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ASUS 9-Series LGA1150 Motherboards Preview

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
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A few weeks ago we were invited to come take a peak at what ASUS has been working on behind closed doors, and as you might expect, what we were shown was their new Intel 9-Series LGA1150 motherboards. We got a really in-depth look at the new lineup as a whole and each motherboard series individually, so we will be able to give you a nice breakdown of what each model has to offer and what new technology ASUS have developed for this new generation.

At launch, there will be about 15 different models based on the Z-class variant of the 9-series chipset. We haven't yet heard any word of their H-class models, but we expect roughly a half-dozen models with an emphasis on smaller form factors like Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX. If we are correct, that should make ASUS' next generation lineup much more customer friendly than the bewildering 37 models that GIGABYTE have recently announced. On the ASUS side, most of the new models are part of the standard Channel Series, but as you will see there are some very intriguing Republic of Gamers (RoG), The Ultimate Force (TuF), and Workstation models as well.

Now you might be ready to dismiss this new chipset series given that their wasn't a huge difference between the 7 and 8-series, but we have two words for you: connectivity and upgradability. Connectivity in the form of two new high-speed storage interfaces and upgradability in the form of long-term support for current (and unreleased) 4th generation and upcoming 5th generation Intel Core processors. Are you intrigued yet? If so, keep reading!

 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Channel Series Motherboard

Channel Series Motherboard


The Channel Series is comprised of models like the PRO and Deluxe and is basically what you can consider the "standard" ASUS motherboards, not part of any special sub-group with its own unique theme. They are the direct competitors to motherboards like GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable Series, and are without question the biggest sellers in the ASUS lineup.

Along with a new chipset, these next generation models also feature an updated colour scheme. Gone are the gaudy gold heatsinks and awful yellow-ish slots, replaced with sleek black and grey slots and more muted champagne colored heatsinks. It is a definitely classier and more subdued look. Those who like colour matching their components might not be as keen on the new hue, but rest assured that ASUS will be releasing matching graphics cards soon enough.

At the moment, we are aware of nine different Channel Series models, which are:

Z97-K
Z97M-PLUS
Z97-C
Z97-A
Z97I-PLUS
Z97-PRO
Z97-PRO (Wi-Fi ac)
Z97-DELUXE
Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC)


We were able to see six of these new models in-person, but since the ASUS supplied shots are so much prettier, we will mostly be using those below.


Z97-A​


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Despite being at the lower-end of the spectrum, the Z97-A is one of the models that had everyone talking. ASUS have packed this model with a ton of features for its $150 price tag, and as you will see it really offers a tremendous Bang for the Buck. First off, it has a DIGI+ 8-phase CPU power design, with 2 more phases for the memory slots, which support overclocked frequencies up to DDR3-3200.

Multiple graphics cards support is present in the form of 2-Way CrossFire and 2-Way SLI. There are indeed three mechanical PCI-E x16 slots, but only the top two are PCI-E 3.0 The third slot tops out at PCI-E 2.0 x2, since ASUS had to divert some PCI-E lanes away from this slot to all the other PCI-E devices on this motherboard.

This model features two venerable PCI slots, for those of you holding on to some old-school expansion cards. Connectivity wise, this Z97-A impresses with an M.2 slot, a SATA Express port, six SATA 6Gb/s ports (2 of which are shared with the SATAe), up to six USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0 ports, and one gigabyte LAN port powered by a new Intel I218-V NIC.

Those of you who plan on using integrated graphics should be ecstatic with this model’s video output options, which is say VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. What more could you ask for? Really the only area where there was some evident cost-cutting is in the use of the older Realtek ALC892 8-channel audio CODEC instead of the more modern Realtek ALC1150 chip. The newer CODEC has a superior 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback output compared to the 95dB SNR for the ALC892. Unless you fancy yourself an audiophile, this likely isn’t a huge issue. Overall then, this is a model that’s going to be hard to overlook, and that’s why it is the first ASUS 9-Series motherboard that we’re going to review.

