The Intel W480 Motherboard Overview: LGA1200 For Xeon W-1200

During Intel’s unveiling of the Z490 chipset and Intel Core 10th generation Comet Lake processors, Intel also announced its series of Xeon W-1200 processors. To accompany this announcement, without much fanfare, Intel also launched the W480 chipset which also features an LGA1200 socket. Aiming for a more professional feel for processors with ECC support, vendors have announced a variety of W480 models. Some target content creators, and others for workstation environments. These boards are paired solely with W-1200, and support both ECC and non-ECC DDR4 memory.

The primary differences between the consumer and generally gaming-focused Z490 models and the W480 aren’t as staggering one might think on paper. The difference is more product segmentation than anything else. W480 includes the key technologies which Intel has put into Comet Lake. Some of the notable technologies on Intel’s Xeon W-1200 series processors include Turbo Boost Max 3.0 which boosts a single core far, and beyond the overall base frequency, e.g. the Intel Xeon W-1290P which is the top SKU has a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, with a maximum Thermal Velocity Boost single-core speed of up to 5.3 GHz. The P in the Xeon W-1200 series stands for performance, with a rated TDP of 125 W, with all of the product stack featuring support for up to 128 GB of DDR4-2933 ECC memory.

The Intel W480 chipset layout is identical to Z490. Some of the integrated features include up to 24 PCIe lanes, with some features optional and some as standard, with support for up to eight SATA ports, and allows vendors to choose which kind of USB connectivity is used dependant on model. I support for up to eight USB 3.2 G2 ports, with a maximum of ten USB 3.2 G1 ports, and fourteen USB 2.0 ports, although it has to be selective in the number of USB ports it uses, as each array uses a different amount of PCIe. 

Intel has stuck with the 2.5 G Base-T MAC which allows vendors to easily add 2.5 GbE Ethernet controllers if they wish to do so. At the same time, it also allows the manufacturers to utilize Intel Rapid Storage technologies. Intel also includes an integrated Intel Wi-Fi 6 CNVi which will enable users to integrate a wireless interface up to and including an Intel AX201, which of course involves a higher cost which is passed onto the end-user. The most significant aspect to consider between W480 and Z490 is that W480 has official support for ECC memory, with up to 128 GB allowable in terms of capacity. Some of the older generations of Intel platforms from yesteryear has allowed cross-use between its Xeon E3-1200 series processors on its desktop chipsets, although Intel has completely segmented away the Xeon W-1200 range, so Xeon W-1200 is supported on W480 only.

While vendors weren’t clamouring over themselves to unveil its W480 models during the initial announcement of W480 and Intel’s Xeon W-1200 processors, the cat is out of the bag so to speak. At present, we’ve only been able to find ten models across six vendors in total at the time of writing, which isn’t a large product stack. We do expect more models to be announced at a later date, but at present, it’s anyone’s guess as to who or what will be unveiled further down the line. Some of the vendors have stated that their products aren’t really going to retail, and will end up mostly in the hands of system integrators who build these systems for their clients.


The ASRock W480 Creator Motherboard

Focusing on the product stack, ASRock, ASRock Rack, ASUS, DFI, GIGABYTE, and Supermicro have announced some models. There’s a mixture of ATX and micro-ATX. Some of the most premium models come from the big four vendors in terms of design, aesthetics and feature sets, with the stand out models including the premium ASRock W480 Creator. As the ‘Creator’ name suggests, it is targeting content creators with its dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C rear panel connectivity, triple PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, and eight SATA ports. Another comes from GIGABYTE via the W480 Vision D, which has an exquisite white and black contrasting design and is resembles the former Designare range. Included in the W480 Vision D’s feature set is Thunderbolt 3, triple PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2, and eight SATA ports, six of which include support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, while the additional two ports come via an ASMedia SATA controller.

