ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T AMD Ryzen Server in mITX

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ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Top View
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Top View

Today we are looking at the ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T. This board is somewhat of an X570-based successor to the X470D4U and X470D4U2-2T that we previously covered, though the shift to a mini-ITX form factor throws a curveball into that comparison. Similar to the X470 boards before it, ASRock Rack is making a case for Ryzen as a server processor, boasting higher core counts than Intel’s low-end Xeon chips and the unofficial ECC memory support baked into the desktop Ryzen processors. The original X470 boards were innovative, and perhaps a little bit weird, and the X570D4I-2T continues both of those traditions. As a result of the mITX form factor and 3rd gen Ryzen support, we decided to put together a 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X powered X570 server platform.

ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T Overview

The ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T is a mITX motherboard measuring 6.7” x 6.7”. In that form factor, you get the AM4 socket which accepts Ryzen 3000 series CPUs.

ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Socket AM4
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Socket AM4

The Ryzen CPUs provide dual-channel memory support, and the board has four slots accepting unbuffered ECC DDR4 at speeds up to DDR4-2933. However, since this is a mITX board the memory slots are SODIMM slots rather than full-size DIMMs; while this is not unheard of for mITX server platforms, it is still somewhat unusual. Full-size DIMM slots would be too large for this platform so this decision makes sense.

ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T SODIMMs
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T SODIMMs

The X570D4I-2T is built upon the AMD Socket AM4 platform and features the X570 chipset. Normally AM4 sockets support a wide range of CPUs available at different core counts, but this board is a bit different. The X570D4I-2T has a very limited list of CPUs on its official support list; thus far only the original Ryzen 3000 SKUs are supported, ranging from the 4-core APUs to the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X. Noted as absent are the 4-core 3100 and 3300X chips, the newer XT chips, and any of the Renoir 4000 series CPUs. Also excluded from this list are any of the 1000 or 2000 series Ryzen CPUs.

X570D4I 2T CPU Support
X570D4I 2T CPU Support

It is possible that some of the other Ryzen CPUs would work even today, and future BIOS revisions might add official support, but we tested a Ryzen 7 2700 and it did not work. Even with the smaller list of compatible 3000 series chips, there is still a wide range of available CPU core counts to drop into this board. Looking to the future, the X570 chipset is slated to receive support from AMD’s future Zen 3 based CPUs as well, which may extend the service life of board.

ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T PCIe And Heatsink
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T PCIe And Heatsink

Thanks to the upgrade to the X570 chipset, this motherboard is capable of PCIe Gen4 speeds. PCIe connectivity is provided in four places; the onboard x16 slot, the M.2 slot operating at x4, and the two OCuLink connectors that can each operate at x4. The x16 and M.2 slots are connected directly to the PCIe lanes on the CPU, while the OCuLink ports connect through the X570 chipset and share an x4 uplink to the CPU. According to the BIOS, the x16 slot also supports bifurcation down to x4/x4/x4/x4, but this is not something we verified.

X570D4I 2T PCIe Bifurcation
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T PCIe Bifurcation

If SATA storage is more your style, the OCuLink ports also support 4x SATA3 drives each. In our review sample, no OCuLink cables of any kind were included, though retail boards may be different. Interestingly, ASRock Rack has provided a header and included cabling allowing the motherboard to directly power up to 6 SATA drives; this is somewhat similar to how systems built around the ATX12VO specification will power drives in the future.

ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Storage USB Front And Fans
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Storage USB Front And Fans

Rear I/O is even more limited than the X470 boards that came before; as before there are only two USB 3.0 ports, but the serial port has been dropped. The VGA output and dedicated NIC for the ASPEED AST2500 are both still present, and still represent the defining feature of this board. Lastly, the X570D4I-2T sports two 10GbE connections powered by an Intel X550-AT2 controller.

ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Rear IO
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T Rear IO

That ASPEED AST2500 is the baseboard management controller and is one of the two defining features of this motherboard, along with the dual 10Gbase-T networking. The BMC allows out of band management of the system, full remote KVM, and mounting of virtual media over the network.

ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T ASPEED BMC And M.2
ASRock Rack X570D4I 2T ASPEED BMC And M.2

Many of STH’s readers will be familiar with the ASPEED brand of BMC. ASPEED is commonly used on Inspur, Supermicro, Gigabyte, and other vendor boards. We also see them used in hyper-scale servers. An example is when we covered how Facebook Introduces Next-Gen Cooper Lake Intel Xeon Platforms. Its inclusion on a Ryzen board is very nearly unique at this point in time. If you need IPMI support from a Ryzen-based platform to be able to deploy and manage the server remotely, the offerings from ASRock Rack are essentially the only options around.

Next, we are going to deep-dive into the cooling of this platform since that is a topic on its own.

41 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm, I wonder if one could fashion a liquid cooled DIY 1U2N server out of this. I mean it would require a lot of case fabrication, but hey.

