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ASUS X99-E WS (Intel X99) Workstation Motherboard Review

By: William Harmon | Motherboards in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 11, 2014 3:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 99%Manufacturer: ASUS

BIOS

 

With the X99-E WS, we find a new and improved UEFI BIOS that ASUS has developed. We find that is much simpler to use, and offers many new features.

 

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This is the main EZ Mode BIOS screen, which shows basic system information, and options you can change without going deeper into the BIOS. It really offers just about anything that you would really need to adjust on this screen. To change the boot order, simply drag the device you want to boot first to the top spot. One of the things I changed first was CPU fan speed, and to do so, I simply dragged the line in the bar graph to 100%, as I wanted the fans running at full speed the whole time I was testing.

 

We also see EZ Tuning here, which we will discuss in the overclocking section of this review.

 

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Clicking the "Advanced Mode" button at the bottom right will bring you to this screen.

 

Notice on the right side we can see hardware monitor read outs.

 

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This is the main screen for the AI Tweaker.

 

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Now we are looking at the Advanced tab, which continues into the next five screens.

 

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Now we are looking at the Monitor Configeration menu.

 

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This is the Boot Options menu.

 

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Now we are looking at the Tool Configuration tab.

 

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Here we can see how PCIe devices are setup on the PCIe slots.

 

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The next tab shows SPD information.

 

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Here we can see where overclocking profiles are stored.

 

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The Q-Fan Control section allows you to adjust the profiles for each fan installed in the system.

 

 

Overclocking

 

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Overclocking the X99-E WS motherboard is very easy with the EZ Tuning Wizard. Simply boot into the BIOS, and select EZ-Tuning Wizard.

 

We are using an Intel Xeon E5-2698 v3, which is locked up for doing any real overclocking, so the best we can hope for is a small increase of the BCLK. There will not be much of an overclock with this CPU. We expect the X99-E WS and Intel 5690x would overclock to around 4.4 GHz, which is a nice boost. Sadly, we do not have a 5960x in the lab at this time, so we cannot try overclocking with one.

 

The first screen will tell you what your system is now running at. We are using an Intel Xeon E5-2698 v3 CPU, and we see stock settings shown here.

 

Now click "Next."

 

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Here you have two choices, Daily Computing, or Gaming/Media Encoding. We selected Gaming/Media Encoding.

 

Click "Next" to move to the next screen.

 

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Here we select what type of cooling we are using with the system. We are using a tower air cooler.

 

Click "Next," and move to the next screen.

 

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Click "Next," and it will set the overclock, and reboot the system.

 

Here we can see just what increase in performance the EZ Tune Wizard will give the Intel Xeon E5-2698 v3 CPU used on our system. It will only give us a 2% increase in performance with both CPU and DRAM. We just pushed it to the max, and let it rip.

 

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You will get a final warning before you continue with the overclock. Clicking "Yes" will reboot the system, and apply the new settings.

 

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Here we can see the results of the overclocking with the EZ Tune Wizard.

 

 

Software

 

The supplied driver disk has the basic drivers that you need to get this board up and running.

 

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After inserting the driver disk, we come to the first screen, which shows the options available for this disk. Clicking on each of these sections listed will begin an install of the selected drivers.

 

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At the top of the list, you can see "ASUS Install"; clicking that will bring up the next screen. Using this will install all the needed drivers for you, so you do not have to click each one.

 

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Here is the list of utilities that you can install.

 

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At the top of the list, you can see "ASUS Install"; clicking that will bring up the next screen. This will install the utilities bundle for you.

 

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If you need RAID drivers, you can find them here.

 

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Here are manuals, in case you need them.

 

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Should you need to contact ASUS, you can find that information here.

 

The last tab has specials for software.

 

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After you get the system up and running, install the ASUS AI Suite III.

 

Here we see the home screen for the AI Suite II.

 

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Here we can see various system settings that are currently used.

 

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This shows the CPU strap.

 

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After clicking the "Fan Xpert" button, the system will be analyzed to see what type of fans are used.

 

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After it is finished, you will see a screen that shows active fans, and the profiles used. We only had CPU fans installed on our test bed.

 

The next series of screens will show how different settings for the BIOS can be adjusted.

 

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This is the ASUS Realtek HD Audio Manager screen.

 

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Here we see the Turbo LAN control screen.

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