Another inclusion across the majority of the product stack is three or more USB 3.2 G2 rear panel connectivity, which is using Intel’s W480 to its capabilities. One exciting example of this is the ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace with dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C with a pair of DisplayPort inputs, with four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A ports for an impressive rear panel. No fewer than six of the ten W480 models incorporates three or more USB 3.2 G2 on the rear panel, including the trio of Supermicro models, the micro-ATX X12SCZ-TLN4F and X12SCZ-F, with the ATX X12SAE.

For quick links to each of the pages for each of the models covered in this W480 overview:

  1. ASRock W480 Creator
  2. ASRock Rack W480D4U
  3. ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace
  4. DFI CMS310-W480
  5. GIGABYTE W480 Vision D
  6. GIGABYTE W480 Vision W
  7. GIGABYTE W480M Vision W
  8. Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F
  9. Supermicro X12SCZ-F
  10. Supermicro X12SAE

The W480 Creator is ASRock’s solitary W480 offering at present and has a range of features. Marketed towards content creators, the ASRock W480 has a stacked ATX sized frame with three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, and a reliable integrated audio solution which includes a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and ESS SABRE9128 DAC designed to improve front panel audio.

The ASRock W480 Creator follows a simple and elegant silver and black design, with two large power delivery heatsink connected by a single heat pipe, and a large aluminium rear panel cover. There are three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+x4, with two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. For storage, the board includes three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots which each consists of a heatsink, and eight SATA ports in total, while only six include support for 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. There is a total of four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-4600, and up to a maximum capacity of 128 GB. This includes support for both ECC and non-ECC memory modules, although support is dependant on the processor used.

On the rear panel is a stacked out range of input and output which is spearheaded by two Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports with two mini DisplayPort inputs. Other USB connectivity includes three USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports, with a clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback button pairing. The onboard audio consists of five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output which is controlled by a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec. At the same time, an ESS SABRE9128 DAC assists the codec on the front panel audio header. Networking support is strong with two Ethernet ports, one controlled by an Aquantia AQC107 10 GbE Ethernet controller and the other by an Intel I225LM 2.5 GbE controller. There is also integrated Wi-Fi 6 which is driven by an Intel module, but the model isn’t specified; this also supports connectivity with BT 5.1 devices. Finishing off the rear panel is a single HDMI 1.4 video output.

The ASRock W480 Creator is a very high-end model which, although it is aimed at content creators in marketing, it is a solid option for workstation users too. With premium dual Ethernet including a 10 GbE and 2.5 GbE pairing, with a Wi-Fi 6 interface and a Thunderbolt 3 controller, it does tick many boxes for what a flagship desktop model should include. Whether the aim is to create a top of the range gaming system with a premium controller set or opt for Intel’s Xeon and Xeon-W processors, it’s not likely the W480 will come cheap.

Update: ASRock has given us the MSRP: $450.

Although ASRock and ASRock Rack are similar in name, they are separate entities under the same company in the motherboard space. ASRock Rack by comparison caters to the workstation and server markets. The ASRock Rack W480D4U is an interesting model with its micro-ATX size, and support for both ECC and non-ECC memory up to DDR4-2933. Included are a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet and an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller.


Sorry for the slightly blurry image, this is all that is currently available

Looking at the design of the ASRock Rack W480D4U, it isn’t anything fancy with a standard green PCB, and blue and white memory slots. These four memory slots include support for up to DDR4-2933, both ECC and non-ECC modules are supported, and up to a maximum of 128 GB can be installed. There is a single full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, with a half-length PCIe 3.0 x8 slot, and a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. Included on the board is an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller which provides access to ASRock Racks intuitive interface and control panel. For storage, the W480D4U is using two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots with eight SATA ports with one port supporting SATA DOM, with all the SATA ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. The board is also equipped with seven 4-pin fan headers which are exceptional for a board of this size.

The rear panel includes two USB 3.1 G2 Type-A and two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports, with two Intel I20 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a dedicated Realtek RTL8211E Ethernet port for the boards IPMI controlled by an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller. Finishing off the rear panel of the W480D4U is a D-sub video output for the BMC, a serial port, and UID LED button.

