INSANE ASROCK RACK AMD EPYC Review Part 1 – Another EPIC Server Motherboard?

INSANE ASROCK RACK AMD EPYC Review Part 1 – Another EPIC Server Motherboard?


Hey guys welcome back to our channel! So unlike all of the other videos which have done so far, we already have Gordon in front of us to do introduction because this is a very interesting board, by Asrock, I know nothing about it, so let’s cut to the chase and let’s get Gordon in to explain what’s this Asrock board is about! Asrock board, server-grade motherboard Gordon take us through what’s this board about! Okay right off first and foremost, you can see it’s from Asrock rack itself unlike most other server motherboards packaging, it’s very plain very nondescript no fancy artwork on it whatsoever indicating as to what’s inside here probably wondering what’s in here
actually; this is the instruction manual, all 2 pages of it, another thing about server boards, when there are manuals, they are very sparse, they cut right to the chase. So let me get right to the unboxing of the product; The unboxing is going to be pretty pretty boring ‘Cause as you are gonna see, not much things inside there. Yeah it does not have the bells and whistles of a typical gaming motherboard don’t keep your hopes too high! So first off, we have this cable, this is the U.2 to SAS, SATA adapter so basically, this end plugs to the motherboard. these 4x SATA or 4x SAS devices. This is the cable, put it here. We have the back plate and we have the motherboard itself and that’s pretty much it. That’s all there is in the box itself. I mean even this manual here, it wasn’t even in the box, we had to go and print it out from online via PDF. So let me just try to angle this thing a little bit you may wondering, what this is? what this is? This is the Asrock Rack Rome D8-2T. AMD EPYC motherboard. So as you can see here we’ve already installed the EPYC CPU down here, in this case this one here is the AMD EPYC 7302P. 16 cores 32 threads CPU right inside here. So in a bit I’ll take you through on the details as to what are the key features of this board, how it compares with let’s say a desktop grade motherboard, it’s special features, I’ll go through that in a bit, ok cool! Alright so now we have a closeup look at this Asrock Rack motherboard itself, Now what makes this board a little bit so special is that, like the name suggests, it was designed for AMD EPYC Rome line of CPUs, it’s fully PCIe Gen 4.0 compatible so all the slots, M.2 and all that are all PCIe 4.0! Let me take you through from the top to the bottom, some of the key features of this motherboard. So from the top down here, you will kind of notice that yeah, for CPU power in, it has 4+2, so that gives you a theoretical maximum of about 400 watts which is okay. ‘Cause even the 64 core AMD EPYC 7742 doesn’t draw anywhere near that much power; probably 250 watts at the most at the highest. Then followed by that, we have the 24 pin right over here, the one thing that makes this a little bit special is that yeah you notice the connectors for this. Normally on most other motherboards this would probably be here and this will probably be rotated 90 degrees like that. So you notice for this, it’s all clustered here. Then as we move downwards, you will be able to see 8 Ram slots. Now for EPYC, you only can install registered ECC Ram but registered ECC DDR4 comes in much bigger capacities than what you may find in a consumer board. While for normal consumer boards, maximum is about 32GB, this board is capable of taking much bigger modules such as 64 128 or even 256GB of RAM itself. So this board, if you populate all 8 slots with let’s say 256GB RAM modules, you have a theoretical maximum of 2TB of RAM! That is mind-blowing! Let’s move on right along, we have a couple of other connectors, okay there’s a USB 3.0 right over here, USB 3.0 connector is here. We have which is very surprising for a server grade motherboard, we have a USB Type-C gen 2 front header right over here! So let’s say if you were to put this into a case with a Type-C Gen 2 connector in front, yeah you can plug it in and it will work! and right next to it we have a USB Type-C gen 2 connector right over here. I’ll go through a bit on the rest of the features here in a bit, so just to let you know that the USB type-c is here to the back, a USB type-c to the front connector is here. To move right on downwards, there’s many features here from this point
onwards, but I’ll just focus on some of the more notable ones. The U.2 connectors are here. All the fan connectors are all in one row here so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 7 fan headers all in one row So again in a lot of other motherboards, which you will see in a bit, these are usually scattered like all around the board, in this case they’re all lined up one row. That’s the PCIe power in connector, that’s for GP-GPU configs to give extra power to the PCIe slots for those configs like let’s say 4 2080TIs, 4x Quadro RTX 8000, that kind of thing Okay and we move right on downwards, usual front fan headers, got the post code display, and the one thing that makes this board very interesting, some people may say this is probably hell freezing over on earth is we have a connector here for Thunderbolt 3! Or to be more exact, this is the 5-pin Thunderbolt 3 connector. So what you could do is that you could get the Asrock Thunderbolt 3 expansion card, plug it into one of these slots, the cable from the expansion card plugs into here, to authenticate that yes I am Thunderbolt 3 certified and therefore a Thunderbolt 3 PCIe expansion card will work. So yes you can add on Thunderbolt 3 to this motherboard. Now why I say this is hell freezing over? Well you do have to remember that Thunderbolt is an Intel standard, so to see an Intel standard suddenly appear on an AMD motherboard where previously