ASUS Announces the X99-M WS Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | August 1, 2015 - 11:54 PM |
Tagged: X99, MicroATX, asus

The X99-M WS combines the Haswell-E platform with extra certification for workstation computers, and it does so in a microATX form factor. The WS line goes through extra QA against a variety of accessories and add-in boards, which should lead to less situations where something like a user's wants to install two different video capture cards in their system, but ends up getting random blue screens.

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As expected, the motherboard uses the X99 chipset, which allows Core i7 and Xeon processors with up two eighteen cores. It can accept up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory, which can be aligned in a quad-channel formation. It allows dual graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA, even though it has three PCIe 3.0 lanes. I assume this is because a dual-slot graphics card would cover up the third x16 bus -- this is a microATX motherboard, after all.

Beyond being a small, workstation-certified motherboard, it also has USB 3.1 (which brings 10 Gbps of bandwidth to external devices). This is obviously useful for external storage, and that has a lot of uses for workstation applications.

The ASUS X99-M is available now for $279.99 MSRP. It is currently listed on Newegg at $275.99 with a three year warranty, but I cannot find an official warranty listing from ASUS to confirm that.

Source: ASUS

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August 2, 2015 | 01:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In truth, I'd rather have 10Gb LAN than have 10Gb USB, especially on a workstation-grade board. For me personally, that would be much more useful. It's much easier for me to use a NAS than fiddle around with a bunch of USB drives. The only thing I use USB drives for any more is for OS installation, and even then, USB 2.0 is plenty fast (for me at least) most of the time for that particular purpose.

I hope built-in 10Gb LAN becomes standard (at least on the workstation boards) so that overall prices can start to come down. Maybe then I can start to upgrade my network for a much more reasonable price.

August 2, 2015 | 02:43 AM - Posted by BillDStrong

I would much prefer the USB 3.1, as long as it were multiple ports. I can always dedicate one to a network adapter, but I can't dedicate an ethernet port to an external hard drive, a tablet/display, or any one of the myriad devices available to USB.

Of course, if it happened to use the USB Type-C connector, and included Thunderbolt 3, I would be ecstatic, but that's just dreaming until TB 3 is released.

August 2, 2015 | 10:36 AM - Posted by Pixy Misa (not verified)

We've been waiting a long time for something faster than 1Gb ethernet to see broad takeup. Maybe NBaseT will help (2.5 and 5 Gb over Cat 5e / Cat 6), but for that we need both controllers and switches, so it's at least two years away.

Nice board otherwise. I'd like to build my next system with it, but when you price in a Xeon CPU and 64GB of DDR4 registered memory, it starts to look a little expensive.

August 2, 2015 | 07:42 AM - Posted by BoMbY (not verified)

Would be interesting to see, if this would work with three Fury X with 1-Slot-Watercoolers, like the one from EKWB? That would give a lot of compute power in a very small space.

August 2, 2015 | 05:04 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah, that would be interesting. AMD's 3x Fury X drivers need some frame pacing work (at least for DX11) but it could be useful none-the-less.

August 2, 2015 | 01:44 PM - Posted by Hakuren

This whole WS taunt is a bit overdone and blown out of propeortions. It's known fact that trademark of WS segment - RAID AICs - do not work too well with many (most/all? open to debate) X99 boards. It's pure luck and how new card is, newer the worse! That's the problem with the segmentation of the market by Intel. All major manufacturers did not tested theirs offerings with X99 and from my inquiries and support tickets I know they don't plan it in the near future which is a bit silly considering that old X58 (desktop) was tested, X79 (desktop) was tested but not X99 (desktop because it's desktop not server chipset). To quote Sheila Broflovski: What?! What?!! What!!!?

I'm in this boat too. Cards which work perfectly well on X58/79 won't initialize at all on X99 (including bigger brother of this little one above) which kind of defeats whole purpose of this thing. Intel should simply say: It's for gamers! Period.

As for the board above. Waste of potential. 40 lanes in 3 slots. For people with more money than sense. Certainly don't deserve WS moniker in the name (no 10Gb NIC for starters). It should be called LAN Party or QuakeCon Edition then I would understand, but for serious work not good enough.

August 3, 2015 | 06:33 AM - Posted by Arul

Skylake motherboards are about to launch...what could be the reason they release a new X99 motherboard at this time ?!

August 3, 2015 | 12:39 PM - Posted by Sihastru

Because there are people, me included, that consider 4 core CPUs puny and irrelevant to life on earth. And I'm not even trolling.

August 4, 2015 | 06:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You cannot compare Skylake CPUs with Haswell-e. Skylake will be newer, but not necessarily more powerful than Haswell-e. Skylake will be only consumer CPU while Haswell-e are enthusiast CPU. Skylake-e would be direct successor of Haswell-e. Skylake (without "e") is notz.

August 22, 2015 | 01:26 PM - Posted by YTech

For the OC socket, 2x USB 3.1 Tape-A, and Wifi, its a nice board against other Micro x99 on the current market.

Would anyone know of any Canadian suppliers? I saw it shown for a few hours on the CAN newegg, but I think it was added by error and now removed.

October 2, 2015 | 03:07 PM - Posted by YTech

Since September; Newegg Canada began to stock them in small quantities.

Other Hardware vendor that I trust in Canada, aren't carrying it at this time.

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