ASRock Rack has two new motherboards for the Intel Xeon D-1700 series, codenamed Ice Lake-D. We almost missed this announcement. These are also the first we have seen that support triple channel memory. The launch seems to be more of the platforms, rather than specific SKUs, but these are really interesting motherboards.
ASRock Rack D1700D6U-4T4O Motherboard Launched
The ASRock Rack D1700D6U-4T4O is an mATX motherboard with a lot of networking. There are four network ports onboard and the official specs say they are 4x SFP28 but for 10GbE, not 25GbE. There are also four 10Gbase-T ports via the X557-AT4.
These are platform announcements, so in theory, these can come with different Ice Lake-D SKUs. Still, there are six DDR4 DIMM slots since the Ice Lake-D series supports triple channel memory.
Rounding out I/O we get a PCIe Gen4 x16 slot, a Gen3 x8 slot, and two Gen3 M.2 slots (although one is shared with the SATA ports.) The Gen4 x16 slot shares lanes with two SlimSAS ports so one can choose to have 16/0/0, 8/0/8, or 0/8/8 configurations with the PCIe x16 and two SlimSAS ports.
ASRock Rack D1700D6U-4Q Motherboard Launched
At first, you may think that the ASRock Rack D1700D6U-4Q has less networking than the -4T4O model, but that is not the case. This mATX motherboard is also built on the D1700D6U platform, but it does not have the 10Gbase-T ports. Instead, the four SFP28 ports run at up to 25GbE speeds.
The expansion slots and even triple channel memory are the same with this platform as the 10GbE version so we are not going to cover those again. We can simply see the 10Gbase-T portion is removed.
Aside from the ASPEED AST2500 BMC, there are a few notable features on the boards themselves. First, the M.2 slots are stacked one atop another. Second, there is not an ATX 24-pin power connector, instead, this is powered via two 8-pin power connectors.
Overall, there is a lot here when it comes to the new platforms. These two boards seem based on a similar motherboard design with the biggest difference being the networking. This is more ASRock Rack showing a platform that customers (usually buying at least few hundred of these) can order specific SKUs on. Hopefully, we get some retail versions as well as they would undoubtedly become popular for many smaller deployments. In fact, we almost missed these. The way we found them was actually that ASRock Rack was advertising them based on a banner on the STH site and I asked Patrick if we have covered them. STH has a seperate marketing firm so the live banners were the first time we found out about the products. That also tells us that there is probably some time before these actually hit the street if they do become a retail product.
The ASRock Rack D1700D6U boards are the first we have really seen with triple channel memory and the prospect of 8x 10GbE or 4x 25GbE along with a PCIe Gen4 x16 slot and a lot of SATA seems very exciting for a storage appliance. Hopefully we get to review one or both of these soon.