Asrock Rack E3C246D2I

y2kbadbug

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May 29, 2019
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www.shafer.cc
The problem with the 9.5G and higher iGPUs with Plex is that Plex does not have full support for the iHD driver. That is the Intel Media Driver. This is going to be added pretty soon, it's currently in testing. However, I did notice that FreeBSD based systems do not see the iGPU correctly due to the different PCI ID that the Xeon UHD P630 uses.

You can see with vainfo, though, that vainfo does show it supports properly.
 

ReturnedSword

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Jun 15, 2018
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I've been eyeing the E3C246D2I variant for a build. I just realized that the M.2 slot is a M.2 2242? Are there even any decent 2242 FF NVMEs? From a quick search the only available ones are from some rando brands :confused:
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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I've been eyeing the E3C246D2I variant for a build. I just realized that the M.2 slot is a M.2 2242? Are there even any decent 2242 FF NVMEs? From a quick search the only available ones are from some rando brands :confused:
WD have a 2242 size SSD (SN520), as do Lexar (NM520). Maximum capacity in both cases is 512GB, likely due to physical constraints. The WD series has a 2230 option also.
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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Looks like the 512GB version of the SN520 has a TBW of 300 TB. That's a bit low :(
What are you running with high write requirements? I have a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB drive in a Ubuntu server that this Asrock motherboard and Lexar SSD will be going into. It is currently the system and swap drive and rated at 300 TBW. It has 1529 power on DAYS (36706 hours) and has written 84.78TB total in its lifetime. At that rate it should last another 10 years until it may not be able to write any more data :D

For this type of board I imagine the M.2 slot would be used for the OS and there will be separate capacity drive(s) (or network location) - there are 8 SATA ports for expansion...
 

ReturnedSword

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@Speedster I'd like to build a cheaper version of the converged server shared by @Patrick last year, without 10 Gb networking. My reasoning for needing a read/write cache is because the Seagate 15mm drives are quite slow. In fact they won't even hit 0.6 Gbps in most cases without a cache in front. I suppose I can use a SM dual NVMe to PCIe adapter to run one/two Optane 905P or Optane DC P4801X for this purpose. It would have been nice to reserve the PCIe slot for another usage though.

I reached out to ASRock regarding using a M.2 NVMe without disabling SATA 0-3, and here was William from ASRock's reply (the short version is one cannot use the M.2 2242 slot and SATA 0-3 at the same time):

E3C246D2I.png
 
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Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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@SpeedsterI reached out to ASRock regarding using a M.2 NVMe without disabling SATA 0-3, and here was William from ASRock's reply (the short version is one cannot use the M.2 2242 slot and SATA 0-3 at the same time):
That's not how I read his response - he states if you use a NVMe M.2 device, all four PCIe lanes on the M.2 slot are occupied thus no bus lanes available for SATA on the M.2 slot. He even says "four SATA ports through OCuLink and four other SATA ports on the board should be available" o_O
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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I must have misunderstood William’s reply. He just replied back to me, confirming that you’re correct @Speedster
I'll be able to confirm in roughly a month when I have a processor and RAM (upgrade is being funded incrementally...). Since you have a line to Asrock @ReturnedSword, perhaps you could ask if E-2200 processors would be supported with a BIOS update (they are supposedly socket compatible), as if so I might hold the CPU purchase...
 

ReturnedSword

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Jun 15, 2018
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Here's the confirmation from ASRock regarding the storage configuration when the M.2 2242 slot is in use. It would have to be a x1 NVMe... not sure if there are any ever sold? In any case an x1 device would be pegged at just below 1 GB/s. Still faster than a SATA drive I suppose.

E3C246D2I-storage-config.png

I was also able to get a confirmation that the E3C246D2I has a firmware update in development for the E-2200 refresh CPUs.

E3C246D2I-E2200-support.png
 
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RobertC

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So... go with a E-2146G now or wait for the E-2278G?... :D
I have the same dilemma! I was think I3 plus a wait. I can wait a month, if we had any idea about a stock/ship date.

Are the Xeon E's thought to be picky about memory brands? I see Supermicro and crucial usually. Prices are still slowly edging down. Semis got hammered in the stock market due to Huawei's warning of $30B shortfall.
 

ReturnedSword

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Jun 15, 2018
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So I think I will end up using the E3C246D2I my planned Silverstone CS01-HS build. This is similar to Patrick's converged server build from last year. For such a build IMHO 10 Gbps networking is a bit overkill, especially since one would need to probably place a SLOG and L2ARC in front of the Seagate 15mm 2.5" drives. Considering that the 15mm drives are SMR, the IOPS of the RAIDZ2 vDev probably won't be anything to write home about.

