Remotely manage your Ryzen workstations with ASRock’s X470D4U

ECC memory support is only one of many reasons that someone building a workstation might base it on a Xeon processor. The specialized motherboards that they require include other features, such as formal support for hardware virtualization and advanced remote management features. If you've been looking for all of that in cherry flavor instead of blueberry, you might have been struggling. However, ASRock would like you to know that it has just the motherboard for you in the ASRock Rack X470D4U.

This is a micro-ATX Socket AM4 motherboard that takes second-generation Ryzen CPUs and up to 64GB of unbuffered ECC memory. It's based on AMD's X470 chipset just like your usual Socket AM4 overclocker boards, but it's a pretty far cry from something like ASRock's own X470 Taichi. Besides the official ECC memory support, this board also has an Aspeed AST2500 baseboard management chip that can handle IPMI and graphics duties.

The AST2500 has a Realtek-powered gigabit Ethernet connection all to its own, while the host system has access to a pair of Intel-powered GbE ports. Storage accommodations include eight 6 Gbps SATA connections and a pair of M.2 sockets, both of which supports PCIe drives, and one of which additionally hooks up to SATA.

External I/O is a bit of a weak point for the board; a VGA port, two USB 3.0 ports, the three RJ-45 connections, and an old-school serial port are all you get. There is at least a front-panel header for another pair of USB 3.0 ports. Given the extensive networking and management features available on this board, you'd presumably be using it over the network, so the lacking local I/O isn't cause for much concern.

ASRock doesn't actually provide a CPU support list, but the handy-dandy block diagram above (taken from the manual for the X470D4U) notes that the board supports CPUs rated for thermal design power of 105W. By our reckoning, that's everything on up to the Ryzen 7 2700X. In theory, this board should support the third-generation Ryzen CPUs when they launch later this year.

Comments closed
    • EV42TMAN
    • 5 months ago

    I like this motherboard and don’t as the same time.

    1. This motherboard is obviously for embedded solutions (network appliances). The raid adapter isn’t compatible with VMWare. So there goes most of the virtualization market.

    2. Desktop CPUs aren’t intended to be used for server solutions so i feel like this opening the door to some bad ideas.

    3. IPMI is nice.

    Because of the limitations I believe this motherboard will only be used for solution builders that need to build an appliance with their software preinstalled on it. Because of the preinstalled software this sub $1000 server when complete will cost like $10,000.

    Honestly if you’re building a server skip this product and go to epyc it’s a $200 difference on the CPU and then the rest of your costs are the same-ish.

      • Ummagumma
      • 5 months ago

      My My. Aren’t we a tad bit preachy….

      “obviously for embedded solutions”

      Based on what evidence? You provide nothing to support your claim.

      “The raid adapter isn’t compatible with VMWare”

      The AsRock Rack web page does not mention any RAID functionality for this motherboard.

      “Desktop CPUs aren’t intended to be used for server solutions”

      Again based on what evidence? You provide nothing to support your claim.

      So I am not sure what you are smoking, but I got a question for ya. Where can I get some?

      • Spunjji
      • 5 months ago

      Article title (emphasis mine):
      “Remotely manage your Ryzen *workstations*”

      They kinda give away the target market there – you don’t require a VMWare compatible RAID adapter or a server CPU for a workstation.

    • ermo
    • 5 months ago

    Is it just me, or is that board actually airflow optimised for modern cases? Usually the RAM blocks are positioned vertically to the right of the CPU socket?

    I kind of dig that it looks so simple and functional.

    EDIT: Duh. It’s airflow optimised for rack cases. That this also works for modern mATX cases is a happy coincidence.

    • ronch
    • 5 months ago

    I’m looking for the usual MOSFETs and chokes that surround the CPU socket. For a board that supposedly supports 105w TDP chips this thing sure looks kinda bare. Even if they’re beneath that rectangular heatsink I imagine there still aren’t many of them. Might cause CPU to throttle a lot? Anyway, the layout looks interesting except for the location of those M.2 slots which may be hard to access if you’ve still got some 5.25″ drive bays that may [s<]instruct[/s<] obstruct them.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 5 months ago

      My instinct is to [b<]speculate[/b<] that consumer-targeting boards include unnecessary components to look good rather than work good (or, over-provisioned components are present for overclocking). Actually, it would be a little strange if they [i<]didn't[/i<] include gratuitous components for visual appeal, since that sort of thing is pretty widespread in other types of consumer products. I'm going to guess that this board sticks to what it needs to have in order to achieve solid durability.

        • ronch
        • 5 months ago

        Whatever few MOSFETs this thing has are gonna have to work hard to power a 2700X. Not sure how that’s gonna help for durability.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 5 months ago

          The question is precisely whether or not they will actually work too hard, and it seems like it would be dumb for them to make a server-oriented board and then cripple its durability. I think logic suggests the consumer boards are engaging in another form of bling-marketing, more subtle than RGBLEDs but superfluous nonetheless.