was only the purview of Intel platforms such as Z370, Z390 and X299, yeah really this is hell freezing over. Now to move right to the other features, we have 2 M.2 slots down here, Both of them are PCIe 4.0 compatible, so you could put 2 PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs right over here. Now the part of this board is that it has 7 PCIe slots, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. According to the information that we have gotten, each of the seven slots is capable of what is known as bifurcation. So what this means is each of the slot is capable of PCIe 4.0 x16, what bifurcation means is that you could split this into let’s say two slots of PCIe 4.0 x8. What this means is that you could in theory run 2 PCIe devices out of one slot at a theoretical bandwidth of PCIe 4.0 x8 each. So 7 times 2 can you imagine this guy running 14 GPUs? WHOA! Just imagine 14 RTX 2080 TIs all in one row! Of course you have to figure out how to split the signal, how to mount them, if you can figure that problem out, yes this board is theoretically capable of doing that! Coming to the back of the board itself, for the I/O itself, that’s the USB Type-C connector, and we come to here, we have two Intel X550 10GB LAN ports right over here, 1, 2. There’s a VGA port right over here, now you may probably be wondering wait EPYC doesn’t have any IGPU on board, so how does this thing work? now here’s the thing: For this board it has a ASPEED BMC controller which powers the VGA, which also powers the IPMI the remote management port which you see right over here. And that’s a COM port. 2 USB 3 ports and a little switch down here which according to manual does something to reset the BIOS. I presume this should be the BIOS reset switch. So yeah that probably takes you through the whole feature of the board itself; As to what this IPMI port does, I’ll probably get into that a bit, but suffice to say at your operating system level you will only see these two ports, this is used for remote management like let’s say you want to start up the set, power down the set, restart that kind of thing, basically base level; OS level you will not see this port at all. Yeah that takes you through on the features of this board itself. So now we come to the next part you probably want to know how does this thing look like next to let’s say a more consumer-oriented motherboard. Let’s get to that. ‘Right so right now we come to the comparison; so in this case I have the Asrock Rack EPYC Rome motherboard on this side, and on the left, we have the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme. Now they have a couple of similarities but it has quite a number of differences of which I will go through in a bit. First off the one thing that will probably strike you is that this guy is green. It is very green. Whereas in contrast, this guy is a splash of like patterns, chrome , color, that kind of thing. So if you were to power up this board, as you probably see in the link down here when we did the video on when we power this guy up this guy is full lights and bling and all that. You’re not going to find that on the EPYC motherboard. If you were to look at these 2, first thing that comes to mind is the orientation of the RAM slots, as well as these sockets themselves. For the Threadripper motherboard itself. if you look from the front to the back of the
board, from the front of the board, we have the first four RAM slots followed by the socket which is longer this way and the shorter end is this way. Then we have the other 4 Ram slots like that. This is good for desktop config like a full tower as this will affect things such as airflow, mounting of the heatsinks. In contrast, you will see that the AMD EPYC motherboard itself, you’ll notice the first striking thing that
strikes you is that the RAM slot as well as the CPU socket has been rotated 90 degrees compared to the Threadripper board. Why would you go to the trouble to rotate the socket just like that even though theoretically they are mechanically the same socket? same some it well it’s more to do with
the airflow especially in a one you or to your configuration you know one your
to you come take a usually we have big powerful fans in the front down here and
these will be blowing air strip true so if you were to have the RAM slot say
like that what’s gonna happen is that you know one you especially where the
case is not much higher than the RAM so what’s gonna happen is that the air from
the front fan is gonna hit and then it’s gonna block the airflow to the CPU
itself as well as everything else that’s behind so that’s why also ever epic
marmots they are rotated this way so that when you rotate them this way so he
just imagined your airflow is going from here to here you can see in this
configuration not only does the CPU gets a very clear puff of air strip to some
of the air goes to this heating goes out to the whatever heatsink is sitting on
the CPU itself and as well as the air can go straight through the RAM itself
in between the slots in between the RAM so this and first
similar cooling and ventilation for both the CPU as well as the RAM modules
itself now the orientation of the socket itself also does affect the cooling
solutions that you will decide on these kind of sense for example this is the up
pic that we TR the mounting points are coolers for water dripping epics ah the
same a chin so in theory you could take a trip up cooler like this and you can
mount it on the epic but this is the problem when you try to put it on your
pick now if you put it on the trip itself let’s pretend it’s like that yeah
so let’s say you’re the mount it like that it looks fine air comes in from
your goes out this way now the problem stems when you’re trying to use this on
your pick when you bring it here because of the orientation of the sock itself
