On the back of Intel's recent Ice Lake Xeon W-3300 announcement, ASRock has announced one of the first motherboards to support the new processors, the ASRock C621A WS. Some of its core features include four full-length PCIe 4.0 slots, three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots, two M.2 slots, eight memory slots with support for up to 2TB of DDR4 memory, and dual 10 Gb plus dual Gigabit Ethernet on the rear panel.

The latest iteration of Intel's 3rd generation Xeon Scalable platform comes via the Xeon W-3300 family, which is essentially Ice Lake for workstations. The top SKU, Xeon W-3375, contains 38 cores (76 threads), with a base frequency of 2.5 GHz, 57 MB of L3 cache, and a maximum TDP of 270 W. All of Intel's Xeon W-3300 family includes 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes, up to eight-channel DDR4, and support for up to 256 GM LRDIMMs with a maximum capacity of up to 4 TB per socket.

The ASRock C621A WS motherboard uses a transposed single LGA4189 socket and is flanked by eight horizontally mounted memory slots. There's support for up to DDR4 DIMMs at speeds up to 3200 MT/s, with a maximum capacity of up to 2 TB, with UDIMMs, RDIMMs, and LRDIMMs all supported. Dominating the lower section of the board are four full-length PCIe 4.0 x16 slots and three full-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slots, with one PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA M.2 slot and one PCIe 3.0 x1/SATA M.2 slot. For conventional SATA devices, ASRock includes two SATA ports with one mini-SAS HD connector.

As for network connectivity, ASRock includes a pair of 10 GbE that are powered by an Intel X710-ATX Ethernet controller, as well as another pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports driven by a pair of Intel I210 controllers. Other connectivity includes a D-sub video output which allows users to access the board's BMC functionality, which is provided via an ASPEED AST2500 controller, with a dedicated Ethernet port allowing for remote access to the BMC. In terms of USB, there are four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports on the rear panel, with further expansion available through internal headers. This includes room to installed up to four USB 3.2 G2 Type-C ports through front panel headers, one USB 3.2 G1 Type-A header for two ports, and one USB 2.0 header, which also can support another two ports. 

Although the new Intel Xeon W-3300 family of processors includes native support for Thunderbolt 4 and Intel's Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, ASRock has opted not to use either of these features. Whether this is intentional from ASRock remains to be seen, as it may release more variants later. At the time of writing, ASRock hasn't given pricing information, but we expect the C621A WS to be available in retail channels soon.

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  • Sartorial - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    "three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots", "three full-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slots": What is this supposed to mean? They aren't x16, so "full length" doesn't mean that. Did you write this gibberish, or did you copy/paste it from a press release without proof-reading it for sanity? Reply
  • SarahKerrigan - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    I assume "full-length x8" just means a physically full-length PCIe slot with 8 connected electrical lanes. Not sure how that's "gibberish." Reply
  • shelbystripes - Friday, July 30, 2021 - link

    Typically, when discussing motherboard specifications, a “full-length” PCIe slot means a PCIe slot that accepts cards with up to and including a physical 16x-length connector, whether 16x electrical connections are required by the card or not.

    It’s not actually that complicated or unusual, and it’s not gibberish. I’m sorry that you’re not used to reading motherboard reviews.
    Reply
  • Mikewind Dale - Saturday, July 31, 2021 - link

    A full-length PCIe slot means it is physically x16, but electrically x8. This means that you can plug a graphics card (or some other x16) card and it will fit in the slot, but use only 8 lanes.

    And sometimes see a x1, x2, or x4 slot that is open at the end so that a x8 or x16 card can fit in the slot. This page has a photo that illustrates this: https://www.evercase.co.uk/PCI-ExpressRiserCards.h...
    Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, August 1, 2021 - link

    Wake me when you have something to show other than promotional vaporware--when you have products in hand, etc.

    "...but we expect the C621A WS to be available in retail channels soon."

    Why, pray tell?...;) Intel's record of execution has been far from reliable for the last few years. Do you have some reason to think things have changed? Seems to me *shipping products* is the only way to be sure things have changed @ Intel, eh?
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, August 2, 2021 - link

    > Wake me when you have something to show other than promotional
    > vaporware--when you have products in hand, etc.

    They're reporting the announcement, which was probably a press release. A review is when they actually get the hardware in house and kick the tires.
    Reply
  • JayNor - Sunday, August 1, 2021 - link

    "and 3DXP memory types all supported."

    Intel arc doc lists Optane memory not supported for these announced chips. Is that coming on a later chip version?

    https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/produc...
    Reply

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