  2. what about for support on 4750g apu ??

    with some beta bios is 4750g apu also supported on old deskmini a300.

    with 4750g you dont need gpu-card if you want to build kind of htpc

  3. erik,
    You do not need a GPU card for this motherboard regardless of which CPU you install, because the BMC includes a basic video card. The Renoir APUs are not supported, though it is possible they may work – we did not test them since they are not the target market for this system.

  4. Thanks for reviewing these niche Ryzen products!
    They may be niche, but in that DIY niche they are IMHO absolute amazing solutions.
    Cheers!

  5. Small request to the STH guys or anyone who owns this board: Would it be possible to measure out the available space between the RAM slots and the lower heatsink + between the casing of the Ethernet ports and the chipset heatsink?

    Seems like a very interesting part, but the limitations with cooling solutions could be problematic in many instances. Was thinking in particular about the NH-L9x65 and NH-L9i by Noctua, both 95mm in width and length. Looks like a close call, though.

  6. I want to go with:
    – Streacom F7C Alpha or F1C Evo ( without optics )
    – NH-L9i
    – 4x M474A4G43MB1-CTD ( 32G ECC UDIMM, afaik there is even no 32G UDIMM nonECC modules )
    – 3900X ( cTDP 65W )
    – Streacom Nano160 Fanless PSU ( 150W )
    – 2x 1TB nvme + m.2 pcie adapter

    I am not sure about cooling… Any ideas?

    I have both streacom cases ( F1C Evo with custom 60×60 outake fan, Streacom F7C 80×80 and 60×60 custom fan )

    Is F1C Evo too small for proper cooling ?

    Thanks

  7. Lukas,
    I’ve never used any Streacom cases, but I’ve looked at pictures of them. I’m having trouble visualizing the airflow, but neither looks like it would provide enough if the system was fully loaded. You need solid front-to-back airflow over the entire board in order to effectively cool the chipset in particular. Additionally, 150W will not cut it with a 3900X on there; it *will* go over budget and your PSU will not keep up. This board is made for servers, not small workstations or HTPCs, so you might be better served with a consumer mITX board.

    Marc,
    I still have the board, so I can measure if you like. Send me a message on the forums (https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?members/willtaillac.26196/) and I’ll do my best. Take a look at this picture as well – https://i.imgur.com/eBSC8rv.png – blue is the chipset, yellow is the VRMs, red is (presumably) the 10 GbE NIC.

  8. Awsome review Will, again.
    What exact ram stick were you using and have you tried to run them on 3000 or 3200mhz?

  9. Would be good to include 7302P and 7402P numbers in the benchmarks, so that folks can compare the EPYC chips vs Ryzen/Threadripper. As pointed out in the article, the Ryzen/TR chips don’t have official VMware support (and other OS support as well) so it is good to know whether the difference in performance is not large and hence one would lean towards EYPC if OS/ESXi support is key …

  10. Drew,
    I installed Windows Server 2019 just fine. What issues have you encountered?

    gylk,
    The sticks we had were 2666, so we did not try and run them at anything above that. I don’t remember the exact model sticks and I’m away from my test kit for the moment!

  11. Nice looking board and big kudos for separate ECC Memory paragraph! Usually something man does not see around. Thanks!

  12. Awesome! I wonder if an 80mm fan would be stable on a passive CPU heatsink… But mounting a couple fans to the front looks like it would cool the chipset heatsink well.
    Thanks!

  13. Wow, I love this board and i’d like to build a compact but powerful router. Reality is I doubt i can get it shipped on my country at a reasonable price. Loved the review anyway.

  14. INITIALLY, I built the following:

    Fractal Design Core 500 Black
    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 GA, 220-GA-0750-X1
    X570D4I-2T, purchased on Newegg
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    64GB Kit 2 x 32GB DDR4-2933 PC4-23400 ECC Sodimm: 9SIA7S6BAF9355 (Newegg) (with space for 64 GB more)
    be quiet! BK009 PURE ROCK CPU Cooler – 150W TDP
    WD Black 250GB High-Performance NVMe PCIe Internal – M.2 2280, 8 Gb/s – WDS250G2X0C
    and:
    Corsair Processor Cooler Mounting Kit Cooling CW-8960010
    My favorite features:
    2x 10Gbe RJ-45
    IPMI
    16 cores, 32 threads
    UP TO 128GB of ECC RAM
    All for under $2000 bnib.

    It has been chillin’ in my basement for a few days now. So far, I love it.

    My most recent upgrade has been to replace that bequiet! with a H80i push/pull liquid aio. Temps dropped by 20F and do not fluctutate.

    ESXi is super stable.

    Ask me anything over here or ping me on the forums.

  15. Hi Will, thanks for reviewing this board. Eight SATA for bulk storage and up to five x4 NVME, and dual 10 Gb Ethernet. What’s not to like.

  16. For everyone asking about Renoir APUs: You need a later AGESA version, if the BIOS notes say they have a AGESAv2, it supports Renoir.

