ASRock Rack Announces W480D4U, Micro-ATX for Intel Xeon W-1200by Gavin Bonshor on May 14, 2020 11:00 AM EST
With Intel recently announcing its Xeon-W1200 series product stack for W480, ASRock's server arm, ASRock Rack, has lifted the lid on one its micro-ATX model based on the W480. The ASRock Rack W480D4U has support for ECC DDR4 UDIMMs, with two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, and eight SATA ports, and is also one of the first W480 boards to be announced.
This is the first in an expected range of W480 chipset models While the full specifications list hasn't been unveiled yet, ASRock Rack has lifted the lid on some of the details, including features and information on the selected controllers used.
The ASRock Rack W480D4U is a mslo has support for Intel's Optane memory modules and Intel Rapid Storage Technology. The transposed socket is for server style airflow, however due to compatibility with regular micro-ATX mountings it also can sit inside a standard tower chassis. It also features an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller which manages the boards IPMI remote management capabilities, with USB 3.2 G2 and HDMI video output connectivity.
ASRock Rack hasn't unveiled any of the finer details including power delivery, or specific rear panel connectivity, nor has it revealed any information in regards to pricing and availability.
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eastcoast_pete - Thursday, May 14, 2020 - linkThanks Gavin! One general question: why would I want to put
a microATX MB into a standard tower chassis? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of "micro"ATX?
notb - Thursday, May 14, 2020 - linkIt means it's ATX-compatible (i.e. screw holes, I/O placement).
"Standard tower chassis" doesn't have to mean full ATX size.
Nevertheless, I don't think it's that uncommon to mount an mATX mobo in a full size ATX case. For many reasons.
You may not need the extra PCIe slots that an ATX-size gives you, but you may still want to use all 8 SATA ports.
eastcoast_pete - Thursday, May 14, 2020 - linkAppreciate (and know about) the compatibility, but I found that microATX boards usually command a premium over an otherwise equivalent ATX board, plus the larger board makes installation of components a bit easier. But yes, if I have a microATX board that needs a home and I have an unused standard tower lying around, why not?
notb - Thursday, May 14, 2020 - linkServer boards often come in mATX and mITX formats. Nothing special about it. Smaller size means they fit in more rack units.
On the other hand, full ATX for PCs was unnecessary large even when consumers still used many PCI slots. Today it's just archaic. mATX should be the "standard" form factor.
There's no premium for mATX. It's basically the same design as ATX - just with more PCB and slots.
rrinker - Friday, May 15, 2020 - linkI think you need to go back and look at how little free space was on older ATX boards, it wasn't overkill in the days before 12 layer PCBs and everything surface mount, when processor chipsets were a 2 chip solution, the best drive interface you had was IDE, etc. Manufacturers weren't jacking up board area just to sell you bare FR4.
PeachNCream - Thursday, May 14, 2020 - linkI ended up in that sort of situation once. Texas summers made me rethink large, high wattage/high heat output computer hardware for the purpose of something as trivial as entertainment so I pulled apart my full ATX tower and ended up with an ITX board with a VIA C3 based system in the same case. It wasn't prudent or cost effective to get a more suitable case as this was an exercise in bringing energy efficiency and cooling cost reductions to amusement. Worked out great too, but now I just stick to low wattage small cores like Bay/Cherry Trail in 11 inch laptops instead of wasting time with archaic desktop hardware.
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hubick - Friday, May 15, 2020 - linkOptane DCPMM support might have been the one thing Intel offers that could have tempted me to look at a Xeon system instead of building a Threadripper, except, as someone building a home workstation myself, good luck trying to actually buy one of those. I'll make due w my Optane U.2 for now, and get a PCIe 4.0 Alder Stream when those finally come out. With just 4 slots on this board, I'm not sure DCPMM support really makes sense anyway.