Unpacking the Newegg Bundle: ASRock’s Micro-ATX Motherboard Paired with Ampere’s Altra CPU

In a significant development for computing enthusiasts and professionals, Newegg has introduced a compelling bundle featuring ASRock’s micro-ATX motherboard and a robust 64-core Ampere Altra CPU, priced attractively at $1,500. This article delves into the details of this offering, examining its features, performance, and value proposition, particularly in the context of the American tech market.

A Closer Look at ASRock’s ALTRAD8UD-1L2T Motherboard

Despite its compact 10-inch micro-ATX form, the ASRock ALTRAD8UD-1L2T motherboard boasts an impressive array of features. It supports the included Ampere Altra Q64-22 CPU and is compatible with the higher-end Altra Max lineup, which offers up to 128 cores. Key features include:

  • Memory Support: Eight slots for DDR4-3200 RAM, accommodating up to 256GB per stick.
  • Expansion Capabilities: Four PCIe 4.0 x16 slots and two NVMe slots with PCIe 4.0 support.
  • Connectivity: Includes 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

However, it’s noteworthy that this motherboard does not support the latest DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 standards, placing it a step behind the cutting-edge but still far from obsolete.

The Ampere Altra Q64-22 CPU: Balancing Performance and Price

The Q64-22 CPU, central to this bundle, is a 64-core processor from Ampere’s first-generation Altra line. While not the latest model, having been based on 2020 hardware, its performance remains relevant, particularly considering the attractive bundle price. It’s positioned as a middle-range option within Ampere’s offerings.

Comparing Altra CPUs: Q64-22 vs. Altra Max

For those considering an upgrade, Ampere’s Altra Max CPUs, released in 2021, offer up to 128 cores. These second-generation processors deliver higher multi-threaded performance and are designed primarily for cloud workloads. They are comparable to AMD’s Zen 4c-based Bergamo chips in both core count and targeted applications.

The Competitive Landscape: Ampere Altra vs. AMD and Intel

  • AMD’s Offerings: AMD’s 64-core Epyc Milan CPUs (2021) were on par with Altra Max chips. Their newer 96-core Epyc Genoa and 128-core Epyc Bergamo CPUs likely surpass Altra Max in performance.
  • Intel’s Emerald Rapids Chips: Intel’s 64-core CPUs are expected to be strong competitors, especially in AI workloads.
  • Ampere’s Own Development: The forthcoming 192-core AmpereOne CPU is set to outperform Altra Max.

Assessing the Value of the ASRock and Ampere Bundle

Given the lack of retail availability for these components individually, the $1,500 price tag for the bundle appears quite attractive. However, potential buyers should consider additional costs for memory, storage, and GPU, which are not included in the bundle.

Conclusion

The ASRock motherboard and Ampere CPU bundle presents a unique opportunity for tech enthusiasts and professionals, especially those in the United States. While not at the forefront of technology, its price-to-performance ratio makes it a noteworthy option. It’s a compelling choice for those seeking powerful computing capabilities without breaking the bank, though the lack of the latest memory and PCIe standards might be a drawback for some. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, this bundle represents both the current state of the market and the rapid pace of innovation in the computing world.