Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 review: A core-heavy Ryzen rack server at an entry-level price

Broadberry presents a very affordable and more powerful entry-level alternative to Xeon E rack servers

The Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 on the ITPro background
(Image: © Future)

IT Pro Verdict


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    Super value

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    Solid build quality

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    16-core AMD Ryzen CPU

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    128GB of DDR5 memory

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    Dual 10GbE ports


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    Lacks embedded RAID

SMBs seeking an affordable single-socket rack server have traditionally chosen models with Intel's Xeon E CPUs but Broadberry Data Systems is offering a far more tempting proposition. AMD has been busy of late promoting its Ryzen CPUs as a more powerful and cost-effective alternative and Broadberry's CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 shows this philosophy off to a tee.


A Rack server in a data center

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Best business servers for 2024

Presented as a compact 1U rack system, the CyberServe sports a stonking great 16-core 4.5GHz AMD Ryzen 9 7950X CPU. Broadberry sweetens the deal further as the price includes the maximum 128GB of fast server-grade DDR5 ECC memory.

Intel's E-2400 CPU family tops out at eight cores and 3.2GHz so to get close to the Ryzen, you'll have to consider a high-end Xeon Scalable Silver or mid-range Gold CPU. These are around twice the price of a core-equivalent Ryzen and you'll also have to consider the fact that most servers supporting Xeon Scalable CPUs aren't aimed at small businesses and will have a premium price tag.

Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 review: Build and design

The CyberServe showcases ASRock's 1U4LW-B650/2L2T RPSU rack platform. This Taiwanese company has solid credentials as it started manufacturing server motherboards around ten years ago and has built up an impressively large Ampere, Intel, and AMD rack system portfolio.

Inside the Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104

(Image credit: Future)

The CyberServe chassis is very solidly constructed and removing the lid reveals a smartly designed and tidy interior affording easy access for upgrades and maintenance. The Ryzen CPU is topped off with a chunky passive heatsink and flanked on one side by four DIMM slots with each occupied by 32GB DDR5 UDIMM modules.

All chassis cooling is handled by a bank of five dual-rotor fans in front of the motherboard with lightweight plastic air shrouds to direct air over the CPU and expansion bay. The Ryzen CPU loses out to the Xeon E-2400 alternatives as it has a much higher 170W TDP but we found the fans handled its demands well with noise levels low enough not to cause any concern in small office spaces. 

Network connections are plentiful as the rear panel presents pairs of embedded Gigabit and 10GbE RJ-45 ports plus a dedicated Gigabit port for the server's IPMI controller. There's room to expand further as the motherboard's riser card provides a single full-height PCIe Gen4 slot

You're spoilt for choice if you want to connect a local monitor as the server offers VGA, DisplayPort, and HDMI interfaces. Power redundancy is present and correct too, as the price includes dual hot-plug 450W PSUs.

Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 review: Storage features

Standard storage features are fairly basic with the four hot-swap drive interfaces on the backplane cabled directly to the motherboard's embedded SATA ports. These are presented to the resident OS as individual drives and we popped in a couple of SATA HDDs and used the Windows Server 2022 Storage Pools feature to create a software-managed RAID1 array.

The Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 interface

(Image credit: Future)

The motherboard lacks an integral RAID controller but the backplane is SAS-ready so you can add a suitable controller card to enable support. Broadberry offers a good range of Broadcom SATA/SAS3 adapters with the 9580-8i8e supporting all the usual RAID array suspects and fitted with 8GB of cache memory. 

Drives are easily added by snapping them into ASRock's tool-free carriers and it's worth noting that unlike the blue-chips, Broadberry allows you to install your own choice of storage devices without invalidating the warranty. The motherboard also has a single M.2 2280 PCIe Gen5 slot and the price includes a big 2TB Corsair MP700 Pro NVMe SSD

Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 review: Server management

The server's embedded AST2600 IPMI controller and dedicated Gigabit port offer a tidy web interface packed with plenty of information on system health and critical components. It isn't as feature-rich as Dell's iDRAC9 or HPE's ILO6 but its dashboard provides an overview of all the latest events and you can pull up graphs of hardware sensor data, define thresholds for each one and link them up with email alerts if any are breached. 

The Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 interface

(Image credit: Future)

Firmware upgrade tools are provided along with remote power controls and the controller's built-in firewall provides options to create basic, advanced, or expert protection profiles. Unlike Dell and HPE, the IPMI controller includes full OS remote control and virtual media services as standard features and not as chargeable license upgrades.

The free ASRockRack Server Management tool can be used to manage multiple ASRock servers from a single console and we had no problems installing it on a Windows Server 2022 host. Its network discovery tool found the CyberServe's IPMI controller and the dashboard page presented details on its firmware version and a table of all hardware sensors with their current values.

It doesn't offer hardware inventory but you can control the server's power, fire up remote control sessions using its HTML5 viewer, and assign virtual media. Firmware upgrade tools for the BMC and server BIOS are provided and its PEF (platform event filter) service allows you to link alerts such as a sensor breaching its thresholds with SNMP traps and emails.

Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 review: Is it worth it?

With a price tag for the system on review of £2,795, Broadberry's CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 is offering a very affordable alternative to the current crop of Intel Xeon E-2400 rack servers. The Ryzen 9 7950X CPU puts twice as many cores on the table as the top-end Xeon E-2488 and it's also a lot faster.

The low-profile chassis can go to places many other servers can't, Broadberry is happy for you to fit your own choice of storage devices and it comes with a good range of remote management tools. It may be an entry-level server but the CyberServe has the power to handle demanding workloads with ease and the inclusion of a generous 128GB of DDR5 memory in the asking price makes it an absolute bargain.

Broadberry CyberServe Ryzen RY1-104 specifications 

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System1U ASRock 1U4LW-B650/2L2T RPSU
MotherboardASRock B650D4U-2L2T/BCM
CPU16-core 4.5GHz AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
Memory128GB 4,800MT/s DDR5 ECC (max 128GB)
Storage bays4 x LFF/SFF hot-swap drive bays
Other storage1 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen5 slot
Storage included1 x 2TB Corsair MP700 PRO Gen5 M.2 NVMe SSD
Network2 x Gigabit, 2 x 10GbE RJ45
Expansion1 x PCIe Gen4 slot
Power2 x 450W hot-plug PSUs
ManagementAspeed AST2600 BMC with Gigabit, ASRockRack Server Management
Warranty3yrs Advanced Replacement
Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.