I love a good workstation – something with the power under the hood that acts as the silent black-box knight when work needs to be done. Most workstations are pre-built, expensive and come with a support package under the impression that the person using it might not know exactly what is involved (but the software package will do). They are also usually based on the enterprise level platforms. There is still a market for self-build workstations too, focusing most on ISV compatibility, hardware compatibility and longevity that cross the line between enterprise platforms and consumer platforms, usually to differentiate cost structures. ASUS’ line of consumer oriented workstation motherboards fits in this space.

We tackled the ASUS P9X79-E WS from the last generation of products, and over the course of the launch of Haswell-E, ASUS updated the line with a full E-ATX X99-E WS model. In a flurry of mATX X99 launches, today sees the official North American launch of the smaller form factor micro-ATX version of the workstation line, the X99-M WS.

With the smaller form factor, as we’ve seen on other smaller X99 motherboards, there are some different arrangements in functionality over the regular X99. For example, the X99-M WS here has only four memory slots and eight SATA ports, but is equipped with x16/x16 full speed PCIe 3.0 lanes as well as a PCIe 2.0 x2 M.2 slot in the middle. (Note the third PCIe slot is from the CPU also, affording x16/x8/x8 with 40-lane CPUs and x16/x8/x4 with 28-lane CPUs.)

The dual I210-AT and I218-LM Intel network ports on the rear are supplemented with a 3x3 802.11ac tri-stream dual band module, with USB 3.1 ports (two Type-A) coming into the mix. Audio is provided with by the Realtek ALC1150 codec under the enhanced Crystal Sound 2 arrangement.

With the workstation level branding the components are subject to more extensive validation requirements, as well as full compatibility with Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 processors and up to 64GB of registered ECC memory.

ASUS has set an MSRP of $280 and the board should be available from today in North America.

Source: ASUS, extra photos from TechPowerUp

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  • meacupla - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    yeah, I've gotten that from gigabyte as well.

    I just stick to MSI when I can. They actually stand behind their products and their RMA process is much faster and effective. The only unfortunate part about MSI is that their boards don't exactly have the best designs or most features for the money.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    The bug is so obvious that all one has to do is change the setting from AUTO to anything else, including the value that AUTO sets and the board won't post.

    I sent Gigabyte three e-mails with detailed information and their response was more questions and more demands for info. At that point I just gave up. There is nothing complicated about changing ONE SETTING off of AUTO to replicate the bug.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    Oh, and the first thing they tried to do was hand-wave the problem by saying "overclocking results are not guaranteed". The problem has nothing to do with overclocking when the only thing you're doing is manually setting the same value that AUTO says it's inputting -- the default value for the chipset!
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    So, they showed me that they didn't actually read what I wrote and are just parroting back a list of stonewalling rationalizations.
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    I've got a P8Z77-I and it boots fine for me with DVI, so I'm a bit surprised with that issue. One issue I do have is that the Intel USB 3.0 ports don't work reliably with some of my USB devices. The other USB ports work fine.
  • Samus - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    Two of those aren't motherboards, one of your issues is a bad DVI cable and the other issue is poor quality\incompatible RAM.

    ALL of those Asus products are bottom barrel consumer products, there will be defects like in any low-end consumer product. Take a look at owners of the P6T boards from 5+ years ago, they have quite a reputation.
  • meacupla - Sunday, August 2, 2015 - link

    NO AND NO. I hate people who assume I haven't done all the necessary troubleshooting steps already.

    DVI port simply causes the board to not boot. It doesn't matter what cable I use or what monitor I connect it to. It just doesn't work.

    The RAM issue has been tested with about 10 different kits, and they all don't work beyond 1333Mhz in that board, when they work just fine at 1866Mhz and 1600Mhz in other boards.

    I said "Asus products" not "motherboards only", so please read.

    IDK what you are on, but any Asus product with "Deluxe" or "Plus" in them is not a bottom of the barrel board. Sure, they aren't server grade stuff, but you have got to be kidding me if you think those are bottom of the barrel, because they sure don't cost that.

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