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Intel has brought 28 cores into workstations with its Xeon Scalable processors. ASRock now even installs the socket on a Mini-ITX motherboard.
ASRock Rack EPC621D4I-2M: Mini-ITX meets 28 Intel cores on gigantic socket
ASRock is one of the few manufacturers in the field of motherboards who also brings rather unusual products to the market. Above all, the form factor never stops the company from building as small as possible. For Intel’s Skylake-X and Skylake-X Refresh series, there is the only Mini-ITX motherboard from ASRock – even with support for all four memory channels. The manufacturer also has the smallest motherboard for AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper series, but only in Micro-ATX format this time.
However, ASRock has now finally blown it away with the ASRock Rack EPC621D4I-2M. Behind the cryptic description hides a mini-ITX mainboard on which the new Intel Xeon Scalable processors fit. These come with an almost gigantic looking socket with 3,647 pins. Processors with up to 28 cores fit on the LGA 3647.
Up to 205 watts TDP, but Quad Channel support only
The ASRock Rack EPC621D4I-2M comes from the rack series of the manufacturer. This is a series especially for – who would have guessed it – server racks and workstations. Workstations are also intended for the processors that will find their place on the new Mini-ITX motherboard. With the Skylake-SP series, Intel also offers processors for workstations and up to 28 cores. This also includes the Intel Xeon W-3175X, which might not work on the motherboard due to the TDP limitation. This is limited to 205 watts. The power for the processor comes from six VRM phases cooled by a passive aluminum cooler. A single 8-pin connector is used as the power plug.
ASRock does not use the possible Hexa-Channel-Interface for the memory. For space reasons, the manufacturer only uses four SO-DIMM slots that can hold up to 128 gigabytes of DDR4-2666 memory. The other connections have also been significantly reduced. There are two fully connected slots for M.2 SSDs, a U.2 port, a SATA port, a PCIe 3.0×16 slot and a USB 3.0 header. Two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, two USB 3.0 and one VGA port are installed externally. ASRock mainly targets server systems with the mainboard, where space plays a big role. For workstations the mainboard is rather less suitable due to the rather modest features.