ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T Management
The out-of-band management is the standout feature of this motherboard and is handled by the ASPEED AST2500. Full KVM support is included out of the box, along with the ability to perform BIOS and BMC upgrades from within the web GUI.
The KVM is available via HTML5 or Java, and one small perk over the Supermicro HTML5 client is the ability to easily mount CD/DVD ISO media directly from the HTML5 KVM client. Since the inclusion of the BMC is the defining feature of this motherboard, executing this feature well is a must and the solution on the X570D4I-2T mostly works well and does not require any additional licensing for full functionality.
New to the X570D4I-2T over the X470 predecessors is the ability to access the BIOS settings themselves via the BMC. However, the remote BIOS never updated itself to recognize the CPU and memory configuration actually installed on our board. Additionally, the remote BIOS only presents a subset of the options available in the full preboot BIOS. I would consider this a work-in-progress feature and perhaps it will improve in the future.
Additionally, the BMC exhibited the same slow transfer speeds for mounted media that the X470 series boards demonstrated on both the HTML5 and Java iKVM clients. Despite the BMC itself being linked to the network at 1GbE rates, transfer speeds were still very slow. There is some improvement over the X470 boards; a standard installation of Windows Server 2019 over the HTML5 client only took around an hour and a half to complete, where the X470 boards took nearly four. Confusingly, when I performed a file copy speed test after the OS was installed the transfer rate was even slower than the X470D4U that came before and seemed like it was artificially limited to 1.39 MB/s.
As a sanity check, I performed the same test on an older Supermicro X10SRL-F board which ran at above 6 MB/s, so even in the context of other ASPEED BMC implementations, the ASRock Rack remote media is slow.
Thankfully though, ASRock Rack has adjusted the default number of remote media instances to a more reasonable number than they previously used on their X470 boards; this mitigates the previous problem of inability to boot to local USB media while the IPMI interface is connected. Kudos here for the small quality of life fix!
Overall, this is a fairly standard MegaRAC SP-X management solution. Having the ability to utilize remote iKVM on the platform as well as perform tasks such as remote power cycling and use management tools is a key feature of this platform.
ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T Test Configuration
Here is the basic test configuration we used:
- System: ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
- Memory: 2x 16GB DDR4-2666 ECC SO-DIMMs
- OS SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB
One question we had when deciding how to equip the X570D4I-2T was whether it would truly handle the Ryzen 9 3950X, given the constrained heatsinks on both the chipset and VRMs. Once we ensured adequate airflow over those components, we encountered no further stability issues.
ASRock Rack X570D4I-2T Server OS Testing
Like the X470D4U before it, the X570D4I-2T only claims official support for Windows 10, Ubuntu 16.04.4, and RHEL 7.3/7.4. Just as before, we undertook the task of testing various other operating systems that are not on this list. This testing is not comprehensive; operating systems were installed and tested for basic functionality but not much more. Potential purchasers would want to verify their particular OS and applications work on this platform before investing in the widespread deployment of this solution. With that said, we were able to install and operate the following list of operating systems without issue:
- Windows 10 x64 1909
- Windows Server 2019
- Ubuntu 20.04.4
- CentOS 8.1.1911
- VMware ESXi 6.7 Update 3
- FreeNAS 11.3-U2
Next, we are going to discuss performance and power consumption before getting to our final thoughts on the platform.