Two things jumped out at me when I received this press release. Firstly the name, which comes out as a mouthful – it isn’t something you could casually mention in conversation, even if you worked closely with the motherboard. The second is the amount of DRAM slots, which is ultimately what the EP2C612D24 and EP2C612D24-4L are catering for.

The Haswell-EP/Xeon E5 v3 DDR4 memory controllers are designed for up to three DIMMs per channel, similarly to Ivy Bridge-EP (E5 v2) and Sandy Bridge-EP (E5), although in all cases it is usually reserved for more niche systems. With 16GB UDIMMs, this allows for a maximum of 384GB, although moving up to RDIMM, LRDIMMs or 64GB NVDIMMs pushes the max to 1.5TB in a dual socket motherboard. Only those with deep pockets, big budgets or stringent requirements need apply, as the major cost here will be the DRAM.

The motherboard uses a staggered processor arrangement with narrow ILM versions of the LGA2011-3 socket. Combined with the 24 DRAM slots means there is little room for anything else. We get three PCIe 3.0 x8 slots which are open ended, allowing for x16 sized cards to come in, although one slot will be limited to reduced width cards as some of the DRAM slots would encroach a super long co-processor. The ten onboard SATA ports are supported by an M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot and an onboard USB 3.0 Type-A port for in-chassis licensing dongles or Live-USB OSes. One downside to mention, according to the specifications for Haswell-EP, is that when fully populated, the memory should reduce down in speed, from 2133 to 1600 MHz.

Network connectivity is provided by an Intel i350 which gives four gigabit ports on the 4L model, but only two on the regular SKU, but we also get another network port for the AST2400 which provides IPMI 2.0 network management. ASRock Rack is targeting the usual suspects when it comes to large DRAM packages – intensive compute tasks, big data analysis, Hadoop and cloud computing.

Source: ASRock

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  • close - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    Well... there is. The narrow socket forces the use of a noisier fan. The fact that you have 2 CPUs will need more case fans. You will have to have a PSU that's way above average to power those 2 CPUs and 24 memory slots. Etc.

    The fact that it supports only x8 was my point exactly. All these "small" handicaps add up. You can't OC the CPUs and you won't find high frequency parts (certainly not in the range that you can get a desktop CPU), the RAM is slower and again it can't be overclocked, etc. When you add all these you just get a slower noisier PC. So I stand by my statement. There is no way to use this and build a better PC (more powerful) than with desktop components.
  • close - Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - link

    Just as a rough overview of how this kind of systems stands up do a high end desktop in desktop applications. Not too great. Maybe if you turn it into a video encoding workstation you'd get some benefits. Also the high end CPUs for this are 135W SKUs. 24 memory slots need 130W of power even at a conservative 5W per DIMM.

    You'd get a beast, no doubt. But it's like assuming a 600HP tractor head is a race car because it has 600CP.
  • Gothmoth - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    asrock... the cheap springoff..... meh.
    why not from asus?
  • ddriver - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    ASRock has grown quite a lot and has excellent product line across all market segments.

    And it is a "spin-off" not a springoff, and certainly not cheap. They are more affordable, since you don't pay for the brand.
  • Arnulf - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    Wouldn't want to buy any Asus crap myself ... AsRock on the other hand, while affordable, has served me well. It's not my first choice but it certainly is a viable choice, unlike Asus.
  • Samus - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    You do realize Asus and ASrock are the same company, right?

    You're basically calling the Chevy Silverado crap compared to the GMC Sierra, when they are nearly identical.

    ASrock and Asus share most engineering, programming and even production staff, and the boards are produced in the same Foxconn and Pegatron plants. Together, Asus and Asrock command over 40% of the world motherboard market; Asus is the largest motherboard manufacturer in the world.

    Asus also holds more design patents than any other motherboard manufacturer, having more unique designs, sometimes reverse engineering/bypassing manufacturer lockouts.

    Of course it's hard to forget that ABIT was the one who brought us the first truly jumper-less motherboard. The Asus P3B (which is a jumper-less successor to the P2B) was considered more stable than ABIT BH6 with superior quality. When ABIT folded and engineers left to start DFI with some defectors from Gigabyte, DFI took over where ABIT left off, but DFI was plagued with the same quality\manufacturing issues as ABIT, and eventually they folded too.

    Since my DFI Infinity 975x I have used Asus and ASrock exclusively in nearly a dozen systems ranging from ATX to ITX. I think the Asus P6T (X58 Nehalem) is possibly the most stable PC I've had.
  • Lonyo - Sunday, May 24, 2015 - link

    Asus owns something under 20% of Pegatron (19.33% as at end of 2013), plus some additional influence as some individuals also have direct shareholdings, and Asus has in house manufacturing. They don't use Foxconn and mainly use their own stuff.

    Pegatron owns I think something like 58% of what probably is ASRock (the Pegatron structure chart is horribly confusing).

    Asus did used to own ASRock, but in 2007-2010 there was a restructuring, resulting in the current structure of Asus owning a small amount of Pegatron, and Pegatron owning most of ASRock, but all 3 are publicly listed companies.
  • Samus - Sunday, May 24, 2015 - link

    ASRock is still under the ASUS umbrella in that they have IP licensing agreements, use the same software development team (A-Tuning and AiSuite have the same backend) and the boards are produced in the same plant. Being publicly traded doesn't mean they can't be the same company. A "DBA" of a C-Corp can be traded independently even on the NASDAQ. I'd like to see information on the ASRock restructuring, I didn't know such a thing happened.

    You will find plenty of Foxconn components on ASUS/ASRock boards. I'm looking at a ASRock H87m-ITX board right now that has a Foxconn-stamped eSATA-USB stack on it, indicating this board was likely manufactured in a Foxconn facility:

    But you are right, I've seen various models of ASUS and ASRock boards manufactured by Pegatron and Foxconn.
  • Samus - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    Asrock is fine. I'm sure they're kicking themselves for picking such a stupid name, because when they started they were a budget company targeting home PC builders and gamers. They have proven themselves more capable, as was expected considering they operate under the Asus talent umbrella.
  • ggathagan - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    If I'm looking at a workstation or server motherboard, I'm going with SuperMicro or Tyan.
    Neither ASRock or Asus have a good enough track record in this particular arena to be a wise choice.

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