Just to be clear, the ThunderboltEX II expansion card that you see above is not included with the Z97-A, it is a separate accessory that is currently sold for about $70. It was previously only compatible with ASUS Z87 motherboards, but that support has been brought forward to the Z-class 9-Series models as well.


Z97-PRO​


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The Z97-PRO is a solid step-up from the Z97-A for those who want a little more of everything. It has a 12-phase DIGI+ power design with an additional DIGI+ 2-phases for the memory slots.

While it still only has three PCI-E x16 slots, this model features 2-way SLI (x8/x8) and adds 3-way CrossFire capability, although in a less than ideal PCI-E x8 3.0/x8 3.0/x4 2.0 configuration. For storage and connectivity purposes you have an M.2 slot, a SATA Express port, eight SATA 6Gb/s ports (2 of which are shared with the SATAe), up to eight USB 3.0 and six USB 2.0 ports, and one gigabyte LAN port powered by the Intel I218-V NIC.

The onboard audio has been upgraded to the new Crystal Sound 2 design, which is built around the modern Realtek ALC1150 8-channel HD audio CODEC and Japanese audio capacitors, both also putd an emphasis on EMI shielding and physical isolation of the audio sub-system.


Z97-PRO (Wi-Fi ac)​


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As you might expect, the difference between the Z97-PRO and the Z97-PRO (Wi-Fi ac) is the added wireless connectivity in the form of dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0 support. Included in this package if the external antenna with has a magnetic base and hefty-ish weight, so it is easy to place or affix as desired. This (Wi-Fi ac) model should sport a roughly $30 price premium, which is quite reasonable when you consider the price of a Wi-Fi 802.11ac PCI-E card or USB adapter.


Z97-DELUXE​


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As you would expect from the current flagship, the Deluxe model features the most robust CPU power design of any other model. With 16 phases, this motherboard won't flinch under the load of even the most extremely overclocked Haswell chips. Like on the PRO model, this motherboard has three PCI-E x16 slots and support 2-way SLI (x8/x8) and 3-way CrossFire capability, although once again in a less than ideal PCI-E x8 3.0/x8 3.0/x4 2.0 configuration.

As with all Channel Series models, the Deluxe features an M.2 slot, but this is the only model with two SATA Express ports. The additional PCI-E lanes needed for this greater connectivity is courtesy of a PLX PCI-E multiplier chip. There are ten SATA 6Gb/s ports, although four are shared with the SATAe interface.

There are six USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports on the rear I/O panel, as well as two USB 3.0 headers and two USB 2.0 headers. Basically, there is a ton of USB connectivity if you need it. This is also the only model with two gigabyte LAN ports, supplied by an Intel I218-V and I211-AT.

Wireless connectivity is available in the form of dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0 support. Speaking of the rear I/O panel, the video outputs have been reduced when compared to the lower-end models. While the HDMI and standard DisplayPort remain, the VGA and DVI outputs are replaced with a mini DisplayPort (mDP) connector. Not a huge issue, since anyone buying a $290 motherboard is probably going to have a discrete graphics card in their system.

Although the standard Deluxe model does feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, there is also a new Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) model which adds even more connectivity. This higher-end model features an external NFC Express 2 box and separate Qi-certified Wireless Charger peripheral. The NFC will allow you to control certain aspects of your system, or just to easily transfer media to/from your mobile devices in order to seamlessly continue playback.

This NFC & WLC bundle also includes the ThunderboltEX II/DUAL expansion card, which features two Thunderbolt 2 ports – capable of bi-directional transfer speeds up to 20Gbit/s - and two DisplayPort 1.2 inputs, which means that you can daisy chain up to 12 Thunderbolt devices.


Z97I-PLUS​


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Considering the increasing popularity of smaller form factor systems, it’s no surprise to see a Mini-ITX model available at launch. Despite its tiny size, the Z97I-PLUS actually has a few surprises up its sleeve. ASUS have ingeniously mounted an M.2 slot on the rear of the motherboard. This is a brilliant idea since front PCB space is at a premium on these compact Mini-ITX motherboards, yet with this implementation buyers will still have access to at least one of the two new high-speed storage interfaces.

