Arm developer build guide for Ampere Altra

Here is guidance for building arm developer workstations, homelab servers, NAS, et al. using ASRock Rack ALTRAD8UD-1L2T Ampere Altra. We worked with ASRock Rack and Newegg to create these nice priced bundles for you. Patrick Kennedy says “This is the Ampere Arm motherboard you want.” and loves Noctua Ampere Altra coolers.

See what others have built and tell us about your build here and watch replay of our June 5 2024 webinar for prizes.

For buy instead of build ADLINK Ampere Altra Dev Platform, MIFCOM Ampere Altra Workstation, and many servers are click-to-buy.

Components
ASRock Rack Ampere Altra Memory QVL (qualified vendor list) are tested by ASRock Rack using ALTRAD8UD-1L2T.

Ampere Altra AVL is list of components (memory, storage, network cards, HBA controllers, et al.) that have been Ampere tested and supported on “Mt Jade” Ampere Altra reference platform. So these probably work fine on ALTRAD8UD-1L2T but keep your receipts.
@bexcran has thoughts here and itemized an example Ampere Altra desktop build.

Workstation and other enclosures
ASRock Rack Ampere Altra “deep mATX” should be fine with enclosures that are for “EATX/ATX/mATX”. A few mATX enclosures also work but measure carefully, consider cable routing, and keep your receipt. Pro tip: SFX PSUs are much smaller and enabled the board to fit in some mATX enclosures.

CPU Coolers
This is a list of coolers (active, passive, water) designed for and tested on ASRock Rack Ampere “deep microATX” motherboard which is click-to-buy on Newegg. All of these are also believed to work on the ADLINK COM-HPC Altra module, Ampere Altra Dev Kit, Ampere Altra Dev Platform workstation.

Operating Systems

  • All of the Linux distros that come to mind and a few that don’t.
  • FreeBSD not yet on ASRock Rack because of some ACPI issue. We’re looking into this and you can help! FreeBSD is fine on the ADLINK Ampere Altra products.
  • Windows 11 24H2, Windows Server 2025 Insider Preview install and work fine. Main issue is lack of drivers but people are working on that. Not yet officially supported though Azure and their customers run huge Windows workloads in production on Azure Arm Ampere Altra instances all the live long day. And is supported with ASPEED Windows Display Driver 1.15.2 and later download here. For more details Windows Arm Ampere Altra guide

Display and GPU Support

Tips and Tricks


2 bonus points for @cypou, 1 per cat. Those are the rules.

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Just to note that the NVIDIA T400 is based on the Turing architecture and so is supported by the NVIDIA Open GPU drivers.

There’s more technical information about the card at NVIDIA T400.

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