  17. Be careful, I have this card for a week, but I am struggling with the ram which does not work in Dual Channel. (crucial CT16G4SFD832A.16FE1). I am in contact with AsrockRack support (which is very good) but, not yet found a solution

  18. Successfully using this board with FreeNAS 11.3-U4 for a personal NAS.

    Using a Ryzen 5 3600 with a Noctua NH-L9i, (2x) Kingston KSM26SED8/16ME ECC RAM modules, a NVMe SSD and (4x) SATA HDD in RAID-Z2.
    I had to remove the original back-plate to install my 115x CPU cooler.

    The UEFI has plenty of options to work with. I especially like the ability to set CPU power and temperature limits.

    This board requires good case airflow, both the X570 chipset and X550 NIC easily get hot and run around 60°C in my experience.

    dmidecode, wmic and Memtest86 all report multi-bit ECC is enabled.

    I had a weird but reproducible issue with the board though during testing where Windows 10 2004 installed on a SATA SDD would systematically crash after about 10 to 15 minutes and render the SATA interface unavailable until a full power cycle is performed. Ubuntu 20.04 worked without problem under the same circumstances, and Windows 10 2004 installed on the same SATA SDD but bridged over USB also worked without a problem. There’s something definitely wrong here with Windows 10 and the SATA interface, but I couldn’t easily investigate because kernel dumps could not be written to the drive precisely because the SATA interface failed in the first place.
    In the end it’s not bothering me since the board is running FreeNAS, but it raises questions to say the least.

  19. Jack,
    You are braver than I if you removed the backplate. Mine seemed quite firmly attached with a good amount of some sort of adhesive. I briefly attempted but my attempts were causing the entire PCB to flex. Maybe there is some variety in how securely the backplate is stuck to the system? Or did you have to use some trick to get it off? Removing that backplate would likely open up compatibility with a large number of 115x coolers.

  20. Will,
    The backplate seemed to be firmly glued to the board on first look, but one of the four corners was giving more than the others under finger pressure. Gently working from there with caution, there wasn’t a backplate anymore a minute later. One of the M3 thumbscrews that came with my cooler helped in getting a better hold of the backplate on occasions.

  21. Nice review! How did you generate the NUMA diagram on page 2 with all the caches, cores, and PCI lanes? Is there an application to get the data and generate the diagram automatically? Thank you!

  22. one potential cooling solution that I have used is a passive dynatron copper heatsink with a 140mm noctua fan mounted directly on top of the dynatron. It effectively cools both the cpu and chipset as well as most of the other components. It still allows for clearance for a dual 100GE nic which we are using for this custom build.

  23. just tried using the m3 x 20mm trick and was able to use a noctua nh-l12s without any issues. I haven’t tested thermals on it yet but at least the fit is ok. pm me with any questions.

  24. Hi, thanks for the great review. That board is a really good option for a homeserver. I’m wondering if anyone has tested debian yet?

  25. Karim,
    Just installed Debian 10.5 (debian-10.5.0-amd64-netinst.iso) from a USB stick to a USB HDD.
    Graphical install works, X550-AT2 networking works, GNOME desktop works.

  26. Observer,
    I didn’t test Unraid, but others have used it on X570 platforms in the past so no reason to suspect it won’t work.
    Your other question seems easier to answer; nope. In addition to the CPU socket being surrounded on three sides by relatively tall components, that case is fanless, which means no airflow, which means your chipset and VRMs are both likely to overheat.

  27. Hi. Can any one help to verify if any 32gb non ecc sodimm ram can be used? I know it is not in the qvl, but want to check.

  28. I did some search, but looks like there is serious problem on cooler. You should buy specific model in qvl. And it is extremely difficult to buy or find the cooler and build will be quite challenging.

    Unfortunately this review does not provide any alternative or which model use.
    I think this review is not helpful at all.

  29. I can report a couple of things. PCIE bifurcation works, I have a gen4 Hyper M.2 Card connected via a Gen4 PCIE Riser with 4x Gen4 2TB Inland SSD’s. All show up in proxmox and are in a ZFS RAID 10. I am having stability issues unfortunately that are always memory related page faults in Proxmox. I’m using the 128GB (4x 32GB) M474A4G43MB1-CTD on the Memory QVL, but I either have a bad stick or have a PSU issue. Currently Memtesting each stick individually to see if one is bad. Also have a much beefier PSU on order. using a 500w AthenaPower PSU with a 3950x, but its got 2 separate 12V rails at 20A each. I’ve already ordered an 850w PSU with a single 12v Rail at 70A to hopefully resolve the issue if no sticks are bad. Also can’t get the RAM to even show that ECC is enabled, despite enabling it in BIOS.

  30. Really interesting, I also have stability problems with the modules in dual chanel (crucial CT16G4SFD832A.16FE1 on the Memory QVL). I don’t think the problem is memory, it’s more of a bios problem. I advise you to contact AsrockRack support (which is very responsive). They’ve already sent me 3 different bios, but I’m still having issues.

  31. update: I tested two new ECC memory modules (KSM26SED8 / 16ME) and I no longer have any boot or stability problems. (tested over 1 hour of OCCT)

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