The ASRock Rack W480D4U conforms more to what is expected from its workstation and server series of models, with its green PCB and unassuming controller set. The board doesn’t include integrated audio which isn’t a negative, and overall it packs a nice punch for a micro-ATX Xeon focused model with seven 4-pin fan headers, support for 128 GB of DDR4 memory, and dual Gigabit Ethernet. 

With most brands opting for a light-handed W480 product stack, ASUS currently has just one model. The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace is a premium model with an extensive feature set including dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports on the rear, an Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet port, with a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet port for ASUS’s own control software, and two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots.

The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace follows a similar design to previous WS series models from ASUS, with an all-black aesthetic with a black PCB, black straight-edged heatsinks, and a silver plate on the chipset heatsink. Dominating the lower portion of the board are three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+x4, and also has two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. There are two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots which each come with an M.2 heatshield, and six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Onboard is a single USB 3.2 G1 Type-C header, while the board has a better quality USB 3.2 G2 Type-C header too. For memory, there are four memory slots with support for up to DDR4-4800, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB, and has support for both ECC and non-ECC memory dependant on processor support.

On the rear panel is a ton of connectivity which includes dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports with two DisplayPort, four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. The board has an Intel I225-LM 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, with an assisting Realtek RTL8117 Gigabit interface management Ethernet port. Devoid of any wireless connectivity, the ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace is using a Realtek ALC S1220A HD audio codec which powers the five 3.5 mm audio codecs and S/PDIF optical output. In contrast, an HDMI video output allows users to leverage Intel’s UHD graphics on supported processors. 

The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace combines a subtle and sleek aesthetic with a premium controller set. ASUS hasn’t provided any pricing as of yet, but we expect this model to sit towards the higher-end of the W480 product stack and will most likely have a price tag to match. The inclusion of dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C and two Type-C headers provides plenty of connectivity options, with a solid rear panel and a dedicated IPMI interface which can be accessed by one of the rear panel Ethernet ports. The ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace has an MSRP of $280, which represents good value for money when compared to a model with the same feature set on the Z490 chipset.

Fondly remembered for the LANParty series of motherboards back in the 2000s, DFI disappeared off the radar from the consumer motherboard market. However, it still creates a range of industrial models and embedded solutions. The DFI CMS310-W480 is a little bit of an enigma with no official images or anything which could decipher the board’s visual design and layout. We do know the CMS310-W480 will include a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, four SATA ports, and three video outputs on the rear for triple display capability.

Focusing on what we do know about DFI’s CMS310-W480, we know that it will feature two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which will operate at x16, and x8/x8, with two PCIe 3.0 x4 slots, although we can’t be sure if these will be full or half-length slots. There will be a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, with four SATA ports capable of supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays, with an M.2 Key-E slot present to allow users to install a wireless interface, perhaps one of Intel’s AX200/201 Wi-Fi 6 models.

The official specifications list says the rear panel includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports but can accommodate up to four Gigabit ports upon request, which gives the impression that DFI will be looking to secure specific orders in volume, perhaps from system integrators and from within the server/workstation industry. It lists two USB 3.2 G2 ports and four USB 3.2 G1 ports but doesn’t specify between Type-C and Type-C, with a trio of video outputs including a DisplayPort, HDMI, and a D-sub. The three 3.5 mm audio jacks will be powered by a Realtek ALC888 HD audio codec.

For Intel’s more workstation focused W480 chipset, at time of writing, GIGABYTE has unveiled three models with two ATX sized model and one micro-ATX model. The more premium of the two ATX sized boards is the GIGABYTE W480 Vision D, with its black PCB and striking white PCIe armor and heatsinks for a robust and classic contrasting look. Some of the boards feature set includes dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connectivity on the rear panel, three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with dual Ethernet on the rear including an Intel 2.5 GbE controller, and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 interface.