            • ronch
            • 5 months ago

            So all those MOSFETs are just bling?

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 5 months ago

            Perhaps this is what a quality no-bling no-overclocking board looks like? I’d be pretty surprised if they cheaped out on sufficient power supply to the CPU.

            • Ummagumma
            • 5 months ago

            Your impression is correct.

            This is “what a quality no-bling no-overclocking board looks like”

            Well, the “quality” aspect of that comment will be determined in the marketplace, but the “no-bling no-overclocking board” part is right on the mark. A true server class board does no overclock since overclock can stress parts beyond their rated limts and reduce their usable lifespan; it’s a reasonable tradeoff.

            I have not used any AsRock Rack products. The reviews that I have read on Newegg make me leery of using them. FWIW I like Supermicro boards.

            I have used a number of AsRock consumer boards over the years and still do. I even have one of them in an “always on” box (consumer usage) right now that is powered by a high quality power supply (FSP) on a UPS (Eaton). The case has good airflow, and that causes some noise, but that’s a tradeoff that has to be made for “lifespan”.

            My own opinion of AsRock Rack, when compared against products from Supermicro, is that AsRock Rack is like a chef that hasn’t come up with a definitive dish yet. They keep tinkering and trying stuff, and they seem to get it mostly right much of the time, but they are not quite there.

            • MOSFET
            • 5 months ago

            Check out the ever-popular [url=https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/X11/X11SCL-F.cfm<]Supermicro X11SCL-F microATX board[/url<] or its [url=https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/X11/X11SCA-F.cfm<]larger ATX sibling X11SCA-F.[/url<] ASRock here looks comparable to the mATX SuperMicro. The ATX is beefier probably because of the potential for dual GPUs.

    • ronch
    • 5 months ago

    That chip reminds me of AST Research, that PC vendor back in the 90’s. Also, ALR, Compudyne, Quantex, CompuAdd, Zeos, the Gateway cows and their creative magazine ads, etc. Of course some of them are still standing today, names like HP (acquired Compaq), Dell, Acer (acquired Gateway and Packard Bell) and a few more. And of course, Big Blue PCs.

    Ah good times, back when CD-ROM was the next big thing.

    • albundy
    • 5 months ago

    i hope green pcb’s make a comeback. they make it easier to spot chips and connectors and other things.

    • rnalsation
    • 5 months ago

    Only 2 USB ports, this is not the Ryzen workstation motherboard I’ve been looking for. :/

    Oh, it’s listed under their Server Motherboard category, makes sense to me now.

    • deruberhanyok
    • 5 months ago

    This is… a pretty good looking motherboard!

    I would love to see some differentiation among mobo brands. For a while it seemed there were some different color schemes but this past generation or two it seems everyone is moving towards black/gray neutral and relying on LEDs for color. More versatile, sure, but I miss the days when you had some brand recognition based on design without lights.

    I especially miss abit and their rust orange PCBs. Also Gigabyte used to pretty regularly do blue PCBs on their boards until just recently. But that classic green looks awfully good to me. And the slot layout on this one is pretty good too! Put an x1 slot above the x16 slot and replace the IO cluster with your typical consumer stack and it’d be a real classic setup!

      • ronch
      • 5 months ago

      Abit, Epox, Shuttle, Soltek, Soyo, Aopen, FIC, QDI, etc. I miss them all. [sheds a tear]

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 months ago

        You forgot DFI.

          • Spunjji
          • 5 months ago

          Mmmm, neon PCI slots!

        • MOSFET
        • 4 months ago

        I owned all of those in the past except FIC and QDI, and Soltek, although I replaced a lot of faulty Solteks with other Solteks (probably also faulty) at a summer job in 1998. Ahhh Netware and 3C905s. The BP6 days were much more fun!

        I still have an AOpen case in service to this day. Still has a Pioneer slot-load DVD-ROM. The case has been spray-painted chrome over its 2001-ish beige.

    • mikewinddale
    • 5 months ago

    This is timely. Just yesterday, I was thinking that I’d remote-desktopping to my home computer while I’m at work, because my work computer is too slow. But then I realized that if I rebooted my remote computer, I’d have no way to enter the BIOS password or my BitLocker PIN. Would a server motherboard help?

    (I’d also need a dynamic DNS software installed on the home computer, to link my dynamic IP from my ISP with a static domain name. I’d also use an always-on Raspberry Pi to wake-on-LAN my home desktop when it’s asleep. But I couldn’t figure out how to remotely enter a BIOS boot password.)

      • Spunjji
      • 5 months ago

      A server motherboard with proper out-of-band management would help, but you could also try using an IP KVM if you already have a suitable system ready and waiting.

