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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





The main items to note are the number of PCIe slots on the X10-E WS motherboard; there are enough to run Four-Way SLI or Four-Way Crossfire for graphics. This is a large amount of PCIe slots for a motherboard this size. Next is the number of SATA and USB ports; there are enough SATA ports to connect a large RAID, and have plenty of USB devices attached.







Here we get our first look at the X99-E WS Workstation Motherboard. The motherboard itself is packed with components. The X99-E WS comes with adequate cooling for power and chipset circuits. Heat pipes connect the heat sinks down to the large silver/gray heat sink that sits on top of the X99 chipset. In our testing, we found these work very well, and had no issues with cooling.


The overall color scheme of the motherboard looks nice with black/gray and lighter gray components to separate different types of slots used here. Here is the full list of connections found on the X99-E WS:


  • 2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional four USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional four USB 2.0 port(s)
  • 2 x SATA Express connector: gray, compatible with two SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2260/2280 devices
  • 1 x TPM connector(s)
  • 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 x -pin)
  • 1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
  • 2 x 8-pin EATX 12 V Power connector
  • 1 x 6-pin EATX 12 V_1 Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
  • 1 x EZ XMP switch
  • 1 x Front panel connector(s)
  • 1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
  • 1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
  • 1 x DRCT header(s)
  • 1 x MemOK! button(s)
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
  • 1 x TPU switch(es)
  • 1 x EPU switch(es)
  • 1 x CPU/DRAM overvoltage jumper(s)
  • 1 x Power-on button(s)
  • 1 x Reset button(s)
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
  • 1 x Dr.Power switch(es)




Here we see the PCIe slots, which are:


  • 4x PCI-E 3.0 x16 (double-width) slots (light gray)
  • 3x PCI-E 3.0 x16 (double-width) slots (dark gray)


Depending on the expansion cards used, they are automatically configured as follows:


  • 7 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
  • single x16
  • dual x16/x16
  • triple x16/x16/x16
  • quad x16/x16/x16/x16
  • seven x16/x8/x8/x8/x16/x8/x8)


We also see the Q-Code LED on the far left edge which we really like.




Now we are looking at the lower left side of the motherboard now. Intel's X99 chipset features:


  • 1 x SATA Express port, gray, compatible with two SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
  • 1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3, gray, with M Key, type 2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode)
  • 8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology supports
  • ASMedia SATA Express controller:
  • 1 x SATA Express port, gray, compatible with two SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
  • ASMedia SATA Express controller:
  • 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray, compatible with two SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports


In addition, the power and reset buttons are on the left edge.




Here we are looking at the upper right section of the motherboard. Just to the left of the CPU socket, and right below the RAM slots we see a six-pin power connector to provide extra power for GPUs.




The lower right side of the motherboard has two eight-pin power connectors for the CPU, and the main 24-pin power connectors are over on the bottom edge of the motherboard. There are also two CPU Fan headers located just to the left of the CPU socket.




Now we are looking at the back I/O Ports.


At the left, we see Q-Code logger button and below is the USB BIOS Flashback button. Next, we find two USB 3.0 Ports (blue). The upper port is used for the Q-Logger, and the lower port is used for BIOS Flashback functions. Below the blue USB ports are two eSATA ports (red). Next are two stacks of USB 3.0 (blue) ports. These support USB 3.0 Boost. Then we have two stacks with LAN Ports, and two USB 3.0 Ports (blue), which support USB 3.0 Boost. The last stack is for Audio outputs, and an Optical S/PDIF out port.




Now we are looking at the front IO connections. At the left side we find the SATA Express Ports. The Intel X99 Chipset controls the top SATA Express Port, and the ASMedia Chip controls the bottom SATA Express Port. The next eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports can be configured in RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.




The X99-E WS motherboard has a CPU Socket 2011-E that has several more pins than a normal Socket 2011-E. According to ASUS:


The X99-E WS' CPU socket includes extra pins that connect proprietary circuitry to extra contacts found on Haswell-E's land grid array (LGA). When combined with our customized UEFI, this exclusive feature offers comprehensively-improved overclocking margins, especially under extreme liquid-nitrogen (LN2) overclocking. You'll enjoy better margins for memory overclocking, better comparative memory performance under the same frequencies, and better margins for CPU overclocking with minimal voltage drop - so you're able to push the latest processors and DDR4 memory beyond their limits! OC Socket is 100% compatible with the new Haswell-E LGA 2011-3 processors.

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