Mediaworkstations has given the a-X2P a much-deserved upgrade. The new model arrives with a pair of AMD EPYC 9654 processors with a combined 192 cores and 384 threads, along with 3TB of DDR5 memory.
Technically, the a-X2P could be a laptop, although most would consider it a pluggable or portable PC. Regarding aesthetics, Mediaworkstations stuck with the same design as the previous a-X2P. However, the 2023 model put on some weight, so it’s a bit chubbier than the prior installment. The mobile workstation now measures 16.35 x 24.6 x 10.6 inches instead of the preceding version’s footprint of 15.10 x 23.10 x 9.03 inches. The upgraded model also weighs 45 to 55 lbs, up to 13% heavier than the old one.
The a-X2P’s most substantial upgrade logically resides under the hood. The one from two years ago was tapping into AMD’s EPYC 7002 (Rome) processors, which were on Zen 2 cores. However, Mediaworkstations skipped the EPYC 7003 (Milan) series and jumped straight to EPYC 9004 (Genoa) series, so the a-X2P is wielding AMD’s latest Zen 4 cores. Besides the architectural improvements, Genoa provides system integrators with ample options, starting from 16 cores and going up to 96 cores. In addition, consumers can choose to equip the a-X2P with a couple of EPYC 9654 chips for a maximum configuration of 192 cores.
Mediaworkstations didn’t share the model of the dual-socket SP5 motherboard. However, given the specifications, the a-X2P is, in all likelihood, utilizing the Gigabyte MZ73-LM1. The motherboard provides 24 DDR5 memory slots with support for DDR5-4800 3DS RDIMMs up to 256GB. Mediaworkstations seemingly offer up to 3TB, half of the maximum capacity on the motherboard.
Although Genoa supports the latest PCIe 5.0 interface, Mediaworkstations opted to stick with PCIe 4.0. Gigabyte’s MZ73 comes in PCIe 5.0 (MZ73-LM0) and PCIe 4.0 (MZ73-LM1) variants. The a-X2P sports the latter, so it only supplies four PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slots directly connected to the EPYC processor. Mediaworkstations lets consumers equip the a-X2P with up to two graphics cards. However, you can always purchase the mobile workstation and buy your graphics, so it’s an excellent device for multitasking.
The a-X2P has a PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot to house one M.2 2280 or M.2 22110 drive. PCIe 5.0 SSDs are out of the equation. A single M.2 slot may sound stingy, but the a-X2P uses a server motherboard, so there are more storage options than meets the eye. The motherboard supplies one SlimSAS 4i connector with four SATA III ports and two SlimSAS 8i connectors with four PCIe 4.0 or 16 SATA III ports.
The Aspeed AST2600 management controller is present on the MZ73-LM1. The controller pairs a dual-core Arm Cortex A7 with an embedded Arm Cortex M3 and supports 1920×1200 at 60 Hz. As for connectivity, the a-X2P features two high-speed 10 Gb/s Base-T LAN ports from the Broadcom BCM57416 and one MLAN port. However, the lack of wireless connectivity is a letdown, considering Mediaworkstations advertises the a-X2P as a mobile workstation. As for the rear I/O, consumers receive two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one VGA port, and one COM port.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the a-X2P commands a king’s ransom. Mediaworkstations doesn’t publicly share the pricing for the a-X2P. A single 96-core EPYC 9654 chip retails for $11,805, so you can imagine how much two of them will cost on top of the 3TB of pricey DDR5 memory and six screens.