Friday, May 1st 2015

ASRock Develops Mini-ITX LGA2011v3 Motherboard with Quad-Channel Memory

They've done it! After building the first LGA2011v3 motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, letting you cram up to 8 "Haswell" cores into a lunchbox-sized PC, albeit having to make do with just dual-channel memory; ASRock developed the first mini-ITX motherboard with not just LGA2011v3, but also its full quad-channel memory interface, called the EPC612D4I. There's just one rider, which shouldn't really be a dealbreaker - this is a server-grade motherboard, and is bound to be expensive.

The EPC612D4I achieves its quad-channel memory chops by using smaller DDR4 SO-DIMM slots instead of standard-sized DIMM slots. Availability of aftermarket DDR4 SO-DIMM memory is close to non-existent, but that could change with 6th Generation Core processor notebooks hitting the shelves by Holiday 2015. As an enterprise board, it also supports Xeon E5-1600 V3 and E5-2600 V3 processors.
There are no CPU overclocking features, because the board's driven by an Intel C612 chipset. The lone expansion slot is a PCI-Express 3.0 x16. It even comes with a basic onboard video, driven by an ASPEED AST2400 remote management chipset, which gives display output by D-Sub, and supports resolutions of up to 2048 x 1536. This chip is wired to its own dedicated GbE connection, while two other GbE connections are given out by Intel i210 and i217LM controllers, wired to the chipset's MAC. Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board comes with official support and drivers for all its onboard devices, for Windows 2012 R2/2008 R2 SP1, SuSE Server 11 SP3, RHEL 6.5, CentOS 6.5, Fedora 19, Ubuntu 12.10, and FreeBSD 9.2.
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28 Comments on ASRock Develops Mini-ITX LGA2011v3 Motherboard with Quad-Channel Memory

#1
bogami
So 18 core - no wey?! Still good little board .:) OC option I am interested in with i7 5960X.
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#4
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
btarunr, post: 3276480, member: 43587"
Specs sheet says quad-channel.
Yeah I found that too, thats weird...
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#5
Mathragh
P4-630, post: 3276481, member: 22154"
Yeah I found that too, thats weird...
Why would this be more weird than say, a motherboard with two RAM slots for dual channel, be it desktop or laptop?
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#6
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
Mathragh, post: 3276486, member: 78901"
Why would this be more weird than say, a motherboard with two RAM slots for dual channel, be it desktop or laptop?
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#7
Mathragh
P4-630, post: 3276490, member: 22154"

I know how they work, hence the question.

Edit: I might know why you are confused.

The 4 slots alone doesn't make it quad channel here, the 4 slots are quad channel because the CPU that fits into this motherboard can actually support 4 channels. (compared to dual channel for most mainstream CPU's)
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#8
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
Mathragh, post: 3276491, member: 78901"
I know how they work, hence the question.

Edit: I might know why you are confused.

The 4 slots doesn't make it quad channel here
Exactly!
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#9
Parn
What a waste of all those PCI-E lanes!

They should have omitted the onboard video and put a couple of M.2 gen3 x4 slots.
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#10
Mathragh
Parn, post: 3276507, member: 155086"
What a waste of all those PCI-E lanes!

They should have omitted the onboard video and put a couple of M.2 gen3 x4 slots.
Where would you leave those though?
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#11
Parn
Mathragh, post: 3276508, member: 78901"
Where would you leave those though?
On the back of the board if they spend some more effort on the wiring.

There are a lot of credit card sized mini PCs such as RPi that have storage ports mounted on the backside of the mainboard. Even though 2011v3 platform is much more complex, mini-ITX is also larger than a credit card. So having a storage port mounted on the back is not impossible.
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#12
Chaitanya
P4-630, post: 3276477, member: 22154"
Since when are 4 RAM slots "Quad Channel"?

"Tomsitpro.com reported that the EPC612D4I LGA2011-3 mini-ITX motherboard is available now for $265"

http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/358330-asrock-announced-another-socket-lga2011-3-itx-motherboard-a-serverboard-called-epc612d4i/
You need atleast 4 physical RAM Slots to have quad channel memory implemented properly. This means electrically neither of the ram slots share channel/bandwidth while talking to processor's memory controller. Here is short list of X99 motherboards listed on newegg that have support quad channel memory and still have 4 slots.

