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Asus / AsRock Rack Motherboards


snapper
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Hi,

I need to replace a Mini ITX board in a device I manage. The form factor cannot be changed as its an embedded device, not traditional PC style...

The requirements are IPMI (or AMT), CPU can be Ivy Bridge or Haswell (need VT-d), 16gb RAM, 3 SATA ports, 2 ethernet ports and a serial port. OS is Centos, running KVM virtualisation.

I have shortlisted these:

Used Intel DQ77KB (replace whats already there)
New open box Asus P9D-i (just under half price as its an Amazon return: unwanted goods)
New AsRock Rack E3C226D2i

Pricewise, the Intel and P9D are very similar, but the AsRock is roughly twice the price of the other 2.
I have a spare Haswell Xeon that I can use for the Asus/Asrock.

I've only used the Intels in this application, but they are getting quite hard to get hold of now as they are discontinued.
Ive also found the AMT implementation a little flakey - if you cycle the ethernet port the AMT is running on in the linux host, it will disconnect the management session, requiring a power cycle to get back :(

The P9D-i is very appealing at that price, but reviews of Asus support seem to be poor if there were issues.

Has anyone got any experience of Asus / AsRock motherboards?
Or even any other boards that would fit?

Cheers!

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The MiniITX Asus isn't a good board, it's really buggy.  I've had an AsRock E3C226D2I and it was fine, I had no issues at all with it.

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Asus and Asrock, along with Gigabyte, are the brands I particularly trust for a motherboard. They're generally considered solid performers.

 

Though, nowhere near as high-end as the ones you mentioned, I have an Asrock M3A785GM-LE that's 5 years old (24x7) that just refuses to die. It has went through a PSU change and several HDDs. Not bad for a cheap board.

 

Still, there are bad models/batches that just didn't make the cut. That's why reviews and user feedback is important.

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Like others, I've had good success with AsRock mobos. I've also had success with Asus, but my experience has been more mixed than with AsRock.

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I actually own the AsRock Rack E3C226D2i board.

 

It's a fantastic little board actually. As for Support, I've dealt with their support a good deal, and my experience with them was fantastic (it wasn't troubleshooting, it was requesting information and firmware flashing utilities and such).

 

I would definitely recommend the board.

 

 

 

Also, I'll second the flakiness of Intel's vPro/AMT feature. Even on Windows, it has issues. Sometimes, the adapter will show up as 10Base-T and the only way to fix it is to power cycle the system. 

And some other issues as well. 

Not to mention, to get access to the power menu and disk mounting, it requires RealVNC Pro, for $100... on top of the price of the hardware. IPMI is free.

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I have a AsRock C226 WS on it's way.  10 SATA ports. :)  NAS/Server rebuild time!

That's a great board. Please start a thread on the build. I would like to see what you put together.

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That's a great board. Please start a thread on the build. I would like to see what you put together.

 

I absolutely will.

 

I thought I could manage with a 4-bay NAS, but I was kidding myself.

 

General spec is the Xeon E3-1225v3 from my TS140, 16GB ECC, and I'll likely be going with Server 2012R2.  I'll be putting a few VMs on there, so there'll be a RAID1 for those, and Stablebit DrivePool will be doing the bulk media storage as usual.  The case is also a bit of a blast-from-the-past for a lot of use who built machines 10-15 years ago. ;)

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