The GIGABYTE W480 Vision D has a solid feature set which includes three full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which run at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/+x4, with a single PCIe 3.0 slot. Underneath the visually pleasing PCIe slot armor is the three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with six SATA ports also present which includes support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. The W480 Vision D has four memory slots with official support for both ECC and non-ECC memory, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB and speeds of up to DDR4-2933. 

Looking at the rear panel, the GIGABYTE W480 Vision D includes dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports with a single DisplayPort video input to assist. Also present are two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports, with a front-panel USB 3.2 G2 Type-C front panel header present for users that require more Type-C connectivity. The networking consists of two Ethernet ports including an Intel 2.5 GbE and Intel Gigabit controller pairing, with an Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 interface which also provides support for BT 5.1 devices. Finishing off the rear panel are five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output controlled by a Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec and a single HDMI 1.4 video output.

The GIGABYTE W480 Vision D is undoubtedly one of the best looking W480 models announced and should fit a multitude of system configurations with its black and white contrasting design. Combining this with a solid premium feature set with dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C and plenty of USB 3.2 G2 Type-A on the rear panel is suitable for content creators and workstation users with lots of USB devices. The W480 Vision D is also one of the only models to include three PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots which is a huge plus point for the board and sets it apart from a small handful of premium models from the big four consumer-focused vendors.

Moving down GIGABYTE’s W480 product stack is the W480 Vision W, which is similar in feature set to the W480 Vision D bar some of the most premium features. Included in the W480 Vision W feature set is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, with two Ethernet ports including a 2.5 gigabit Ethernet controller pairing and a Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec.

Although the GIGABYTE W480 Vision W isn’t as visually appealing as the more premium Vision D, the W still looks good with a very busy PCB full of components and circuitry around the PCIe slot area. Included are four full-length PCIe 3.0 slots, with two of them featuring a metal slot reinforcement coating. The two metal-coated slots operate at PCIe 3.0 x16 and PCIe 3.0 x8, while the remaining two are locked down to PCIe 3.0 x4, although the second of these x4 slots share bandwidth with second PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot. There is a total of eight SATA ports, with six from the chipset that includes support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays, while an ASMedia SATA controller drives the other two ports in orange.

On the rear panel, the W480 Vision W includes a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, three USB 3.2 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0 ports. Included is a pair of RJ45 ports, one controlled by an Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, and the other by an Intel Gigabit controller, although GIGABYTE hasn’t specified the actual controllers used. Powering the five 3.5 mm audio jacks and S/PDIF optical output is a Realtek ALC1220-VB HD audio codec, while a pair of video outputs including a DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 1.4 allow users to use integrated graphics on supported processors. Finishing off the rear panel is a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port.

The GIGABYTE W480 Vision W is a solid offering with support for both ECC and non-ECC memory, a 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, and a premium ALC1220-VB audio codec. At present GIGABYTE hasn’t unveiled pricing for any of its W480 models, but we expect the W480 Vision W to come in cheaper than the higher-grade W480 Vision D. 

The smallest of GIGABYTE’s W480 models is the W480M Vision W with its micro-ATX frame. It is identical in design to the more jumbo W480 Vision W with its black heatsinks and heavily visible traces on the PCB. The most notable features of the W480M Vision W includes dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, dual Ethernet ports with one Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, and a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec.

Despite the smaller micro-ATX size, the GIGABYTE W480M Vision W crams in a solid feature set. Included are two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16, and x8/x8, with two PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. For storage, there is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with eight SATA ports that include support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Memory support includes both ECC and non-ECC memory, with speeds of up to DDR4-2933 listed and a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB across four available memory slots.

On the rear panel is a good selection of input and output for a micro-ATX model, with two USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, and four USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports. For users looking to use Intel’s UHD integrated graphics, there’s two DisplayPort 1.4, one D-Sub, and one HDMI 1.4 video output. At the same time, a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port allows the use of legacy peripherals. Looking at networking, there are two Ethernet ports with one port powered by an Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, while the other port is a standard Intel Gigabit port. However, GIGABYTE hasn’t specified which controllers are being used. Finishing off the rear panel is five 3.5 mm audio jacks and an S/PDIF optical output which is controlled by a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio codec.

