ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 is a relatively compact 1U server for the Intel Xeon E-2300 series. While the Xeon E-2300 Series has been on hold for a while (here’s the launch piece for the ASRock Rack Intel Xeon E-2300 Series), the series is still the current generation platform for the low-cost 1P server market. In this review, we’ll see what makes the ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 different.
ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 Hardware Overview
As usual we’ve had in recent reviews, we’ll divide the hardware overview section into overviews of external and internal hardware. This way we can get into what makes this platform unique because ASRock Rack is known for pumping uniqueness onto its servers.
ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 External Hardware Overview
The system itself is a 1U server, although not very deep. Officially, it is 393.2 mm or 15.5 inches deep. This keeps the unit very compact and also makes it wider than it is at the rear for some sense of volume.
On the left side is an optical slot that is not used in our system.
The front of the unit has two USB 3.0 ports along with the status LEDs and the power/reset buttons.
On the right front, there are two 2.5 bays. These can support NVMe or SATA drives and make a huge impact on the rest of the parts. In the market this server is designed for, common storage configurations are a single SSD, mirrored SSDs, or a boot drive and 1-2 storage drives. While some users may want other configurations, this is actually designed for certain markets.
We’ll show a little inside the server just to keep the external and internal hardware overviews in balance. So, looking beyond the 2.5 slots, we can see that they have SATA and PCIe connectivity via a small hot-switching backplane. Another node in the 2.5 slots designed for NVMe is the presence of a cooling fan for the drives. Normally, if these drive slots were SATA only, most servers would simply use a PSU fan to cool the drives. With higher power NVMe devices, this additional cooling is a small design feature that helps a lot.
Moving to the back of the system, we see the PSU on the left, then the rear I/O in the middle, and the PCIe lever on the right. There’s actually a bit more going on here than that, so let’s get to it.
The PSU in this system is a non-redundant unit. This means that it is fixed and not hot swappable either. If you want to bring A+B power into this server, you’ll need something like ATS.
The unit itself is a 315W 80Plus Gold rating. These servers are usually designed to run well under 200W, so this PSU is plentiful.
At the back of the server, we have the standard VGA and serial ports. There are four USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports and they are more spacious than many servers we see. Additionally, there is an out-of-band management port for IPMI and two Intel i210-at 1GbE ports. There are a couple of other port slots that aren’t used in our system, as we’ll see on the motherboard, there’s room in the motherboard’s design for 10GbE options, but that’s not what this server is set up for.
Also, there is an HDMI port. This is not very common on servers, but as mentioned earlier, ASRock Rack takes on a unique role on its servers.
There is room for a full height expansion hatch, but in practice, things are different once we get in.
With that, let’s get to an overview of the internal hardware.
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