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ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac: Mini-ITX Motherboard With Dual NICs, WiFi, Triple Display For ~$130 USD

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  • #41
    Originally posted by numacross View Post
    I do not consider boards like that worthy of the term "workstation". They do not even have basic out-of-band management like Intel AMT, not to mention full-blown vPro (basic AMT + VNC). Event lowly Dell OptiPlex have them so why not offer the option?
    I personally like the fact that they lack additional backdoor stuff, but I use them as a "prosumer", I don't really need to remotely-manage my only home PC.

    In companies I only see HP hardware. So I can't really say for sure what's the point of those boards outside of being good for custom builds where you can't just call up HP/Dell/whatever and ask the usual high end tower PC of theirs.

    What I can say is that by looking at ASUS's lineup for example https://www.asus.com/Commercial-Serv...ards-Products/ they are taking "high performance board designs" adding random server features/certifications (ECC, IPMI, dual CPU, loads of pcie slots), throwing them at the wall, and seeing what sticks.

    For example there are boards with IPMI and overclocking capability (wtf?!), or boards with completely ridicolous amount of PCIe slots that you don't see on servers until you're in the dual-socket Xeon territory.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by audi.rs4 View Post

      What board did you get that had ECC support? AMD didn't remove ECC support in the CPU, but it is rarely built into consumer motherboards.

      From what I have seen, ECC is only necessary in environments when dealing with large files, that must be accurate. So workstation environments involving CAD, Video or photo editing or other similar things. For day to day activities non-ECC memory is just fine. You can find a detailed report on Brian's Blog as to why he doesn't even both with ECC memory for his own NAS server, though, the one he builds and gives away each year does.
      Actually a large portion of motherboards for AM4 support ECC... AsRock has most of their boards supporting it (if not all), ASUS seems to be split at about 50% of theirs supporting ECC, gigabyte is maybe 15%?, and MSI comes in last for number of AM4 boards that support ECC. I have not looked at threadripper, but would expect about the same.

      The way to tell is you gotta go to the manufacturers website for that board, and listed under memory it should say something like "ECC memory in non-ECC mode" or "ECC", or no mention of ECC at all. Obviously the middle one is what you want.

      I personally got a AsRock Tachi board because ECC support, and 10 SATA ports. I don't care so much about anything else... heh. I will say their firmware was the nicest I've ever worked with. At first the stock firmware it shipped with (older, but not first version) did not properly identify and rate my memory. After a firmware update it correctly identified the operating speed of my ECC memory (crucial http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct8g4wfd8266 )

      One of the first things I did before assembling the computer was take out the wireless module (its a miniture PCIe slot), but when I did it had a rattle... thought it was strange but kinda shrugged and set it aside and continued building the computer. When it came to installing the two M.2 SSDs, one of the standoffs was missing... which turned out to be lodged inside the memory module. Don't ask me how it got there, because with how it was attached to the motherboard, a standoff can not get inside the wireless module. Had to have happened at the assembly plant, but somehow missed in the inspection phase.

      Overall I'm quite pleased with the system. My future desktop computer will likely be an AsRock AM4 or TR4 system. Kinda waiting for more money to come in, as well as the ROCm drivers to not be so clunky.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
        I personally like the fact that they lack additional backdoor stuff, but I use them as a "prosumer", I don't really need to remotely-manage my only home PC.
        The backdoor is always there in the form of Intel Management Engine which is the basis of AMT. And if you have an Intel NIC as well on the motherboard then all bets are off - there's a side channel from NIC to the ME. Whether it's exposed to consumers is simply a bit field flipped to 1. vPro is a slightly more complicated beast, but even the basic AMT can turn on the PC remotely.

        If you're not using Windows I guess you can skip that, but for me the ability to remotely turn on the computer is essential. As I wrote before Microsoft made it more difficult to enable WoL on Windows 8 or newer so AMT is one of the only viable ways.

        Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
        In companies I only see HP hardware. So I can't really say for sure what's the point of those boards outside of being good for custom builds where you can't just call up HP/Dell/whatever and ask the usual high end tower PC of theirs.

        What I can say is that by looking at ASUS's lineup for example https://www.asus.com/Commercial-Serv...ards-Products/ they are taking "high performance board designs" adding random server features/certifications (ECC, IPMI, dual CPU, loads of pcie slots), throwing them at the wall, and seeing what sticks.

        For example there are boards with IPMI and overclocking capability (wtf?!), or boards with completely ridicolous amount of PCIe slots that you don't see on servers until you're in the dual-socket Xeon territory.
        It's good that we have choice in the market. For some people truly professional motherboards like Supermicro might be too expensive or not have the features they want.

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