It's now time to get onto the board itself. ASUS uses the same sized ATX PCB that the OC Palm was built on; the boards layout is somewhat different, however, a very good design.
The 24-pin ATX power connector is located behind the six DDR3 memory slots that make up the triple channel arrangement. These slots are coloured blue and black, three of each. The 4/8 pin AUX power connector is located above the heatpipe assembly, behind the PS2/USB combo port.
On the lower right hand side of the board we have a total of eight SATA ports; six are blue and two are black. The blue ports are actually SATA ports controlled by the ICH10R Southbridge supporting the usual RAID functions as well as AHCI. The two black ports are actually SAS compliant running off the Marvel PCIe 2-port SAS controller and these ports can take SAS or SATA drives since SAS is backwards compliant with the SATA protocol. Located under the heatsink in the picture with the "Workstation" marking on the top hides the ICH10R, nForce 200 chip and the Marvell PCIe SAS controller.
The P6T6 WS Revolution is powered by the same 16 phase voltage regulation system that the Rampage II Extreme and P6T Deluxe OC Palm uses. Like these two boards, EPU-6 is also included on this board to reduce the amount of active phases that the board uses during certain activity states. The Mosfets are cooled by a heatpipe assembly that also cools the X58 IOH, ICH10R Southbridge, nForce 200 PCIe repeater and Marvell SAS controller.
The rear I/O ports resemble that of any standard ASUS board. ASUS has gone the way of trying to remove legacy ports and only a single PS/2 port is included which can be used for either a keyboard or mouse, but not both. The same Jmicron based PCIe x1 chip that gives the board its IDE also controllers the two eSATA ports on the rear I/O shield, giving it a 300MB/s external storage system for fast access to data. The audio system is handled by the Azalia HD audio codec.
Now we come down to the complex setup of the board, namely the expansion systems. This is where we start to see some interesting setups. There are a total of six PCIe x16 slots; three blue, two black and one white.
If you want to run Tri-SLI at full speed (x16) you can populate the blue slots with graphics cards capable of 3-way SLI. The first and second blue slots are run through the nForce 200 chipset which is tied to one of the two PCIe x16 lanes that the IOH supports. The last blue slot runs direct to the X58 hub.
The next scenario is if you want to run four graphics cards or more; the black slots steal lanes from the other second x16 slot and convert them into x8 slots. This leaves you with a 16x8x8x8 setup with the blue and black slots. The white x16 slot is tied to the ICH10R's last four PCIe lanes.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.