Review Index:
Feedback

ASUS X99-M WS Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

View Full Size

Courtesy of ASUS

The ASUS X99-M WS is an mATX version of their workstation line board for the Intel X99 chipset with enhanced support for USB 3.1-based devices. The board features full support for all Intel LGA2011-v3 processors paired with DDR4 memory operating in up to quad channel configuration. Priced at a reasonable $279.99, the X99-M WS/USB 3.1 board is priced competitively considering the feature set and performance designed into the board.

View Full Size

Courtesy of ASUS

View Full Size

Courtesy of ASUS

The X99-M WS motherboard features an 8-phase digital power system with high efficiency Beat Thermal chokes, Dr. MOS MOSFETs, and 12k rated solid capacitors. Additionally, ASUS integrated their CPU OC Socket into the board's design, ensuring board's overclocking potential. ASUS chose to integrate the following features into the X99-M WS/USB 3.1 board: eight SATA 3 ports; one M.2 PCIe x2 capable port; Intel I218LM and I210-AT Gigabit NICs; tri-port 802.11ac WiFi adapter; three PCI-Express x16 slots; a PCI-Express x1 slot; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power, reset, CMOS clear, MemOK!, and BIOS Flashback buttons; TPU, EPU, Dr. Power, and EZ_XMP switches; Crystal Sound 2 audio subsystem; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A port support.

View Full Size

Courtesy of ASUS

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS X99-E WS/USB 3.1 motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Build in Intel® Socket 2011-v3 Core™ i7 Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Intel® Socket 2011-v3 for Intel® Xeon® processor E5-1600 v3 product family
Intel® Socket 2011-v3 for Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3 product family

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.

Chipset Intel® X99
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *1
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 1866* / 2133 MHz ECC, Un-buffered Memory *2
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 1866* / 2133 MHz ECC, Register Memory *2
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
*1 When installing Intel® Socket 2011-v3 Core™ i7 Processors
*2 When installing Intel® Xeon® E5-1600 v3/2600 v3 Processor

Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Supports AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 40-Lane CPU
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16 / x16, x16 / x16 / x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1

28-Lane CPU
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 ( x16, x16 / x8, x16 / x8 / x4)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Storage Intel® X99 chipset :
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)*3
1 x M.2 Socket 3, , with M Key, type 2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Recovery Technology*4

*3: Due to chipset behavior, The SATA6G_78, SATA6G_910 ports (black) do not support IRST including RAID configuration.
*4: These functions will work depending on the CPU installed.

LAN Intel® I210-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Intel® I218LM, 1 x Gigabit LAN, Dual interconnect between the Integrated Media Access Controller (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY)
Support Teaming Technology
ASUS Turbo LAN Utility
Wireless Data Network Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Support ASUS Wi-Fi Go! Utility
Up to 1300Mbps transfer speed
Bluetooth Bluetooth V4.0
Audio Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC featuring Crystal Sound 2
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 112 dB SNR stereo playback output (Line-out at rear) and 104 dB SNR stereo playback input (Line-in)
- High-fidelity audio OP AMP(s)
Audio Feature :
- DTS Ultra PC II
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- BD Audio Layer Content Protection
- Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Audio amplifier: Provides the highest-quality sound for headphone and speakers
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise to audio outputs
- Top notch audio sensation delivers according to the audio configuration
- EMI protection cover to prevent electrical noise to affect the amplifier quality
USB Ports Intel® X99 chipset :
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, , 2 at mid-board)

Intel® X99 chipset :
6 x USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, , 4 at mid-board)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
2 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, teal blue)

Workstation Feature 12K hours Capacitors
ProCool Power Connector
ASUS PIKE SAS upgrade kit(Optional)
Special Features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.
ASUS TPU :
- Auto Tuning
- GPU Boost
- TPU switch
ASUS EPU :
- EPU
- EPU switch
ASUS Digital Power Design :
- Industry leading Digital 8 Phase Power Design
- Industry leading Digital 4 Phase DRAM Power Design
- CPU Power Utility
- DRAM Power Utility
ASUS Wi-Fi GO!
- Wi-Fi GO! Function: Cloud GO!, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard & Mouse, File Transfer
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB Charger+
- Onboard Button : Power/Reset
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- USB 3.1 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- Turbo LAN
- Crystal Sound 2
Remote Entertainment
- Media Streamer
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS O.C. Tuner
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Push Notice
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, HDD LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
Special Memory O.C. Design
Turbo App
Fan Xpert 3
Operating System Support Windows® 8.1 x86 / x64
Windows® 8 x86 / x64
Windows® 7 x86 / x64
Back I/O Ports 2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 (teal blue)
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0
1 x 8-channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
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)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 x 4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out 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 DRCT header(s)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x TPU switch(es)
1 x EPU switch(es)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
Accessories User's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
1 x COM port cable(s)
8 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x ASUS 3T3R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x 2-port USB 2.0 module(s)
BIOS 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS,
ASUS EZ Flash 2, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified log,
F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 2.7, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc Drivers? ASUS Utilities? EZ Update? Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor Micro ATX Form Factor
9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm )
Environment Operation temperature: 10C ~ 35C
Non operation temperature: -40C ~ 70C
Non operation humidity: 20% ~ 90% ( Non condensing)

January 20, 2016 | 11:29 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Those finned heatsinks used to cool VRM are really neat. Its hard to see those good old finned heatsinks on recent motherboards.

January 20, 2016 | 12:38 PM - Posted by zaodrze244 (not verified)

on page 2 -> "ASUS designed the X99-M WS board with a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, all controlled by the Intel Z170 chipset."

it should rather be X99 chipset ;)

January 20, 2016 | 02:53 PM - Posted by YTech

Agree.