Mathragh, post: 3276508, member: 78901"
Where would you leave those though?
Asrock's current Z97E-ITX has 1xM.2 slot on the read side of the motherboard, it would been a good use of extra available PCI-E lanes for storage. But one of the biggest issues with that is in case SSD fails it would be a real pain to replace those from the read side of the board.
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#13
ensabrenoir
.....excellent. It can be done. Don't think Intel would bring a 6 or > core chip to the mainstream line so this'll bring many a smile to power itx users. (8 or more core titan/980ti itx creation/battle box :pimp:) Now just need a step up in the cooling department.....
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#14
Parn
Chaitanya, post: 3276519, member: 93474"
Asrock's current Z97E-ITX has 1xM.2 slot on the read side of the motherboard, it would been a good use of extra available PCI-E lanes for storage. But one of the biggest issues with that is in case SSD fails it would be a real pain to replace those from the read side of the board.
Not necessarily. The case manufacturers can cut out a hole on the motherboard tray for easy access to the rear side of the ITX board or even better a removable cover like those found on the rear side of laptops.
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#15
Petey Plane
ensabrenoir, post: 3276522, member: 83675"
.....excellent. It can be done. Don't think Intel would bring a 6 or > core chip to the mainstream line so this'll bring many a smile to power itx users. (8 or more core titan/980ti itx creation/battle box :pimp:) Now just need a step up in the cooling department.....
There looks to be more than enough heat-sinks for what this board will be used for. Huge, ridiculous modern art sculptures that pass for heat-sinks on motherboards better cooling. The sinks on this actually look functional. I wish more mobo manufacturers would use these functional style heat-sinks on their gaming boards.

That being said, i'd also love to do a gaming build with this board. Who needs OC when you have 16 threads and a 980ti?
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#16
GhostRyder
Wow Asrock, you are quickly becoming one of my favorite motherboard companies by doing stuff like this.

I love this board, 4 DDR4 slots (SO-DIMM) on the M-ITX form factor. I guess I am only sad this is just a server grade board, but I love the idea behind the other M-ITX board they released even though some of the main reason Haswell-E exists are not there I still find it a cool board. Really would make me want to grab a 5820K, the ITX Asrock board, 16gb of ram, and something like an R9 295X2 and make a ridiculous gaming rig (Especially if I could clock the 5820K up to 4.5ghz). Would at least be a talking piece!
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#17
Petey Plane
GhostRyder, post: 3276571, member: 149328"
Wow Asrock, you are quickly becoming one of my favorite motherboard companies by doing stuff like this.

I love this board, 4 DDR4 slots (SO-DIMM) on the M-ITX form factor. I guess I am only sad this is just a server grade board, but I love the idea behind the other M-ITX board they released even though some of the main reason Haswell-E exists are not there I still find it a cool board. Really would make me want to grab a 5820K, the ITX Asrock board, 16gb of ram, and something like an R9 295X2 and make a ridiculous gaming rig (Especially if I could clock the 5820K up to 4.5ghz). Would at least be a talking piece!
Read a review of their ITX 2011-3 board on Toms, i think, and they made the point that they saw virtually no difference in real world performance between dual channel and quad channel DDR4. The gaming benchmarks were within +/- 1-2 FPS margin or error. So, the sacrifices are actually much smaller than you may think.

Synthetic benchmarks were the only place where quad-channel showed any performance improvements.
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#18
GhostRyder
Petey Plane, post: 3276580, member: 150824"
Read a review of their ITX board on Toms, i think, and they made the point that there was virtually no difference in real world performance between dual channel and quad channel DDR4. So, the sacrifices are actually much smaller than you may think.
I am more than aware sir, but it is part of the platform none the less and there are scenarios that people use/want that extra ram and "Quad Channel" support. But then again they won't be looking at that board then so it does not matter.

So for me, no I would not care.
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#19
rippie
Pure speculation:
As it seems they are building more x99 mini-itx solutions so and slowly building up complexity, we can expect more coming.

You think they will go bananas and make a 4x full DIMM + 1x M.2 + 6x SATA + x99 in mini-itx format? I would gladly pay a container full of bananas to get that combo in my house.
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#20
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
You seeeeeeeee you can easily make a nanoITX board!
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#21
Chaitanya
Parn, post: 3276557, member: 155086"
Not necessarily. The case manufacturers can cut out a hole on the motherboard tray for easy access to the rear side of the ITX board or even better a removable cover like those found on the rear side of laptops.
If more motherboard manufacturers start using the rear side of M-ITX motherboards for M.2 slots then maybe case manufacturers will get creative and we might see covers to replace M.2 SSD similar to notebooks.
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#22
Petey Plane
Chaitanya, post: 3276599, member: 93474"
If more motherboard manufacturers start using the rear side of M-ITX motherboards for M.2 slots then maybe case manufacturers will get creative and we might see covers to replace M.2 SSD similar to notebooks.
I'm a big fan of Lian-Li's solution of just using rows of bars to hold the mobo in place, instead of a traditional tray. I think that would probably way to address the issue of more components being moved to the back of the board. Don't know if they use that on any of their ITX cases though.
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#23
Lionheart
Holy shit! :eek: Do want but don't need. ;)

An 8 core 16 threaded beast CPU, 32GB of pointless 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM and a GTX 980Ti or R9 390X video card packed into this case :toast:



Toasty :rockout:
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#24
micropage7
OMG, i like that but too bad the board not black, its like come from 1990s era
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#25
manofthem
WCG-TPU Team All-Star!
micropage7, post: 3276787, member: 82848"
OMG, i like that but too bad the board not black, its like come from 1990s era
This is true, color option could be much better. I like it for what it is though :)
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