AMD has been making waves in the processor market with their Ryzen CPUs and Radeon graphics cards, but they’re also making headway in the workstation space with their new B665 chipset-powered mainstream workstation AM5 motherboards.
ASUS and ASRock, two of the top motherboard vendors, have recently unveiled their newest products in the workstation motherboard market – the ASUS Pro WS 665-ACE and the ASRock Rack B6654DU-1L.
Both motherboards are custom-made for select cloud servers and data centers, with orders of at least 1000 units required before production begins. The motherboard design includes a rotated socket, DDR5 DIMM slots at the top, and a downward VRM position.
This design is said to provide longer air passages for passive workstation coolers, which can lead to 2-3 degrees Celsius lower temperatures.
The design is also cost-effective, an essential consideration for cloud servers and data centers that need to manage power costs while maintaining optimal performance. Nevertheless, the DEBUG LED, commonly used for troubleshooting in a workstation setting, is included on both motherboards.
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This raises the question of why entry-level consumer motherboards don’t include this feature. Regarding CPU support, these motherboards only support CPUs with a maximum TDP of 90W. Higher-end CPUs like the Ryzen 9 7950X will only run at 90W, and lower TDP CPUs like the 65W Ryzen CPUs may be a better choice for these motherboards. This highlights the importance of balancing performance with power consumption and cost-effectiveness in workstation environments.
The ASUS Pro WS 665-ACE motherboard features a 16-phase power design with an integrated 10 Gb Ethernet controller, dual M.2 slots, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The ASRock Rack B6654DU-1L motherboard features USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, and Thunderbolt 4 ports in addition to its other features, such as support for up to 128 GB of DDR5 memory and dual M.2 slots.
The ASRock Rack B6654DU-1L motherboard has an 18-phase power design, dual M.2 slots, six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and supports up to 128GB of DDR5 memory. It also has various I/O options, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, and Thunderbolt 4. Both motherboards support PCIe 5.0 and the latest AMD Ryzen CPUs.
They are designed for use in cloud servers and data centers where power efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and performance are crucial. Their unique design, with an inverted socket and top-sided DDR5 DIMM slots, is optimized for passive workstation coolers and longer air passages, resulting in better performance and lower temperatures.
Having a DEBUG LED on a workstation motherboard is crucial in server or data center environments where downtime can be costly. The LED provides diagnostic information about the boot-up process, identifying any issues or malfunctions and allowing IT professionals to resolve them quickly. While not necessary on entry-level consumer motherboards, the DEBUG LED is an essential feature for ensuring the availability and reliability of systems in critical environments.
The custom-made B665 chipset-powered mainstream workstation AM5 motherboards from ASUS and ASRock are designed with features that cater to the needs of entry-level workstation users. These motherboards have an efficient design with an inverted socket that allows for a longer air passage and better cooling for passive workstation coolers.
This design also saves costs, providing a cost-effective solution for entry-level workstation users. Additionally, the motherboards have necessary I/O ports and top-sided DDR5 DIMM slots, with the VRM position located downwards, unlike other mainstream motherboards that position their VRM sideways.
Regarding CPU support, these motherboards support chips with a maximum TDP of 90W. This is because cost-effective power management is crucial for entry-level cloud and data center workstation PCs.
Despite supporting a 170W Ryzen 9 7950X CPU, the board is limited to a maximum power consumption of 90W for the CPU. This means that 65W Ryzen CPUs are ideal for these motherboards. This has been the case with older AM4 options, too, as power consumption is critical for entry-level workstation users. The ASUS Pro WS 665-ACE and ASRock Rack B6654DU-1L motherboards share several similarities.
They are not meant for the DIY segment, and orders of at least 1000 units must be made before they can be produced for a specific customer. These motherboards are custom-made for leading smaller cloud and data center providers, catering to their needs.
These motherboards are likely a rebranding of the B650 chipset with some underlying changes. This indicates that AMD is focusing on providing custom-made solutions for specific customer needs, catering to their particular requirements and preferences.
The ASUS Pro WS 665-ACE motherboard has four DDR5 DIMM slots, two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, one PCIe 5.0 x8 slot, and one PCIe 4.0 x4 slot. It also has three M.2 slots, one supporting PCIe 4.0 x4, while the other supporting PCIe 4.0 x4 and SATA modes. The motherboard also has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port, six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, and two Gigabit LAN ports. The motherboard has an ATX form factor, measuring 305mm x 244mm.
The ASRock Rack B6654DU-1L and ASUS Pro WS 665-ACE motherboards utilize the B665 chipset, which is likely a rebranded version of the B650 chipset with minor updates. Both motherboards support up to 128GB of DDR5 memory and feature an inverted socket design for improved cooling. The ASUS Pro WS 665-ACE offers more features, such as four PCIe 5.0 slots, while the ASRock Rack B6654DU-1L is a cost-effective option with a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. The boards are designed for entry-level workstation use and come with SATA3 6.0 Gb/s ports and Gigabit Ethernet ports for networking.