ASRock Rack Ampere home builds

Share your ASRock Rack Ampere Altra home builds here! Here is the replay of the June 5 Arm developer home build webinar with Newegg Ampere ASRock Rack where 7 of these were presented and voted on. This Arm developer build guide for Ampere Altra is useful. Here is the bundle on Newegg. It is regularly stocked, so if it ever says “back order” that just means more are already en route to Newegg.

@shadethegrey’s “Mac Pro that Apple Should Have Made”

@bexcran’s radical overhaul underway of the previous “world’s most expensive arm PC”

@shadethegrey’s Ampere’d HP workstation

@geerlingguy’s HL15 arm NAS though Jeff has probably said and shown everything there is to know. :grin:

My new build.

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Awesome @bexcran ! I see Nvidia GPU, Intel GPU. Add AMD GPU for the trifecta🤣 Love a link to your build BOM.

Pretty standard build, some interesting parts are the ASRock Tommy and Marvell 88W8897 because of the WoA drivers.

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Another standard build, with a heavily cut case to fit in the unconventional ASRock Deep Micro-ATX board. The second hand Ampere Altra 64c comes from Texas, and runs the ESXi Arm fling.

I have shared some details on a Twitter thread.

The All-In-One water cooling system was the only available option as the ASRock + CPU + cooler bundle was out-of-stock when I purchased the parts. It was easy to install and is very quiet!

The 4 SATA SSDs are passed through to an Open Media Vault VM, and configured in RAIDZ2. This VM has replaced the Kobol Helios 4 NAS (which was my last 32-bit only Arm machine). I added the front FAN to provide adequate cooling for the disks.

The onboard XHCI USB controller is passed through to my Home Assistant VM, but I plan to add 2 discrete USB PCIe cards:

  • one for the Home Assistant RF dongles (Zigbee, ZWave, Bluetooth)
  • one for the Flight Aware ADS-B receiver (because USB pass through adds too much jitter for MLAT flight tracking)

For the network I use a single 10GbE port, with two VLANs:

  • the default VLAN with MTU 1500 for all normal operations.
  • the “fast” VLAN with MTU 9000 to speed up storage workloads.
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(I am limited to one pic per post…)

The cats have found the CPU cooler airflow very enjoyable!

The setup is using 90W with a few VMs running, but only a fraction of those comes from the CPU itself.

A small UPS is adding extra protection for power loss (and smart plug firmware updates too as it turned out! it is used to monitor power consumption).

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And finally, I added a contraption to pass the VGA output to the case HDMI screen, to display the ESXi Arm live console.

(with 2 cats, as I have been told there is a bonus point per cat!)

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It is fun to see how everyone avoids using AMD graphic cards :smiley:

I really looked hard at that case, the front display is perfect to display the vga output with a converter!

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Yes, it is why I had chosen that case :slight_smile: and today the converter is a VGA USB capture, connected to a Raspberry Pi 400.

pi400 install

The case with the screen is amazing, ideal to quickly look at a server console. A button on the side of the screen can quickly turn it on and off.

The case however does not fit the Deep Micro-ATX motherboard from ASRock. I had to cut through a lot of metal to make room for the extra inch.

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So the Mac Pro. This was built out of a 2012 Mac Pro Chassis. I used a plexiglass backplate I cut (poorly) with a dremel and threaded the plexi to take the standoffs. I attached it to some of the old standoffs from the original motherboard with washers to level it.


The power supply is an 850w Core Reactor 2 that I took out of its original case and mounted it to the bottom plate of the old power supply to secure it, then wired the old plug into it so it looks like the old mac power supply.

I used some files from a gentleman from one of the apple forums to make a usb 3 adaptor for the front usb ports, which wound up not fitting with the original fan shroud in place. I wired the original power button and power light into the motherboard.

I put a 92mm fan in the top front where the cd drives used to go to cool the power supply, and used 120mm fans for the original fan tunnel, which needed a lot of stuff cut out to make it work, but it interferes with the USB 3 board, so it probably shouldn’t be used anymore.

