Showcased for the first time at this year’s CES fair, Asus’ Z9PE-D8-WS dual-socket workstation motherboard for LGA 2011 processors has just been made available for pre-order by a Canadian retailer for the equivalent of $634.56 US (474 EUR).NCIX hasn’t mentioned when the board will start shipping, but this shouldn’t take long as Intel’s launch of the Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon E5-series processors is just around the corner.
Just like its SR-X counterpart built by EVGA, 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 that are going to be paired with the Z9PE-D8 WS.
Of course, such a high-end setup forced Asus to go with a larger form factor than usual, so this upcoming creation will use the SSI CEB standard, which is usually reserved for servers.
On the storage side, Asus has placed 10 SATA ports, of which six 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, according to VR-Zone.
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 a lot of companies wanting to build a high-performance rendering workstation on the cheap.