The 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 out for some time (here is the ASRock Rack Intel Xeon E-2300 Series Launch piece), the series is still the current-generation platform for the lower-cost 1P server market. In this review, we are going to see what makes the ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 different.
ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 Hardware Overview
As has been our custom in recent reviews, we are going to split our hardware overview section into external and internal hardware overviews. That way we can go into what makes this platform unique since ASRock Rack is known for putting a unique spin on its servers.
ASRock Rack 1U2E-C252 External Hardware Overview
The system itself is a 1U server, albeit not a very deep one. Officially it is 393.2mm or 15.5” deep. That keeps the unit very compact and also makes it wider than it is deep for some sense of scale.
On the left side there is an optical bay that is unused in our system.
The front of the unit has two USB 3.0 ports along with 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 result in a huge influence on the rest of the sever. In the market for which this server is designed, 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 specific markets.
We are going to show a little bit inside the server just to keep the external and internal hardware overviews more balanced. So looking behind the 2.5″ bays, we can see that they have both SATA and PCIe connectivity via a small hot-swap backplane. Another nod to the 2.5″ bays being designed for NVMe is that there is a cooling fan for the drives. Usually, if these drive bays were SATA only, most servers would simply use the PSU fan to cool drives. With higher-power NVMe devices, that extra cooling is a small design feature that helps a lot.
Moving to the rear of the system, we see the PSU on the left, then the rear I/O in the middle, and the PCIe riser on the right. There is actually a bit more going on here than that, so let us get to it.
The PSU in this system is a non-redundant unit. That means it is fixed and not hot swappable as well. If you wanted to feed A+B power into this server, you would need something like an ATS.
The unit itself is a 315W 80Plus Gold rated. These servers are usually designed to operate well below 200W so this PSU is ample.
In the rear of the server, we have standard VGA and serial ports. There are four USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports which is more ample than many servers we see. In addition, there is an out-of-band management port for the IPMI and two Intel i210-at 1GbE ports. There are two more port cutouts that are not being used in our system, as we will see on the motherboard, there is room in the motherboard design for 10GbE options, but that is not what this server is set up for.
Also, there is a HDMI port. That is very uncommon in servers, but as we mentioned earlier, ASRock Rack takes a unique spin on its servers.
There is a place for a full-height expansion slot, but in practice, things are different once we get inside.
With that, let us get to the internal hardware overview.