SATA Express is obviously absent on this model. There are four SATA 6Gb/s port, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and one gigabyte LAN port powered by an Intel I218-V NIC. As you would hope for on such a motherboard, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0 support are present and accounted for. Those of you who interested in this model’s HTPC potential will be glad to know that the video output options are impressive, with the option for VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. Audio duties are handled by a Realtek ALC892 8-channel HD audio CODEC. Expect a retail price around $160 for this fully-featured mini mobo.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Republic of Gamers Series Motherboards

Republic of Gamers Series Motherboards


The Republic of Gamers (RoG) Series should need no introduction, but if you aren't aware, these are the higher-end models that are tasked with the dual duty of being the gaming-oriented and overclocking-oriented models in the ASUS roster. Thankfully, if history is any indication, these RoG have proven quite capable of handling these distinct specializations.

ASUS are playing it a little coy when it comes to the Republic of Gamers lineup, by keeping a few models like the flagship Formula and miniature Impact secret for now, but we did take a close look at the three RoG models that will be available at or near the launch date.

As you will notice below, one of the distinguishing features – or lack thereof - of these RoG models is that none feature SATA Express. This might seem like a weird omission since it’s one of the key selling points of this new generation of motherboards, but it all comes down to prioritizing PCI-E lanes. There are only 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes from the CPU and a small fixed number of PCI-E 2.0 lanes from the PCH. Obviously, you don’t want to borrow any from the CPU since they are used for the graphics card(s) (x16 or x8/x8), so that leaves you with the (maybe) 8 lanes from the PCH. One solution is to include a PLX chip, which acts as PCI-E multiplier, but it adds a fair bit of latency and thus there is a performance penalty. ASUS puts an emphasis on the pure performance of the RoG models, so the PLX is out of the question. As a result, one of the new high-speed interfaces had to sacrificed…and its two PCI-E 2.0 lanes used elsewhere.

Frankly, given the lack of SATA Express devices for the foreseeable future, and the fact that the M.2 slot is just as fast (10Gbit/sec), we aren’t going to get too hung up on this omission. In fact, given that M.2 requires no additional cables, we expect it to be a big hit among those who buy RoG motherboards to build sleek, eye-pleasing systems.

In the RoG range, we were shown three different models, the Micro-ATX Maximus VII Gene and the full-sized siblings, the Maximus VII Hero and Maximus VII Ranger. We were told that a higher-end Formula model and compact Mini-ITX Impact model will be released down the road.

Maximus VII Gene​


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As we have come to expect, this new GENE model is a fully featured Micro-ATX motherboard with dual PCI-E x16 expansion slots for full 2-way CrossFire and 2-way SLI support in x8/x8 configuration. Despite an obvious shortage of PCB space, ASUS have upheld this model's RoG gaming roots by including an upright PCB module that houses the new SupremeFX Impact II sub-system.

If it’s anything like its predecessor, we can expect it to house a Realtek ALC1150 8-channel HD audio CODEC protected by an EMI cover, ENLA audio capacitors, and PCB-level analog and digital signal separation. It should be every bit as competitive as the SupremeFX 2014 audio found on the larger motherboards, and it supports the same Sonic SenseAmp, Sonic Studio, Sonic SoundStage, and Sonic Rader II features. SenseAmp is particularly interesting since is detects headphone impedance and adjusts the built-in amp automatically. This ensures that headphones are properly driven/powered given their specific Ohm rating, which is something that your average user probably had no knowledge of.

This model comes with an 8-phase CPU power design with NexFET Power Block MOSFET, 60A Ferrite Chokes, and 10K Black Metallic Capacitors. Basically, the same high-end components that you see on all RoG models. It features similar connectivity features as well, with an M.2 slot, an impressive eight SATA 6Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 headers, and one gigabit LAN port powered by an Intel I218-V NIC. Video output is limited to a sole HDMI port, since the rear I/O panel has to make room for the usual plethora of aforementioned ports as well as the RoG-specific Clear CMOS button and ROG Connect On/ Off switch.

