Intel’s X99 “Wellsburg” platform has been with us for some time now, since Q3 2014 in fact. Unlike Intel’s Z series chipsets, Intel refreshed their X series chipset far less frequently. That doesn’t mean that the platform is any less exciting that the Z series though. Being Intel’s flagship consumer chipset mean that is often receives new features and technology first. The motherboard manufactures also help keep the platform fresh by regularly releasing updates to their lineup as well.
The X99-M WS is Asus’ mATX entry to the 99 workstation motherboard market. There is support for both 5th and 6th Generation Intel Core i7, Xeon E5 16xx v3, and Xeon E5 26xx v3 processors. The Four DDR4 quad channel memory slots can handle up to 128GB and at speeds up to 3200Mhz. There’s Turbo M.2 connectivity with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s. Eight SATA ports offer even more storage options. A total of six rear USB 2.0/3.0 USB are complimented with an additional two rear USB 3.1 ports and multiple mid-board USB headers. Intel I210-AT and I218-LM chips provide high quality network connectivity, which is supplemented with dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth V4.0.
Being a workstation motherboard, Asus forgoes the usual fancy cosmetics and targeted features that one would expect to see on a gaming/enthusiast product. There are still plenty of premium features the X99-M WS to be had though. 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 provides whole system optimization with a single click. Both two-way Nvidia Geforce SLI and AMD CrossFireX configurations are supported. 12K hours Capacitors offer the world’s best longevity. The ProCool Power Connectors feature lower impedance and better heat dissipation. Beat Thermal Chokes increase stability and power efficiency. A PIKE SAS upgrade kit is optional for those who need it. If that wasn’t enough, a full software suite also included.
Asus's take on the X99-M WS
The most-powerful X99 micro-ATX with USB 3.1 on board
- Ultimate micro-ATX graphics power – Accommodates dual PCI Express 3.0 graphics cards at x16 speed
- 3x3 (3T3R) 802.11ac Wi-Fi –Fastest onboard Wi-Fi up to 1300Mb/s
- The latest 10Gb/s USB 3.1 – Built into the board-twice as fast USB 3.0
- 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 – One click, total system optimization
- Supreme Power Solution – Premium components deliver industry-leading power efficiency
Ultimate micro-ATX graphics power: Two-way PCIe Gen 3 at x16 speed
X99-M WS is the first ASUS micro-ATX with PCIe slots able to accommodate up to two dual-slot graphics cards. The new motherboard supports both two-way NVIDIA® Geforce® SLI™ and AMD® CrossFireX™ configurations, making it an excellent choice for graphics professionals who depend on powerful graphics in areas such as design and modeling, medical research, plus processing-intensive simulation and rendering applications.
In addition to graphics cards, extensive expandability offers ample room for RAID cards, PCI Express-based solid-state drives (SSDs), video-capture cards and many other popular components.