ASRock Releases a Dual Xeon Double-Sided Hybrid Storage Server

ASRock Barebones Server
ASRock Barebones Server

This week at CeBIT 2013 ASRock released a dual Intel Xeon storage server with double-sided hybrid storage. ASRock is known for making high-quality consumer motherboards as well as higher-end workstation motherboards. In fact, we previewed the ASRock X79 Extreme11 several months ago. This week at CeBIT 2013 ASRock is launching its first 2U dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 series motherboard and server platform. As desktop shipments are set to decline for the industry again in 2013, manufacturers such as ASRock are gearing up to take on the lucrative server market with new offerings.

The New ASRock Dual Xeon Storage Server

Powering the new server is the ASRock EP2C602-2T2OS6/D16 with dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 sockets, Intel X540 10 gigabit LAN and a LSI SAS2308 controller. That combination draws upon some of today’s top of the line embedded components making this a fairly high-end offering.

ASRock Barebones Server
ASRock Barebones Server


ASRock has a somewhat unique configuration in that it houses 6x 2.5″ storage bays in the rear of the chassis as well as 12x 3.5″ storage bays in the front of the chassis. The backplane for the 12x 3.5″ storage bays has a LSI SAS 2×20 SAS expander so it appears as though ASRock is driving most if not all of the storage through the LSI SAS2308 SAS/ SATA controller. The configuration also allows a user to have the 3.5″ disks handle mass storage while the SSDs can be used for hypervisor installations or cache drives for rotating storage.

ASRock Barebones Server
ASRock Barebones Server

One other area where ASRock appears to be innovating is in terms of the side-by-side CPU layout with the low profile PCI Express card slots lining up in the middle of the chassis. From what we can see there are a total of eight DIMM slots per Intel Xeon E5-2600 series LGA2011 socket for a total of 16 DIMM slots in the server.


Overall, the double-sided hybrid storage server idea by ASRock is fairly unique. The selection of high-end components is generally an indicator that the system is targeted at higher-end applications. Hopefully we will get more information on ASRock’s new server platform and plans in the near future. Stay tuned.


  1. Those six rear drives are going to be bathed in nice warm air… or baked in an Xeon-powered convection oven – take your pick of descriptions depending on whether you work for marketing or engineering.

    If used as a storage server with a single relatively low power CPU this would not be an issue, but if you do install two fast CPUs and lots of RAM then I’d be a bit worried about the heat. Perhaps there is a shield, not shown in the photos, that routes most of the airflow through the CPU fans and away from the rear disks?

  2. Dunno w. ssd the 2.5″ prob fine.

    Are those your photos from an in lab server or are they stock? If stock they should have you guys do their product photos.

  3. The SSD’s produce rather tiny amounts of heat and the fact that there will be good positive airflow, I don’t see any issues.
    What is either missing or poorly thought of is the CPU heatsinks are 1U style when the Intel factory 2U+ HSF’s would work allowing direct cooling. There maybe a shroud that we cant see to force more air down over the DIMM’s.
    ASrock is part of ASUS who already produce server gear at a better cost than some of the other players on the market. ASRock also are the OEM manufacturer for MSI and ECS while being part of the ASUS.
    I would like to see the price tag on these bad-boys.

  4. What a pleasant surprise, this is great for ZFS setups, with this you don’t need to jam the internal SSDs inside the case at wrong angles.

    2 of these 2U can be an good alternative over the 4U 36/45bays chassis out there.

    Those 50 ton 4u boxes loaded with disks are just impossible to move from the top of the rack without a fork lift.

  5. Great review and an interesting chassis,

    The only issue I have is that I’ve always thought ASRock was an awful name, I know it’s decent budget kit and they have progressed well in the market and actually surpass Asus with some models, but what a truly awful name.

  6. Does anyone know when this will be available? And does anyone know the model number of the 2U case? or of a similiar case (With a combination of 2.5″ & 3.5″ hotswap bays)?


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