Overclockers and those who run their system on an open test bench definitely won’t be disappointed with this model, it features a Q-Code debug LED display, LN2 Mode jumper (helps remedy cold-boot bug during post at sub-zero temperatures), power-on Start button, reset button, MemOk! button (initiates memory compatibility tuning process), thermal probe header, and even a ProbeIt area with an assortment of voltage read points. Overall, you don’t have to give up anything by choosing a small form factor motherboard. This GENE is packed with features, many of which we haven’t even mentioned yet, so keep reading below.


Maximus VII Hero​


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If you take a close look around the CPU socket area, you will see that the Maximus VII HERO (and the GENE too) feature the world’s first dual-colour PCB with a matte black and red finish. This might seem pointless, but once the myriad PCB mounted LEDs are turned on the effect is quite attractive. Specifications wise, the HERO is much like the GENE. It features an 8-phase CPU power design, one M.2 slot, eight SATA 6Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 headers, and one gigabit LAN port fed by an Intel I218-V NIC. There is an LED embedded in the PCH heatsink, and when combined with the aforementioned the dual-colour PCB, and the black nickel plated CPU socket, heatpipe, EMI cover, and rear I/O shield creates the striking “RoG-infused aesthetics” that ASUS is striving for.

The HERO has three PCI-E x16 slots, but it still only supports 2-way SLI (x8/x8) and 3-way CrossFire, although once again in a less than ideal x8 3.0/x8 3.0/x4 2.0 configuration. This third slot is more or less irrelevant since it is automatically disabled if you use the M.2 slot or any of the PCI-E x1 slots. This is just an unavoidable reality on this PCI-E lane limited mainstream platform.

The new SupremeFX 2014 audio subsystem is obviously updated for this latest generation. It features a Realtek ALC1150 8-channel HD audio CODEC, ENLA audio capacitors, and it supports the various RoG-only features such as Sonic SenseAmp, Sonic Studio, Sonic SoundStage, and Sonic Radar II. There is also an electromagnetic interference (EMI) shield covering the Realtek CODEC, and red-line shielding surrounds the audio section of the PCB and isolates it from the rest of the system. All of this serves to help to preserve the signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio and thus ensure the highest possible sound quality.

Regrettably and rather inexplicably, this model fails to deliver when it comes to overclocking features. Compared to the smaller GENE model, the HERO is missing the LN2 Mode jumper, the thermal probe header, and most egregiously the ProbeIt voltage read points. These are all puzzling omissions since – as we stated before - the smallest model in the lineup has them. We will have to ask for the official reasoning behind this choice.


Maximus VII Ranger​


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This new value-oriented Ranger model was designed with system integrators in mind (think CyberPower, iBUYPOWER, Maingear, etc), but it will also be available in the retail channel sometime in the not too distant future. It is basically a slightly stripped down version of the HERO. This model doesn’t have the dual-colour PCB, it lacks the RoG LED under the PCH heatsink, omits two SATA 6Gb/s ports, and swaps the higher-end 60A gold-tipped chokes for different “New Alloy” chokes. That is about the extent of the changes, so nothing drastic at all.

Thankfully, this short description allow us to go into more detail about the various features and technologies that are found on all the Republic of Gamers models. All RoG models feature a newly designed LAN port, dubbed LANGuard, which has been improved with advanced signal-coupling technology and surface-mounted capacitors. The end result is supposedly improved throughput and superior surge and electrostatic protection thanks to ESD Guards. Software-wise, LAN connectivity has been improved with the exclusive GameFirst III networking optimization utility. With more gamer-oriented features and a refreshed interface, this utility can help prioritize game packets or just manage and monitor bandwidth for any application.

