Intel's Xeon D SiP (System-in-package) has turned out to be one of the exciting launches this year in the server CPU space. We have already analyzed Xeon D in detail in our review of the Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T. Almost all currently available Xeon D systems / motherboards are from Supermicro, but we now have another set of options from ASRock Rack.

The Xeon D family currently consists of two members:

  • Xeon D-1520 : 4C/8T Broadwell-DE x86 cores @ 2.2 GHz, 6 MB of L2 cache, 45W TDP
  • Xeon D-1540 : 8C/16T Broadwell-DE x86 cores @ 2.0 GHz, 12 MB of L2 cache, 45W TDP

ASRock Rack's Xeon D lineup consists of one board using the Xeon D-1520 and six boards using the Xeon D-1540. Customers have the option of going with either the mini-ITX (mITX) form factor or the micro-ATX (uATX) form factor. The mITX boards are all compatible with 1U rackmount chassis.

In addition to the motherboard size, the differentiation aspects come in the form of support for different varieties of LAN ports, PCIe slot configurations, additional storage ports using the LSI 3008 HBA and different USB 3.0 port configurations. Unlike the mITX boards, all the uATX boards come with a COM port in the rear I/O.The following tables summarize the features of the various products in the ASRock Rack Xeon D lineup.

mITX Boards

  D1520D4I D1540D4I D1540D4I-2L2T
SiP Intel Xeon D-1520 Intel Xeon D-1540
RAM 4x DDR4 DIMM Slots 2133 / 1866 MHz RDIMMs (Up to 128 GB)
PCIe Expansion Slots 1x PCIe 3.0 x16
Storage Controllers 6x SATAIII 6 Gbps from integrated PCH in the Xeon D SiP
(4x via mini-SAS connector)
(1x with SATA DOM support)
1x SATAIII 6 Gbps from Marvell 9172
(via M.2 2280 interface)
LAN Controllers 2x RJ45 1GbE
(Intel i210)
2x RJ45 1GbE
(Intel i210)
2x RJ45 10GbE
(Intel X557-AT2)
Board Management Controller ASPEED AST2400
IPMI LAN Controller 1x Realtek RTL8211E
Display Output 1x D-Sub VGA
USB Ports 2x USB 3.0 Type-A (Rear I/O)

 

uATX Boards

  D1540D4U-2T8R D1540D4U-2O8R D1540D4U-2T2O8R D1540D4U-2L+
SiP Intel Xeon D-1540
RAM 4x DDR4 DIMM Slots 2133 / 1866 MHz RDIMMs (Up to 128 GB)
PCIe Expansion Slots 1x PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 physical) 1x PCIe 3.0 x16
1x PCIe 3.0 x8 (x8 physical) 1x PCIe 3.0 x8
Storage Controllers 6x SATAIII 6 Gbps from integrated PCH in the Xeon D SiP
(4x via mini-SAS connector)
(1x with SATA DOM support)
8x SAS3 12Gbps from LSI 3008 HBA
(via mini-SAS HD connector)
1x SATAIII 6 Gbps from Marvell 9172
(via M.2 2280 interface)
LAN Controllers 2x RJ45 10GbE
(Intel X550)
2x 10G SFP+ Fiber 2x 10G SFP+ Fiber 2x RJ45 1GbE
(Intel i350)
2x RJ45 10GbE
(Intel X540)
Board Management Controller ASPEED AST2400
IPMI LAN Controller 1x Realtek RTL8211E
Display Output 1x D-Sub VGA
USB Ports 2x USB 3.0 Type-A (Rear I/O)
1x USB 3.0 Type-A (Internal Connector)
1x USB 3.0 Header

These boards are ideal for network and warm storage devices as well as micro-servers. Given the low power nature of the Xeon D platform, some of them can also be useful in home lab settings for experimenting with virtualization or even act as boards for high-end development machines.

Source: ASRock Rack

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  • julianb - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Thanks for the input to you too, guys.
    Kind of disappointing then- I was hoping these wouldn't cost too much, not to mention the 45W envelope. If it goes up to 75W though, that is not so much different from the 88W of my 4790K...
    oh well....
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    The Xeon-D doesn't go up to 75W. That was 75W at the plug, meaning the entire machine draws 75W of line power under heavy load. Reply
  • TomWomack - Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - link

    I happen also to have an i7-4790K system, which draws about 120W at the plug under heavy load.

    Of course these figures are neither here nor there - the cost-optimised 4790K will cost its purchase price in electricity in five years, the more efficient and more expensive Xeon D will cost its purchase price in electricity in something like fourteen years.
    Reply
  • evancox10 - Saturday, October 31, 2015 - link

    I'm confused about the 10 GbE Base-T ports. Aren't these provided on-die by the Xeon-D? Why then would the controller be different for one chip vs another? Or did Asrock put down a separate controller? That seems unnecessarily expensive given the on-die controllers in Xeon-D Reply
  • ganeshts - Sunday, November 1, 2015 - link

    OK, I can explain this for you after doing some research on the board components as well as Xeon-D:

    First of all, the 10G support that is on-die in Xeon-D is 2x10G KR (copper backplane). It needs a PHY for translation to SFP+ or 10GBASE-T.

    In the mITX boards, the X557-AT2 is the PHY part that provides a 10GBASE-T interface and it is connected to the 10G KR ports on the Xeon-D SiP. [ http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/embedded/pr... ]

    Now, the uATX boards are more interesting. All the uATX boards actually integrate the Cortina Systems CS4227 [ http://www.inphi.com/products/cs4227-cs4223-cs4343... - Cortina was acquired by Inphi in mid-2014 ]. This is a PHY connected to the 10G KR ports of the Xeon-D SiP. The CS4227 chip is present even in the board which doesn't have the SFP+ ports.

    In order to get 10GBASE-T ports on the uATX boards, there is no option but to use a separate 10GBASE-T controller like the X540 or X550. and connect it to the PCIe 3.0 lanes from the Xeon-D.
    Reply
  • evancox10 - Sunday, November 1, 2015 - link

    Ok, thanks for the clarification! Reply
  • cygnus1 - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    So that means that the uATX boards with copper 10G actually have separate NIC on PCIe instead of using the Xeon-D on-die 10G interfaces? that definitely seems less cost effective Reply
  • WatcherCK - Sunday, November 1, 2015 - link

    Liking the computing power and density that asrock are offering with their Xeon D miniboards, two questions jump to mind however, one as someone else raised is what the final price will be (am I looking at $1000+ NZ for the D1540D4U-2L+ more for 10G?

    The other question is about the reliability of the Asrock Rack boards, can people offer their 5c about their experiences with how reliable Rack boards are? The Newegg comments for the C2750D4L vary quite a bit in the experiences people have had with that particular board...
    Reply
  • nils_ - Thursday, November 5, 2015 - link

    $1k is probably spot on. Reply
  • Ninhalem - Monday, November 2, 2015 - link

    Do the memory slots on the mITX boards support ECC? Reply

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