The GIGABYTE W480M Vision W is a solid alternative for users looking to use Intel’s Xeon and Xeon W-1200 series processors, but need something with a smaller desktop footprint such as micro-ATX. There’s plenty of features on offer including dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, an Intel 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller, and eight SATA slots with full chipset support on RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. GIGABYTE hasn’t unveiled pricing at this moment, but it will likely be the cheapest of the three models showcased in this overview.

For the launch and release of Intel’s W480 chipset, Supermicro has prepared a handful of models, each with different configurations to cater to various user needs. Two of Supermicro’s W480 models come via the X12SCZ-F and X12SCZ-TLN4F, which share the same core micro-ATX PCB layout, with its green PCB, and black and blue slots. The only difference between both models aside from a few visual differences comes in the controller set. The Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F includes dual Intel 10 GbE Ethernet, a single PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2, and four SATA, while the X12SCZ-F opts for dual Gigabit Ethernet.


Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F micro-ATX motherboard

Visually, there’s not much difference between the Supermicro X12SCZ-F and X12SCZ-TLN4F aside from the heatsink layout. On the latter, there’s a heatsink cooling the Intel X550 10 GbE T-Base dual Ethernet controller, while the X12SCZ-F has a heatsink cooling the W480 chipset. This also includes a transposed socket design for installation into rackmount and 1U chassis. Aside from the networking and the onboard audio, both models are identical in specification and design. This includes one full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, with a half-length PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and a single PCIe 3.0 x1 slot. For storage, there’s one PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, with four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. An additional PCIe 3.0 x1 M.2 Key-E slot is also present on both boards.

Focusing on memory support, both the X12SCZ-TLN4F and X12SCZ-F includes four memory slots, with support for up to DDR4-2933 of ECC and non-ECC memory, with a maximum capacity of up to 128 GB. Both models also include an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller with a D-sub to access the IPMI physically. Supermicro also features memory error detection with the detection of double-bit errors using ECC memory and the correction of single-bit memory errors across all memory types used.


Supermicro X12CZ-F micro-ATX motherboard

As previously mentioned, the only difference between both models is that the X12CZ-TLN4F opts for an Intel X550 10 GbE T-Base dual Ethernet controller, with two additional Ethernet ports with one controlled by an Intel I219LM controller, and another by an Intel I120-AT. The Supermicro X12SCZ-F includes two Ethernet controllers consisting of an Intel I219LM and I210-AT Gigabit controller pairing. Both models include four USB 3.2 G2 Type-A ports, with two DisplayPort video inputs, a D-sub for the boards IPMI, and a serial port. Both models use a Realtek ALC888S HD audio codec for the onboard audio, but Supermicro doesn’t specify how this translates to rear panel audio connections.

The Supermicro X12CZ-TLN4F includes superior networking support with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a dual 10 GbE T-Base Ethernet, while the X12CZ-F opts for dual Gigabit Ethernet. Both models include a solid professional feature set including an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller which allows IPMI access physically via a D-sub video output, or via remote access which includes KVM support. Supermicro at present hasn’t unveiled pricing on any of its W480 models, as it expects to sell them to system integrators only.

The Supermicro X12SAE is the only Supermicro ATX W480 model at the time of writing and opts for a more straightforward take compared to other vendors with a professional feature set designed for use in a workstation or server environment. Included is a pair of PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, six SATA ports, and dual Ethernet ports including an Intel I225 2.5 GbE Ethernet controller.

Supermicro has opted for a conventional socket design for the X12SAE which resembles a regular consumer board, with a green PCB, small aluminium finned heatsinks for the power delivery and chipset, with metal slot reinforcement on the PCIe and memory slots. There are two full-length PCIe 3.0 slots which operate at x16 and x8/x8, with a 5V PCI 32-bit slot. The storage options include two PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, with six SATA ports that have support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. Across the four reinforced memory slots, users can install up to 128 GB of ECC and non-ECC memory, with speeds of up to DDR4-2933 supported. The X12SAE also includes five 4-pin fan headers with a BMC/IPMI heartbeat LED, and a catastrophic failure LED which wouldn’t be a good thing to see.