On each Republics of Gamers model you will find a KeyBot button on the top of the board, and a KeyBot microprocessor on the rear. ASUS is dubbing KeyBot as a free, instant keyboard upgrade. Users plug in their existing keyboard to the dedicated USB port on the rear I/O shield to engage the KeyBot chip, and a user-friendly utility allows for the easy programming of macro keys, assigning of function keys, or creation of shortcuts for everything from launching any of any application with a single press to multimedia playback control. Users will also be able to create and share their KeyBot profiles with friends, which should be great for games with complex macros. KeyBot also functions with the S5 sleep mode, so users can wake their PC and boot directly into the UEFI BIOS or enable/disable CPU Level Up with just one tap.

The new TrueVolt USB design provides a steady 5V output to both the front and rear USB ports courtesy of two isolated power supply lines. This is noteworthy mostly because of the increasing use of USB DAC’s, which obviously benefit from clean, stable supply of power.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
TUF Series Motherboards

TUF Series Motherboards


The Ultimate Force (TUF) Series motherboards put an emphasis on physical toughness, long-term stability, thermal management, and unique stytling. At you will see below, this is achieved through armor plating, premium components that are up military specifications, precise fan control, class-leading thermal monitoring, and some distinctly military-inspired design. At the moment, we are aware of four different models for this series, the range-topping Sabertooth Z97 Mark I, the value-oriented Sabertooth Z97 Mark II, the compact Gryphon Z97, and the reinforced Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition.


Sabertooth Z97 Mark I​


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At first glance you can clearly see the one item that really makes this new Sabertooth Z97 Mark I really stand out: the TUF Thermal Armor. This is essentially just a large protective piece of plastic that covers the motherboard. However, in conjunction with with Dust Defender, the covers that protect the expansion slots and memory slots, the end result is the protection of the motherboard from physical damage, dust and miscellaneous debris. With the included Intake Fan and Assistant Cover Fan, the Armor also acts as an air duct directing airflow to all of the most important PCB-components components on the board while simultaneously shielding those components from the intense heat generated by the graphics card(s). This model also features the TUF Fortifier, which is basically a large backplate on the rear of the motherboard that not only acts as protection but is also turned into a huge heat-sink to direct heat away from key components. Apparently it reduces VRM component temperatures by up to 7°C.

With the TUF ICe microprocessor and Thermal Radar 2 feature you can monitor the various onboard temperature sensors (and included thermistor cables) and manually or automatically adjust fan speeds for the complete system. Thermal Radar 2 has also been updated to now allow you control the fan(s) on ASUS graphics cards. Basically, TUF motherboards give you a really clear picture of the entire motherboard’s thermal status and gives you the tools to take care of any problem areas.

Component wise, this - and all - TUF models feature Japanese 10K capacitors, which is to say caps that validated for 10,000 hours of operation at 105°C. They are also utilizing the same "New Alloy" chokes seen on the Maximus VII Ranger, which are larger than conventional chokes and thus have a superior heat dissipation capability. When you combine top-notch components with server-grade stability tests and compatibility checks, TUF ESD Guards for extra protection against electrostatic discharges, and the aforementioned physical damage protection, this all adds to extra durability and longevity, hence why TUF models features longer 5-year warranties.

From a conventional specs point-of-view, this model features a digital 8-phase CPU power design, 2-Way SLI and 2-Way CrossFireX support, six SATA 6Gb/s ports, although two are shared with the SATA Express port, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 headers, two USB 2.0 headers, and dual gigabit LAN ports. One is powered by an Intel I218V NIC, while the other makes due with a Realtek 8111GR. Onboard audio is handled by the solid Realtek ALC1150 8-channel HD audio CODEC, with the now familiar assortment of audio amplifier, de-pop circuit, audio shielding, and dedicated audio PCB layers. The rear I/O panel features HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, a USB BIOS Flashback Button, and one of the 40mm fans that direct airflow towards the MOSFET heatsinks, but which can also occasionally reversed to suck dust out from under the armor.


Sabertooth Z97 Mark II​

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There is not much to say about the Sabertooth Z97 Mark II. It is basically the same as the Mark I, but without the Thermal Armor, TUF Fortifier, SATA Express port, and one less gigabit LAN port. That's the extent of the changes. So you're still getting the excellent thermal management features and extended warranty that are the bread-and-butter of the TUF line.

