadripper board. Real heatsinks and 10GbE! The out of band management is a deal clincher.

  6. Any word of power consumption on the base X470D4U and is PCI-E 4 supported with the X470 chipset?

  7. @Wolvez Ryzen does work fine with ECC, but not officially supported. AMD has said this themselves. I have many servers with the ASRockRack boards for Ryzen and ECC memory and they have all worked flawlessly for many months.

  8. Thanks @emerth for the attention. I’ve actually been thinking about Epyc, it has support for ECC and RAS. But I’m seeing the niche of entry workstation / servers to use for math simulations, the requirements are high frequency and reasonable amount of cores (8 cores min), which would be Xeon E-2278G and the side of AMD (Ryzen PRO 3900? ).
    The problem with Ryzen is that I have not found a review stating categorically that it supports ECC running in production (assertions like windows does not recognize ECC support enabled) so there is no guarantee that ECC is up and running on windows .
    I would like to suggest to the authors that they please do a review with Ryzen (2800, 3800, 3900) and the ASRock X470D4U workstation boards, ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE, and also analyze how the ECC works.
    Could @Michael also show us a review of the ECC’s operation at Ryzen?

  9. We have had the X470D4U in the lab for a few weeks! Standard Ryzen and Threadripper (non-Pro SKUs) work reliably with ECC UDIMMs out of box. However, it is up to the motherboard manufacturer to properly support ECC. ASRock does a great job supporting Zen ECC on their server and consumer boards. Our X470D4U is equipped with a Ryzen 2700 and 2x16GB 2667 ECC UDIMMs. Similarly, our ECC Threadripper is built on the ASRock Fatal1ty X399 motherboard with a Threadripper 1950x and 4x16GB 2667 ECC UDIMMs. Both systems are stable and using ECC. The Crucial 16GB ECC UDIMMs we use are dual rank, but run turnkey at 2667 (previously 2400) after updating the X470D4U BIOS to version 3.04. Yes, Ryzen and Threadripper work well and reliably with ECC, but only on motherboards that support it!

  10. Thanks @Andrew Galloway for the info. I am evaluating to build a workstation for mathematical simulations, which do intense load of cpu, to meet requirements of high frequency and reasonable amount of cores, I am analyzing the releases of Xeon E-2278G and Ryzen 3700, 3900. You verified if Windows recognized the ECC support enabled? Can you simulate scenarios where the ECC is really working?

  11. Thanks @Stuart for having passed this link with more detailed information about the ws x570-ace board from Asus.
    I also hope to see a future review of @Patrick Kennedy on the ws x570-ace and X470D4U boards with ryzen 7 3700 and 3900. Showing mainly the active ECC functionality, in a simulation running error corrections, and recognized by Windows and Linux systems. It will be an unpublished review for Ryzen.

  12. Thank you for the review. However, it’s a shame that X399D8A-2T is not available for sale yet as I really need new botherboard for my homelab and this fits perfectly. I am hoping it would be priced similar to the consumer motherboard available today and not over the top.

  13. Some online store called Prowess Computing lists the X399D8A-2T as a special order at $615(!), which seems a little rich. I think I’ll wait for the “bigger” online retailers and see what they charge — I’m hoping it’s closer to $500.

  14. An important thing to note is that ECC is NOT supported on certain models of Ryzen.
    I checked some ASROCK X470 motherboard specifications and ECC isn’t supported for Picasso and Raven Ridge processors.

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