Parts list in this build, and partial for Z2
ASRock Rack ALTRAD8UD-1L2T with Q64-22 Ampere CPU
128 GB Crucial DDR4 3200 RDIMM (4 32GB)
Samsung 980 Pro with heatsink
Noctua 92mm NH-D9 AMP-4926 4U CPU cooler
Nvidia T600 gpu
Seasonic Focus SPX-750 platinum power supply
92mm noctua redux fan (triggers fan error, need to switch to the browns or raise speed)
120mm noctua redux fans for tunnel (same as 92mm for error)
Using an HP Z24x Dreamcolor display for display and sound from displayport

I have since migrated this board to the Z2 chassis, as it is a good bit more compact, and I really do like the design of the Hp workstations.

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The Z2. I built this out of an Hp Z2 G5 workstation, originally a 10th gen intel. It has a few more cpu cores now. I cut the original standoffs as none of the original ones aligned. I built another plexi backplate, this time using plexi jigsaw blades and a jigsaw, much easier and cleaner. I mounted that to the raised metal, threaded holes in it for standoffs and mounted the board to it.



I put a 750w seasonic SFX power supply so I could clear the bottoms usb connector for a front hub I will be attempting to build later. The original board had the power button and USB ports mounted directly to it, so I will have to build a new front board to put those back, a tall order for me but a good challenge (anyone a circuit design engineer?). I put neoprene closed cell pieces behind the motherboard and around the inside of the case to help make it quieter, not that it’s loud to begin with, but it’s very quiet and it cuts down on any hollow sound of the case.

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Nice Ampere’d HP Z2 workstation! Smart to use SFX PSU to make things fit, we did the same with a small workstation build we did in our Santa Clara Lab.

Very nice! Is that the JONSBO D31? I assume it fits the D41 w/o cutting.

Ah yes mine is a D31. I see the D41 is for “full” ATX motherboards so this won’t be an issue. Only one way to be sure; when is ASRock doing an Ampere One bundle?

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Love it! Can you add a windows screenshot? And another photo or two? What will you doing with this? Is it dual boot?
What Marvell 88W8897 card did you use?
You’re using ASRock TOMMY VGA display? Have you tried the ASPEED BMC Windows on Arm display driver for Win11 24H2 and Windows Server 2025 Insider Preview? https://www.aspeedtech.com/support_driver/

I’m a bit late for the contest but my contribution might nevertheless be useful for others.

I wanted to replace my ageing and quite limited HP DL20 Gen9, 48 GB RAM, 2x4 TB HDD RAID 1, Intel Xeon E3-1270 v6 @ 4.2 GHz.

I settled on a Asrock Rack Bundle ALTRAD8UD-1L2T from Newegg to build my new homelab server.

Here is my bill of materials.

Quantity Category Item Total price
1 Motherboard ASRock Rack ALTRAD8UD-1L2T + Ampere Altra Q64-22 64 1500 $
2 RAM Micron 64GB DDR4 3200 8Gx72 ECC CL22 RDIMM 310 $
1 Case Innovision M24306 with NVMe backplane 256 $
1 PSU FSP FC210 Power Distribution Board 145,90 €
2 PSU FSP550-20FM AC/DC Converter 12V 500W 277.02 €
3 Cable 10Gtek SFF-8654 8i Cable, SAS 4.0, 85 ohm 89 $
1 Storage Samsung SSD 980 PRO M.2 PCIe NVMe 2 To 196.90 €
1 Cable StarTech.com 9 Pin Serial Male to 10 Pin Motherboard Header LP Slot Plate 5,52 €
2 Cable Molex to to Dual SATA Power Adapter Splitter 4,99 €
3 Storage Samsung SSD PM1735 6.4 TB reuse

The most difficult part was to choose the case and PSU and make sure everything would fit in and connect without having to play with my soldering iron…

Nevertheless, the build is finished and working ! I’m pleased with the results !

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It’s dual booting with OpenSUSE. I think I’ve spent less than half an hour in Windows since I installed, but I said I’d buy a GPU from whichever vendor had ARM drivers first… so here we are!

The latest ASPEED drivers install fine with the ASRock TOMMY, display outputs to both screens no issue (although I think I need a better VGA cable on one).

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