Gryphon Z97​

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The Gryphon Z97 is basically just a compact Micro ATX version of Sabertooth Z97 Mark II. It has same features and connectivity options throughout, except for the addition of an HDMI video output on the rear I/O panel. Not pictured here is the Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition model, which as you might expect, is basically a Gryphon Z97 with the special Thermal Armor covering the entire front of motherboard and the TUF Fortifier covering the back.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,087
Location
Montreal
Workstation Series Motherboard

Workstation Series Motherboard



The Workstation Series – or model, we should say - focuses on stringent validation, compatibility testing, and lots of room for expansion. Regrettably, the Workstation name doesn't sound particularly consumer-friendly to many, so this model is often over-looked and under-appreciated. This is too bad since as you will see below it is often the most fully featured motherboard in the ASUS lineup, rivaling and often surpassing the Deluxe models.


Z97-WS​


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First, this is the only model that maintains the original gold coloured heatsinks of the previous generation, but thankfully the slots are a muted black and grey. This is not a big deal given the target market for this $290 motherboard. It is also the very first motherboard in the world to feature 12K capacitors, which is to say caps that validated for 12,000 hours of operation at 105 °C. CPU power delivery is handled by an 8-phase DIGI+ power design, and there are two 8-Pin CPU connectors, which makes this an interesting model for handling extremely overclocked processors. Although it doesn’t really feature any overclocking-specific features, the Z97-WS is validated for up to DDR3-3400, which is higher than any of the RoG models, and Workstation models have historically proven to be some of the most overclockable out there.

When it comes to high-speed storage, the Z97-WS features an M.2 slot and two SATA Express ports as well. If you don’t use the SATAe ports, this model features eight SATA 6Gb/s ports, six USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 headers, and two USB 2.0 headers. Given its heritage, it shouldn’t be surprising that this model feature dual gigabit LAN ports. However, ASUS wisely chose two different Intel NICs, a fairly standard I210 part and a I218LM that is widely supported in a variety of server operating systems. Basically, there are a ton of connectivity options. Thanks to its four mechanical PCI-E x16 slots and the onboard PLX PCI-E multiplier chip, this model has superlative graphical capabilities with support both 4-way SLI and 4-way CrossFire (in x8/x8/x8/x8 configuration). If you’re relying on integrated graphics, the WS doesn’t disappoint with HDMI, DisplayPort, and mini DisplayPort video outputs.

With regard to Workstation-specific features, there is the Dr. Power functionality which provides real-time power supply monitoring in order to help prevent sudden system shutdowns and warn of any power delivery issues. The EZ XMP switch, as its name suggests, allow users to easily auto-enable a memory kit’s XMP profile. There are two Q-Code debug displays, although the exact purpose for the second display is still a little vague. The Q-Code logger logs system events and it will dump the log on a USB device when you hold the Q-Code logger button, even when they system is shut down. This helps troubleshoot issues even when the system can’t power on.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Accessories

Accessories


One of the things that has been made crystal clear to us over the last month or so is that there are basically zero SATA Express devices ready to hit the market any time soon. Thankfully for ASUS, having ASMedia as one of your subsidiaries means that you can easily and quickly whip together some pretty neat storage devices. With this in mind, they unveiled to us the interesting Hyper Express enclosure, which as you might have guessed utilizes the new SATA Express interface.

Hyper Express Enclosure​


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There will be at least three variants of the Hyper Express, but it is basically a 2.5" or 3.5" enclosure that houses either two mSATA or two M.2 solid state drives, or two 2.5" SSDs (or even HDDs) and automatically sets them up to run in RAID-0. As a result, if you choose some sufficiently fast SSDs, you can likely end up with a high-performance storage solution that hits the 10Gb/s SATA Express bandwidth limit. This "first wave" device uses an ASMedia 1062R SATA 6Gb/s RAID controller and it does not currently support the TRIM command, which is obviously a pretty serious con unless you have SSDs with excellent internal garbage collection algorithms. However, assuming it works properly, this should still be one of the cooler devices to show off the capabilities of this new storage interface.
 
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