Shortly after the introduction of Intel’s LGA 2011 Xeon E5 processor family, Asus has made the company’s Z9PE-D8 WS motherboard for dual-socket Sandy Bridge-EP high-end workstations official .
As some of you may remember, the board was unveiled in January of this year, during the CES 2012 fair, and comes as a direct competitor for the EVGA Classified SR-X
introduced just yesterday.
Just like its EVGA-built counterpart, the Z9PE-D8-WS features dual LGA 2011 sockets which, in this case, are paired together with four DIMM slots each, in order to enable the motherboard to hold up to 256GB of RAM.
Seven PCI Express x16 slots are also available, driven by the 80 PCIe lanes available in the Xeon E5-series processors.
Of course, such a high-end setup forced Asus
to go with a larger form factor than usual, so the company utilized the SSI CEB standard (30.5x33cm), which is usually reserved for servers.
On the storage side, Asus has placed 10 SATA ports, six of which appear to be 6Gbps capable, while two additional USB 3.0 ports placed in the back of the motherboard
round up the Z9PE-D8 WS’ expansion capabilities.
Dual Ethernet ports are also present, but only one of these is actually a Gigabit network jack, as the other is linked to an ASPEED AST2300 2D VGA controller that also brings remote management capabilities to the Asus board.
At CES 2012, Asus’ booth featured the Z9PE-D8 WS running dual Xeon E5 CPUs and four Nvidia graphics cards linked in SLI, a configuration that will definitely capture the interest of many companies wanting to build high-performance rendering workstations on the cheap.
Asus hasn’t revealed any info regarding the pricing of its motherboard, but NCIX
has the Z9PE-D8 WS in stock listed at $592 US (about 450 EUR).