I had run CrystalDiskMark on the 5TB drives I've got, and while decent, the performance definitely drops off during sustained transfers. I probably won't need a L2ARC since I'll be maxing out the system with 32GB RAM. Perhaps placing an Optane 905P for SLOG would help with sync writes so it at least can support better utilization of the NICs... Therein lies a problem; the M.2 slot is only a 2242.

I've seen a couple M.2 slot extensions floating around (an example). Does anyone have experience with these? Apparently one cuts the side that mounts on your motherboard to fit your particular needs. The description from all the sellers seem quite poor, with no mention of supported maximum length of the M.2 module. It does look like it's only 22x80mm though :(

Another option is to use a carrier card that uses the split 8/8 lanes from the PCIe x16 slot, however I'm not sure if ASRock has enabled bifurcation on this series, and documentation is lacking. IIRC, bifurcation was enabled on their C232/C236 series boards. Perhaps I'll reach out to ASRock again about this question, but I've leave that for another day.
 

ReturnedSword

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Jun 15, 2018
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I had another reply from William with a snippet of the AMI UEFI editor, showing that the PCIe slot can be bifurcated into x8/x8, x8/x4/x4. He also mentioned it supports x4/x4/x4/x4 bifurcation, which would be great for an ASUS Hyper M.2 X4 or ASRock Ultra Quad M.2 card. I don't recall the C246 chipset (or non-HEDT Intel chipsets) supporting x4/x4/x4/x4 though? Still awaiting his confirmation of that question.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go with this mobo for my ITX NAS build. I only need bifurcation for two 22110 Optanes at the present. The mobo doesn't support 10 Gbps onboard, and there won't be space for NIC in the Silverstone CS01-HS.
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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I had another reply from William with a snippet of the AMI UEFI editor, showing that the PCIe slot can be bifurcated into x8/x8, x8/x4/x4. He also mentioned it supports x4/x4/x4/x4 bifurcation, which would be great for an ASUS Hyper M.2 X4 or ASRock Ultra Quad M.2 card. I don't recall the C246 chipset (or non-HEDT Intel chipsets) supporting x4/x4/x4/x4 though? Still awaiting his confirmation of that question.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go with this mobo for my ITX NAS build. I only need bifurcation for two 22110 Optanes at the present. The mobo doesn't support 10 Gbps onboard, and there won't be space for NIC in the Silverstone CS01-HS.
I should be able to confirm for you this weekend - my RAM and E-2146G should be arriving in the next couple of days.
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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I had another reply from William with a snippet of the AMI UEFI editor, showing that the PCIe slot can be bifurcated into x8/x8, x8/x4/x4.
I can confirm the UEFI has x16, x8/x8 and x8/x4/x4 options. Unfortunately the PCIe M.2 SSD I have isn't detected (nor is a 2280 SATA M.2 I have), so have asked Asrock if there are any jumpers or settings I may have missed before organising a RMA. The PCIe SSD detects fine in a NUC so I'm confident it's the board.
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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Asrock sent me a beta UEFI (1.41), which has allowed the NVMe SSD to be detected! Screenshot of 8 SATA drives with the PCIe M.2 SSD and the bifurcation options on the PCIe x16 slot.

alldrives.jpg

pcie.jpg
 

Speedster

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Apr 28, 2019
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Sure...

It's in a NSC-800 NAS case with Seasonic SS300-M1U PSU.

Xeon E-2146G
Asrock E3C246D2I
32GB Crucial DDR4 Unbuffered ECC (2 x 16GB)
Lexar NM520 512GB 2242 M.2 NVMe SSD
8 x WD 8TB drives (shucked from My Book externals), 4 connected with a Supermicro OCuLink to 4xSATA cable, the other 4 with regular SATA cables
 

ReturnedSword

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Jun 15, 2018
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Nice build there @Speedster.

I've got plenty of 8TB and 10TB shucked EasyStores here, just itching for a build to use them in :\

I got a confirmation from the seller ADT-Link on AliExpress that their M.2 to PCIe x4/x16 flexible riser can have its M.2 side trimmed to fit smaller slots (such as 2242). This is why things are so hard! Now I'm considering using a Silverstone CS280 with my shucked Seagate 5TB 15mm drives. If I did that I'd use a bifurcated quad M.2 card in the main PCIe slot (3 out of 4 M.2 slots should work, I think, with the 8x/4x/4x bifurcation option), and use a riser from the M.2 2242 slot for a 1x 10G fiber NIC.