instead of this way it is now this way so if you imagine for friends here and
your back is sure what’s going to happen is that your friend is going this way
this thing is gonna blow air right to the back into the side of the server
rekt hissing nothing is gonna fit anyway because this thing is too big to fit in
even into a for you taste there are certain situations where you can if
let’s say you were to mount this motherboard into a tower where there’s
ventilation of the top end yesterday air goes out and it gets thrown upwards
you’re fine but if you want to use this in legacy or server configuration you
are gonna need something like that now you will notice one thing about this
fellow was this yeah you can see this is longer this way and shorter this way
whereas this one is the other way around very short and the front and back but
it’s very long in terms of length so you can see there’s a particular contrast in
the way about this is the proper one you can use phonetic server convict if you
want to take this and you want to mount it here it’s just nice for air comes in
from the front from low from a big fans blowing to the back you’ll find an empty
of course this being a 2-u fan it’s going to be much noisier than this
fellow here which is under mccoullough now you may probably be asking the
question can I use this for track Ripper yes and no especially for current gen
club us both for physical reasons as well as fourth reason
pertaining to TDP means this guy over here is rated for
about a hundred fifty watt TDP we just find when you are going for let’s say
the 16 core a big audit unhappy but you lost the current gen 32 quarter Reaper
is not 181 GDP it’s about 280 what TDP disowned heretofore 100 so yeah this guy
is not gonna work very well on a trailer park and besides even if you could solve
the TDP problem you have to deal with a fright dad yeah
it’s fighting the wrong way even if you could get around that problem by having
a case that has ventilation on the top maybe either it looks kinda weird yeah
you know the two of them are mechanically compatible with each other
there are very reasons why epic Euler is designed for the epic and the Treader
popular is designed for the traffic but there are some other minor differences
they need to the finder of course this guy has a lot of extras such as RGB
connect the sound chip a people doesn’t have any such
whatsoever so if you want to get sound coming out from an epic system you need
to plug in a discreet Csonka for every part you do have a real tech put it on
what the that actually separates them is if you were to remember I mentioned just
now that this guy has a SP BMC as a DJ controller so let me rotate the two of
them that’s the VG pot now the thing between these two is that because this
motherboard has the SP controller that should say somewhere here you have a VGA
out here so you could run the epic mother but without a GPU
if let’s say all your tasks are only CPU this only the track Ripper on the other
hand you will notice on the back I oh there is no HDMI there is no DVI there
is no VJ there is no form of video output whatsoever
that’s because Trevor pal also doesn’t have any integrated GPU so for a track
Ripper you have to put a discrete GPU to get
this guy to even turn on and to see anything for the epic ball you can just
take a busy VGA monitor clock to the back and you’ll get video output coming
out for the back itself one last thing that’s actually separates
these two is the IPMI quad the epic bot is designed for like let’s
say server deployments that nothing reset may probably be in a server room
or in a data center where the IT administrator would not be able to
access it physically at a moment’s notice so the ITM airport is to allow
the IT admin to be able to the morning and do past such as part of the set shut
down the set restart adjust the bios without actually having to physically be
where the set actually this the track report doesn’t have to bilities such as
this so these are the two major differences between these two models as
well as these two platforms in general the epic as well as the travel path that
was a very long description of this tool will move further along and you will see
as we can power this guy up and show you how this guy runs yeah so now we are
going to the boy very late expansion sorry for that yes I don’t know another
first impressions what do you think of this several big but important so rather
interesting or I was like rambling a lot about it because we kind of came by it
was quite a favorite I’ve done several solar systems right over the years and
what I can say is that this guy is quite unique in many many aspects itself as
I’ve highlighted earlier in the video we shall see what happened when we poured
it guy on when we do a part two I’ll take you through how the BIOS and works
as well some of the unique things of how this board operates and I kind of think
so especially if you want to see a part two of the power that’s new in
conversations below that you see more such several bit motherboards interested
in such position boots there’s no two comments
yes this is our first cue server grid of the year so so ya know check to you also
can see our other several manipur which is the video we did for an epic room
motherboard you liked the video give us a thumbs up subscribe our channel back
the only I I click on a bear already click Subscribe so with this when I say
goodbye again

7 thoughts to “INSANE ASROCK RACK AMD EPYC Review Part 1 – Another EPIC Server Motherboard?”

  1. Very informative video, I wish more reviews were in this style. Good info about the fan header locations, USB headers, Extra PCI-e power, Thunderbolt 3 and all the other stuff you covered. A lot of useful info in a short time. Keep up the good work and I am looking forward to part 2.

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