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ASUS X99-E-10G WS Workstation Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket LGA 2011 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 1, 2016 4:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASUS

Packaging and Overview

 

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The X99-E-10G WS's box is decorated with a shot of the motherboard, and it has a flip open panel to better detail its main features. Packaging is nothing fancy, but all the accessories and motherboard are well packaged.

 

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Accessories include 8x SATA6Gb/s cables, USB 2.0 rear panel adapter, 4-way SLI bridge, 3-way SLI bridge, 2-way SLI bridge, COM breakout rear panel adapter, Q-Connectors, RGB extension cable, IO shield, case badge, driver DVD, and manual.

 

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The ASUS X99-E-10G WS is loaded with six 4-pin fan headers; all of them can be controlled through the UEFI or Windows. The four headers circled in red at 4-pin PWM or DC mode headers; you must set their modes manually. The header circled in blue is a 4-pin PWM or DC mode header, and it will automatically determine the type of fan is installed. The third type of header is a 4-pin high amperage header, which also works in PWM or DC modes, but supports much higher amperage for multiple fans connected to a single header.

 

The motherboard uses a very color neutral scheme for heat sinks and ports, and each of the seven PCI-E x16 ports is reinforced in x, y, and z-axis. There are many heat sinks used to cool the VRM, 10G NIC, two PLX bridges, and the PCH. The heat sinks are designed more for functional rather than form, but many people prefer this fin-style for heat sinks. The rear of the motherboard does have some components, such as tantalum capacitors for the VRM, an embedded controller, some clock generators, and some other miscellaneous parts of lesser importance. There are no LEDs to illuminate the audio PCB area divide.

 

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The IO panel on the X99-E-10G WS features 4x USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, 2x Intel 10Gbit LAN, and 8-channel audio outputs with S/PDIF optical. ASUS does include a USB 2.0 rear breakout bracket since there are only five USB type-A ports on the rear.

 

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The PCI-E x16 slot layout of the X99-E-10G WS is more straightforward than you might think. We will focus on a 40-lane CPU, I would think that 28 lane CPUs would offer perhaps a little less bandwidth to the PEX8747 chips since they can take x8 or x16 and output x32, but in the end offer the same PCI-E slot lane allocation.

 

For a 40 lane CPU, the X550 Intel 10Gbit controller gets x4 PCI-E 3.0, and the M.2/U.2 get x4 PCI-E 3.0, leaving x32 PCI-E lanes for the slots. That x32 is split into two sets of x16, each one going to a separate PEX8747 chip that turns them into x32 PCI-E 3.0. This provides a total of x64 PCI-E lanes for the 7 slots. The first slot will always run at x16, and the third will always run at a minimum of x8, while another x8 connection can be allocated to the second PCI-E x16 slot or the third to turn it into an x16. The first three slots can operate at x16/x0/x16 or x16/x8/x8. The fifth and seventh PCI-E x16 slots will always run a minimum of x8 and will run x16 if the fourth and sixth slots are unoccupied. The last four PCI-E x16 slots can run at x0/x16/x0/x16 or x8/x8/x8/x8.

 

So you can run x16/x0/x16/x0/x16/x0/x16 for 4-way SLI or you can run all slots at x16/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8, x16/x0/x16/x8/x8/x8/x8, or x16/x8/x8/x0/x16/x0/x16. To make things easier on you, ASUS has built in RGB LEDs into the PCB right beneath the translucent slot lock, and a switch will illuminate which slots to use for multiple GPU configurations depending on the number of cards since it can be very confusing.

 

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The X99-E-10G WS has a single U.2 connector at a right angle in its lower right-hand corner, and ten SATA6Gb/s ports also at a right angle. The four ports closest to the U.2 connector do not support RAID. A red ClearCMOS button is adjacent to the front panel headers and a direct to BIOS header. There are also two USB 2.0 headers to the left of the front panel headers. An x4 PCI-E 3.0 M.2 slot shares it's x4 PCI-E 3.0 with the U.2, making them mutually exclusive.

 

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Two USB 3.0 front panel headers are located in a straight line below the 24-pin power connector. An EZ-XMP switch and an SLI/CFG slot selector switch are located in this area as well. A MemOK! button is located below the CMOS battery holder located in the top right-hand corner for easy replacement.

 

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The power and reset buttons are right below the last of the SATA6Gb/s ports, and a BIOS Flashback button is right beneath them. A white RGB LED cable header is located near a temperature input sensor header and to the right of the POST code display. A COM header is located to the left of the POST code display.

 

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Since the X99-E-10G WS is a fully loaded motherboard, it has two 8-pin CPU power connectors to equally distribute all that amperage. To run four or more graphics cards, the PCI-E slots require an extra power source, and the X99-E-10G WS has a 6-pin PCI-E power connector located right near the center heat sink.

 

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All of the heat sinks make excellent contact with the components they are tasked to cool, and all of them are held down by screws. The CPU VRM and 10G NIC heat sinks are connected by a heat pipe, while the PCH and PEX8747 heat sink attached to two auxiliary heat sinks through two heat pipes since the PEX8747 can each output a lot of heat.

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