    • fredsnotdead
    • 5 months ago

    “ECC memory support is only one of many reasons that someone building a workstation might base it on a Xeon processor”

    ECC is only officially supported on Ryzen Pro CPUs, which aren’t available from retailers.

    [url<]http://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/8ykvix/anywhere_to_buy_ryzen_pro_cpus/[/url<]

      • mikewinddale
      • 5 months ago

      Several AM4 boards support ECC on all non-APU Ryzens, including most Asrock mobos as well as the Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 Wifi. I use the Gigabyte with a Ryzen 7 2700X, and Memtest86 Pro with over-overclocked RAM shows corrected errors.

    • Krogoth
    • 5 months ago

    The classic, green PCB and lack of obnoxious RGBs is a breath of fresh air.

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 5 months ago

    A likeable elcheapo micro server board. Missing 10g Eth port but a couple of Intel Gigabit are ok, they do a good job everywhere.

      • stdRaichu
      • 5 months ago

      It’s very close to “shut up and take my money” territory for a home server build. However I’ve been avoiding ASRockRack as last time I was in the market they were still using a java-based IPMI KVM and not an HTML5 KVM.

      Supermicro (who [i<]are[/i<] using an HTML5 KVM) have also just posted up their upcoming Epyc 3000 mITX SoC boards... [url<]https://www.supermicro.com/products/nfo/EPYC3000_Embedded.cfm[/url<] Good times ahead for homelabbers looking for cheap'n'cheerful access to >4P

        • ermo
        • 5 months ago

        The SuperMicro boards rely on registered ECC DIMMS?

        But yeah, very close to “shut up and take my money” territory indeed. This plus any 16 thread RyZen 2 and 4×8 GiB of ECC RAM would be pretty darn decent I’d wager.

        Right now I rely on an FX-8350 w/4×4 GiB DDR3-1600 ECC RAM as my home server. Quick plug for Fedora Server: The cockpit package is a suprisingly decent and capable web-interface for administration and console access.

          • stdRaichu
          • 5 months ago

          According to the specs, and testing from the guys at Serve the Home, the Epyc 300 boards work with ECC and non-ECC UDIMMs as well as ECC RDIMMs.

            • ermo
            • 5 months ago

            Cheers for clarifying that — I just took at cursory look at the link you posted, which stated registered ECC RAM.

          • Ummagumma
          • 5 months ago

          Not all Supermicro boards [u<]require[/u<] ECC DIMMs. I have at least 4 boards right now that do not require ECC DIMMs to operate. I am using ECC DIMMs in 3 of them "for the usual reasons" that you use ECC DIMMs.

    • pyro_
    • 5 months ago

    I like how if only they had included a 10gbe port on it

      • Krogoth
      • 5 months ago

      I suspect that tracing and controller chip for a 10GbE NIC couldn’t fit on a microATX board without removing slots and ports.

        • FlamingSpaceJunk
        • 5 months ago

        I’m guessing this is an acknowledgement that 1GbE is fine for management, and most customers are going to add discrete NICs (Infiniband, 40GbE, 100GbE, etc.) which have all sorts of nice offload features.

        • stdRaichu
        • 5 months ago

        I suspect that embedding an X520 or X550 would have been perfectly feasible, but I suspect that ASRR are aiming for a slice of the cheap’n’cheerful pie here, and avoiding an additional 10GbE chip is a good way to do that.

        You’re right about the PCIe lane budget being tight though, all of the eight PCIE 2.0 lanes from the X470 are being used and you’d need PCIe 2.0 x4 to supply enough bandwidth for a dual-port 10GbE chip and 22 out of the 24 PCIe 3.0 from the CPU are used by the PCIe and M.2 slots.

        2.5Gb and 5Gb NICs are still few and far between currently, only ones from AQuantia and Realtek as far as I’m aware and OS support – and more importantly reliability testing – is still thin on the ground. i210’s have been the low-end server standard for years and work nicely with everything.

        Edit: the manual is up, and from the looks of things they’re using an all-new, all-singin’, all-dancin’ HTML5 IPMI KVM.

        [url<]http://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/Manual/IPMI/X470D4U.pdf[/url<]

      • FlamingSpaceJunk
      • 5 months ago

      Good news! It has two PCIe x8 slots. 😉

      2.5Gbps or 5Gbps would have been nice, and probably more appropriate for the market.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 5 months ago

      As others said, that’s what PCI-e is for.

      • psuedonymous
      • 5 months ago

      [quote<]I like how if only they had included a 10gbe port on it[/quote<]Difficult with Ryzen: all the chipset PCIe lanes are PCIe 2.0, not 3.0, and any 10gbE controller I know of assumes PCIe 3.0 and assigns lanes accordingly. Using one with PCIe 2.0 would cut your bandwidth in half. You could use the CPU PCIe lanes (which are 3.0) but in that case you may as well skip the motherboard integration and use a card.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This