What stands out in the specification list is the number of PCIe slots and Input/Output options. You can install up to four GPUs and connect a large number of storage devices. If you need remote access, you can add an ASMB6 iKVM connector, which is very nice.
Over all, the layout of the Z9PE-D8 WS is straightforward. What we are not crazy about is how the RAM slots are located. Using large heat sinks here might cause issues with keeping the RAM sticks cool; there is a possibility they will not get good airflow to keep them cool.
With the Noctua heat sinks we used, we would not have clearance for tall RAM sticks, so we suggest using low profile RAM to help with airflow.
The CPU sockets are staggered just a little, but not enough for higher air flow rates. Keep these factors in mind when considering a case and coolers to use on this motherboard.
This is the left side of the motherboard. Right above the mounting hole, we find the ASMB6-iKVM header if you wish to install this extra option.
The orange header is the VGA Header. You can use the included VGA Bracket and output video through this.
The white header is COM port 1. In between the blue and black PCIe slots is the second white COM port 2. The two red headers are IE-1394 one and two ports. The two blue headers are for USB 2.0. The light blue header is for USB 3.0.
If you need iKVM, you can order the ASMB6-iKVM module. It is not included in the retail package.
Starting from where we left off, the next two connectors are two USB 2.0.
The two white connectors are for front fan headers. The next four black connectors are SATA 3.0. The white header is the front panel connector. The black header just above the white header is the auxiliary panel connector.
Next, we see four white SATA 6.0 Gb/s connectors controlled by the Marvell controller. Above that are four black SATA 3.0 Gb/s connectors. The top two blue connectors are SATA 6.0 Gb/s.
Seven PCIe slots are on the board, which break down like this.
- PCIe 1 (blue) x16 (Gen3 x16/x8 link)
- PCIe 2 (black) x16 (Gen3 x8 link)
- PCIe 3 (blue) x16 (Gen3 x16/x8 link)
- PCIe 4 (black) x16 (Gen3 x8 link)
- PCIe 5 (blue) x16 (Gen3 x16 link)
- PCIe 6 (black) x16 (Gen3 x8 link)
- PCIe 7 (blue) x16 (Gen3 x16 link)
We really like it when Power/Reset buttons and Q-Code LED display features are included on motherboards.
The back I/O section starts with a PS/2 and 2 USB 2.0 connectors. Next is an optical S/PDIF Out port followed by 2x USB 2.0 ports. The next stack has a Gigabit LAN port with two USB 2.0 ports below. Next is a Gigabit LAN port with two USB 3.0 ports below. The last stack is the audio outputs.