Appears to be a typo on the "Features and Motherboard Layout" page where "[...] 6 Gb/s ports, all controlled by the Intel Z170 chipset. [...]" should say X99 chipset. As far as I know, ASUS hasn't made any revision to the chipset.

January 20, 2016 | 06:25 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

You are correct, thanks for pointing it out.  So much for my iron clad review methods...

January 20, 2016 | 01:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've built a pc with this mobo. I love the board. Only down side would be the fact that older m.2 (x2, not 32gbps) was used.

January 20, 2016 | 01:57 PM - Posted by vzangel (not verified)

Totally agree, I'm looking forward to build a small powerful system, and this motherboard would have been great, but the m.2 slot is already dated and lagging behind current SSDs.

January 21, 2016 | 01:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you are only using one video card, I would think that you could get an m.2 to PCIe adaptor card for about $20 to $30. For full speed you would need to use one of the x16 or x8 slots, either of which would prevent use of a second video card unless you have a single slot card.

September 7, 2016 | 10:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i hope to correct your confusion here. m.2 is a slot, and ssd is a type of storage. m.2 theoretically can reach a transfer rate of 32 gb/s. On the other hand, the most common form of today's ssd in computer main storage ultiliszes the sata III slot that reaches a transfer rate of 6 gb/s. PCIe based ssd will reach the same performance as m.2. The storage board that you use for m.2 slot is ssd too. sata 3 is slower but not lagging behind anything because sata 4 doesn't not exist and the use of PCIe is slowly replacing sata. m.2 is faster than sata. which ssd drives were you referring to? please understand the logic of form and function.

January 20, 2016 | 02:56 PM - Posted by YTech

Thank you Morry Teitelman for the Review! Been waiting for it :)

Wow, I didn't know the antenna came with it :)

Does this board support Dual Channel memory if only using a Dual Channel memory kit of 2 sticks or more? My understanding was that this board only supports Quad. If it supports both, what are the pros and cons? You didn't go in much details when OC the memory.

What is your opinion on the OC socket compared to the competitors options? Did you feel it provided better stability?

Thanks :)

January 20, 2016 | 05:30 PM - Posted by SilverSurferNHS (not verified)

It appears to only have 3 PCIe X16/8, but supports Quad SLI?
That's a neat trick.

January 20, 2016 | 06:26 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Its supports Quad SLI when using two dual GPU cards...

January 21, 2016 | 04:39 PM - Posted by SilverSurferNHS (not verified)

Ah, i totally forgot about that.

January 21, 2016 | 05:27 AM - Posted by Hakuren

As always unique & interesting perspective from Morry.

Sadly board is a bit hit and miss. mATX is not exactly good for advanced RAID setups (and I don't mean 2 SSDs in non-redundant 'RAID' 0 on chipset controller because that's how most home users see RAID) or anything in general except SLI/CF. One of the things I don't get it. "WS" doesn't equal SLI/CF gaming machine.

Can't slap more than one RAID card as it'll be totally impossible to provide enough cooling to keep RoC cool (unless liquid cooled, but still not enough space for 2 controllers or expander). Even with less power-hungry HBAs for drive pools 1 card is max.

WS moniker with mATX/mITX boards is a bit overinflated. It's not very good at everything workstation should do or at least be prepared to do. That's why I just read 'micro/mini' reviews for flavor sake. Definitively not my cup of tea. But if your "workstation" is a gaming one, go ahead. :D

January 22, 2016 | 10:45 PM - Posted by skysaberx8x

Hello
thank very much Morry for the review and also the review of the big X99-WS board, I know it is very late, but I had to disconnect my internet for a few months for the sake of passing in college *sigh*
One more I have one little parts question: does the add-in card stack up against the onboard 3.1 ?

February 3, 2016 | 10:13 AM - Posted by alexhackney

Is there a board similar to this but with the m.2 x4?

February 4, 2016 | 10:36 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

The only x99 mATX board that I know of is the EVGA X99 Micro2, here:

http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=131-HE-E095-KR 

February 25, 2016 | 04:01 PM - Posted by vladnik (not verified)

What about the two ASRock boards? They also feature M.2 with PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth.

ASRock X99M Extreme4:
http://asrock.com/mb/Intel/X99M%20Extreme4/index.us.asp

ASRock Fatal1ty X99M Killer/3.1:
http://asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20X99M%20Killer3.1/index.us.asp

April 8, 2016 | 03:16 PM - Posted by Hillary Clinton (not verified)

Asus is really testing my loyalty, not releasing an x99 ROG branded MATX mobo. I'm in love with my Fractal Define Mini, and refuse to change it.

May 6, 2016 | 12:57 AM - Posted by Shadowarez

Maybe they should do a refresh on x99 platform and remove that useless data exspress port. It's what's kept me from upgrading my x79 rig something bout useless tech on board bugs me too much to buy in why I waiting for z170ws but it's $600 cnd atm a gut punch at that price.maybe kabby lake will cause a refresh and data exspress will go the way of FireWire,and be ripped of chipset and outa BIOS.

June 4, 2016 | 06:39 PM - Posted by YTech

Not sure that I follow what you're saying.

As far as I know, this board doesn't support sata express ports. It does have a lot of sata ports to support multiple raid setup.

Which they believe is more important on a WS board than fewer high performance data transferring storage drives.

June 16, 2016 | 03:37 PM - Posted by boolean (not verified)

Weaknesses

*Lack of integrated CMOS clear jumper

It does have an integrated CMOS clear switch. It's the red button situated beneath the lower PCI-E x16 slot.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.