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Small form-factor desktop PCs powered by high-performance CPUs have become quite common in the recent years. But there is also demand for compact workstations and even servers. ASRock Rack has quietly unveiled one of the industry’s first motherboards for AMD’s EPYC 7002-series ‘Rome’ processors in the so-called ‘Deep Mini-ITX’ form-factor. The platform will enable system makers to build SFF systems with up to 64 cores.

AMD EPYC 7232P

The ASRock ROMED4ID-2T features a socket SP3 and supports AMD’s EPYC 7002-series processors in the LGA4094 packaging. The manufacturer does not disclose how much power the motherboard can deliver to the CPU or the list of processors compatible with the unit. But it is unlikely that this particular platform is designed for the highest-end EPYC chips.

The motherboard has four DDR4 memory slots that support RDIMM and LRDIMM modules of up to 256GB capacities (to be validated) and therefore up to 1TB of DRAM in total at up to 3200 MT/s. The platform also features one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for an accelerator or a graphics card, one M.2-2280 slot (PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA) for SSDs and six slimline connectors for U.2 drives (PCIe 4.0 x8 or SATA). Internal I/O of the platform is good enough both for servers and workstations. In addition, it also carries the ASPeed AST2500 baseboard management controller (BMC).

As for external I/O connectors, the ASRock ROMED4ID-2T has two 10 GbE ports (controlled by the Intel X550-AT2), one GbE connector, and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, which is good enough for servers, but hardly sufficient for most workstations.

The ‘Deep Mini-ITX’ motherboard measures 6.7 inches × 8.2 inches (17 cm × 20.8 cm). Therefore the ASRock ROMED4ID-2T is not going to fit into typical Mini-ITX cases, but only into those which are designed for ‘deeper’ motherboards with extra space inside. The board will also fit into larger desktop as well as rack chassis.

Traditionally, ASRock Rack produces motherboards for various system integrators, so it’s highly likely that the ROMED4ID-2T was designed for a particular customer. Meanwhile, since it is listed on the company’s website, it will also be available to all interested parties. ASRock has not revealed pricing of the platform, but this is a unique product that will come at an appropriate price.

ASRock is known for making rather unique Mini-ITX motherboards. Several years ago, the company introduced one of the first Intel X299-powered Mini-ITX motherboard for enthusiasts. Back then, we enquired whether the company planned to release any Mini-ITX platforms for AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors. Years later, ASRock’s server division finally developed a ‘Deep Mini-ITX’ motherboard with a socket SP3 — albeit for AMD’s EPYC CPUs rather than the more mainstream Threadripper line.

 

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