Asus has released the WS X299 Pro, a “Workstation” motherboard designed to work with a little bit of overclocking and suited for desktop crowd. None of the features are worth drooling for but then again this is a motherboard which is supposed to do its job and not to win any fashion show. The WS X299 Pero seem to have the most basic workstation features on points like the dual M.2 and a U.2, dual Intel network controllers, a COM port interface, and reinforced PCIe slots.
Based on Intel’s latest HEDT X299 chipset the WS X299 Pro, the board supports both the KabyLake X and Skylake X processors out of the box. Memory wise we see the typical 8 slot arrangement, with support for 128GB of DDR4 running at speeds up to DDR4-4133. With a quad-core Kaby-X CPU, the speed remains the same however the capacity goes down to 64GB.The board, unfortunately, is not going to support ECC memory.Same goes for the CPUs.
The board provides six SATA ports with capabilities of RAID 0,1,5, and 10, with a PCIe 3.0 x4, U.2 port, and dual M.2 slots.Both of the M.2 ports are covered by heatsinks for extra heat dissipation supporting SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4 modules.This board doesn’t offer three separate PCIe based storage ports and the bandwidth is shared between the second M.2 and U.2 slot.When a SATA M.2 drive is installed, the SATA port shares bandwidth with the first M.2 port.Thunderbolt is in the game via 5 pin header located at the bottom of the board.
Considering this as a cheaper solution for Workstation boards, network capabilities are quite restricted.The networking is handled by a dual Intel I210-AT Gigabit network controller with 10 Gigabit LAN port.
With an internal header for the front panel port, Type-A and Type-C are supported at the back and then ASMedia handles the USB 3.1(10GBps) connectivity.Six USB 3.1(5GBps) are present with USB 2.0 in a mixed fashion.With the CPU four PCIe slots are available and all of them are reinforced.And another open ended PCIe x4 slot from the chipset.
Speaking of audio, the board has Realtek ALC S1220A codec under ASUS Crystal Sound 3 banner.
Here is a short spec-wise summary:
|Chipset||Intel X299 Express|
|Memory Slots (DDR4)||Up to Eight DDR4-4133
Supporting Up to 128GB (SKL-X)
Supporting Up to 64GB (KBL-X)
Support DDR4 4133+
|Network Connectivity||2 x Intel I210-AT LAN|
|Onboard Audio||Realtek ALC S1220A|
|PCIe Slots||44 lane CPU : x16/x16/x4(c)/x8/x4,
28 lane CPU : x16/x8/x4(c)/x4/x0,
16 lane CPU : x8/x4/x4(c)/x4/x0.
|Onboard SATA||6 x 6 Gbps, Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10|
|Onboard SATA Express||None|
|Onboard M.2||2 x Supports PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA|
|Onboard U.2||1 x PCIe 3.0 x4|
|USB 3.1||1 x Back Panel Type-A
1 x Back Panel Type-C
1 x Internal Header
|USB 3.0||4 x Back Panel
1 x Header
|USB 2.0||4 x Back Panel
1 x Header
|Power Connectors||1 x 24-pin EATX
2 x 8-pin ATX 12V
|Fan Headers||4 x 4-pin + 5-pin Extension Fan connector|
|IO Panel||2 x RJ45 ports
2 x USB 3.1 10 Gbps ports
4 x USB 3.1 5 Gbps ports
4 x USB 2.0
1 x SPDIF
1 x Audio Stack
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button
|Onboard Headers||1 x COM Header
1 x VROC Header
1 x Thunderbolt Header
No pricing is yet out for the X299 Pro. we will update as soon as it comes out in the market.