Last April, we reviewed the ASUS Z97-WS Workstation (Intel Z97) motherboard, which we were very impressed with. This time around, we will be looking at what we consider to be a high-end, single socket 2011-R3 platform by ASUS called the X99-E WS.
We have just finished reviewing a number of dual processor systems based on Haswell-EP CPUs and using the C612 Chipsets, and we found them to be very powerful systems. With the X99-E WS we have a chance to see what a single socket 2011-R3 system can do using the same processors.
The X99-E WS has an impressive feature list that is very much like many of the enthusiast class motherboards ASUS makes. These motherboards come with just about everything you could want on a system, and then some.
It's difficult to distinguish between a workstation class motherboard and enthusiast class boards these days, as many of the features overlap. Some of the key features of the X99-E WS are as follows:
- Four-Way PCIe Gen3 x16 link that supports Quad NVIDIA and AMD Crossfire solutions
- Premium power solutions
- Five-Way Optimization, one click, total system optimization
- Increased Storage options
- Easy maintenance features
All of that sounds nice, but when you start digging into just what each feature represents, and the depth of control the system provides, you can only be impressed with the level of engineering that ASUS has used to design this board.
Let's look at the retail package now.
We have to say that we really like how ASUS packages the retail boxes for motherboards they make; it really makes you want to hang onto the box instead of just tossing it out after you are done with it. An outer sleeve covers the main box that has the same graphics as the inside box. The outer sleeve is not really needed, but it ties the whole package together, and has a flip up panel, which makes for a nice retail display, and helps customers see all the features of the motherboard.
Here we see the back of the retail box. This really shows a lot of information about the motherboard; however, it is somewhat hard to read with all the tiny white text on black background.
After flipping up the outer sleeve display panel, we can see the information shown. The retail package is very nice, high quality, and makes for a professional display on retail shelves. It is printed with flat black ink, so it does scuff up a little bit.
With any ASUS product that we have reviewed, when you open the box for the first time, you are greeted with a pile of accessories. At the lab, we have boxes full of extra accessories, and I can think of many people that have a similar box of their own; the people who do not build very often will like the abundance of accessories a lot though. There is one thing that can mess up a build in progress, and that is finding out you need a cable or two to get everything connected.
Here is the full break down of all the accessories that are including with the retail package.
The accessories listed on the ASUS website are as follows:
- User's manual
- ASUS Q-Shield
- 8 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
- 1 x ASUS 3T3R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant) - We did not get this in our box.
- 1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
- 1 x Q-connector(s) (two-in-one)
Our retail box seemed to have a few more items than what is on the website. The extra items we received include:
- Driver DVD
- 8 x packages of 2x SATA Cables
- 1 x 4-Way SLI Bridge
- 1 x SLI Bridge
- 1 x USB motherboard extender to the back IO area
- 1 x COM Port motherboard extender to the back IO area
Here we see the included manual, driver DVD, and an ASUS sticker.
PRICING: You can find the ASUS X99-E WS Workstation Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The ASUS X99-E WS retails for $519.00 at Amazon.
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