In terms of connectivity, the Supermicro X12SAE includes three USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, a single USB 3.2 G2 Type-C, and two USB 3.2 G1 Type-A ports on the rear panel, with one USB 3.2 G2 port available via the use of an internal header. Also included is a USB 2.0 header which adds two ports, with a USB 3.2 G1 header which also allows an additional port to be used. The rear panel also includes a trifecta of video outputs which consists of a DisplayPort, an HDMI, and DVI-D output. A serial port is present, while there are also two Ethernet ports, one controlled by an Intel I225V 2.5 GbE controller, and the other by an Intel I219LM with support for AMT and vPro.

The Supermicro X12SAE is the quintessential ATX workstation model with a simple core feature set and design, with its most notable features including dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots and dual Ethernet on the rear panel. Supermicro mentions IPMI and BMC support but doesn’t go into detail about which BMC controller is used if any is used at all. Supermicro also hasn’t unveiled its official pricing as of yet, but we expect this to be announced shortly.

The Intel W480 chipset is based on Intel’s latest LGA1200 socket and is designed to support Intel’s Comet Lake Xeon W-1200 processors. The Xeon W-1200 series ranges from 6 core 12 thread models, up to 10 core 20 thread models, with the highest spec processor, the Intel Xeon W-1290P, including a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, and a Thermal Velocity Boost clock speed of 5.3 GHz on a single core. This is fascinating for the entry-level workstation model, with such high clock speeds supported under a TDP of 125 W. All of Intel’s Xeon W-1200 processors include an Intel HD P630 integrated graphics, and all of the W480 options currently unveiled include at least one form of video output on the rear panel.

A lot of the more premium W480 models include at least 2.5 GbE Ethernet controllers, with two of the most recently announced models including 10 GbE Ethernet. One interesting thing to note is that the vast majority of W480 models from the product stack include at least three USB 3.2 G2 ports on the rear panel, with the most premium models from the prominent four vendors including an Intel Thunderbolt 3 controller with dual Type-C connectivity on the rear panel. This is similar to some Z490 models, but with a different target market in mind.

Some of the most notable W480 models include the ASRock W480 Creator and GIGABYTE W480 Vision D, with triple PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots, dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C connectivity, with corresponding DisplayPort video inputs to allow users to reap the benefits of Thunderbolt. Another noteworthy model is the Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F with dual 10 GbE T-Base Ethernet with a more conventional design associated with Intel’s Xeon range, with a green PCB, more simplistic design, and an Aspeed AST2500 BMC controller with physical and remote access available to the boards IPMI.

At the time of writing, only a few of the vendors has announced its W480 pricing, some of the fancier models including the ASRock W480 Creator, ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace and GIGABYTE W480 Vision D are likely to reach the top end of the market in terms of pricing. We even have a model from the legendary company DFI, although some of the finer details including visual design, hasn’t been unveiled at this time. DFI primarily caters for the embedded market.

Regardless of the feature a user is looking for, below is a list of which models include specific features worth highlighting.

Choosing the Right W480 Motherboard
       Options Size Price
10 Gigabit Ethernet
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F mATX
Wi-Fi 6 / 802.11ax
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX
Three or more PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX
Eight or more SATA ports
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
GIGABYTE W480 Vision W ATX
GIGABYTE W480M Vision W mATX
Three or more USB 3.2 G2 (Rear Panel)
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace ATX $280
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX
Supermicro X12SCZ-TLN4F mATX
Supermicro X12SCZ-F mATX
Supermicro X12SAE ATX
Thunderbolt 3
ASRock W480 Creator ATX $450
ASUS Pro WS W480-Ace ATX $280
GIGABYTE W480 Vision D ATX
 

As and when more Intel W480 models are announced and unveiled, we will endeavour to keep this overview updated, especially when more details emerge in regards to the pricing.