I love a good workstation – something with the power under the hood that acts as the silent black-box knight when work needs to be done. Most workstations are pre-built, expensive and come with a support package under the impression that the person using it might not know exactly what is involved (but the software package will do). They are also usually based on the enterprise level platforms. There is still a market for self-build workstations too, focusing most on ISV compatibility, hardware compatibility and longevity that cross the line between enterprise platforms and consumer platforms, usually to differentiate cost structures. ASUS’ line of consumer oriented workstation motherboards fits in this space.

We tackled the ASUS P9X79-E WS from the last generation of products, and over the course of the launch of Haswell-E, ASUS updated the line with a full E-ATX X99-E WS model. In a flurry of mATX X99 launches, today sees the official North American launch of the smaller form factor micro-ATX version of the workstation line, the X99-M WS.

With the smaller form factor, as we’ve seen on other smaller X99 motherboards, there are some different arrangements in functionality over the regular X99. For example, the X99-M WS here has only four memory slots and eight SATA ports, but is equipped with x16/x16 full speed PCIe 3.0 lanes as well as a PCIe 2.0 x2 M.2 slot in the middle. (Note the third PCIe slot is from the CPU also, affording x16/x8/x8 with 40-lane CPUs and x16/x8/x4 with 28-lane CPUs.)

The dual I210-AT and I218-LM Intel network ports on the rear are supplemented with a 3x3 802.11ac tri-stream dual band module, with USB 3.1 ports (two Type-A) coming into the mix. Audio is provided with by the Realtek ALC1150 codec under the enhanced Crystal Sound 2 arrangement.

With the workstation level branding the components are subject to more extensive validation requirements, as well as full compatibility with Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 processors and up to 64GB of registered ECC memory.

ASUS has set an MSRP of $280 and the board should be available from today in North America.

Source: ASUS, extra photos from TechPowerUp

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  • dsumanik - Monday, August 3, 2015 - link

    Agreed.

    @Anandtech, also could you change the name of "pipeline stories" to 'paid advertisements"

    Seriously wtf.... it is just getting blatant.
    Reply
  • meacupla - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    It looks good on paper, but Asus does make expensive lemons every now and then, and they don't ever admit they sold you a lemon... Reply
  • Samus - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    You joking or trolling? Asus has made the best motherboards in the world for decades... Reply
  • Phuncz - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    You seem to be trolling or joking, Asus has never had a good enough reputation to be used in the same sentence as "best", not in the last decade anyway. Good: sure. Best: no way. The lemons and lacking quality control, together with weird design choices that prefer marketing features over real benefits has been their problems for a while now. Reply
  • bkydcmpr - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    I think ASUS is the arguable best motherboard vendor, depends how you define "best". They made high configurable and performance motherboards, but not as stable as Intel's Desk Boards. Like BMW is known for its performance but quality-wise it's far behind Toyota. Reply
  • meacupla - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    Asus is fine when it works, but when it doesn't... well let's just say they don't admit there is a problem for weeks, then when they finally admit there is a problem, they take months to get you a replacement. Reply
  • meacupla - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    oh, and I forgot to add, sometimes they will say your product didn't have any problems, and just send you back your faulty device, which you have to attempt to RMA again. Reply
  • bigboxes - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    I can't speak for all their motherboards since there is no way I can try out all their models. My P6T Deluxe v2 has always been rock solid. I received my new Z97-WS with some defective ram slots. After receiving the replacement from Amazon it has been rock solid. My dealings with Asus' customer service was similar to others.

    A customer of mine had a Asus board that was always having issues. I think the board's problems were due to the crappy chipset.

    I use a Foxconn mobo in my file server. It was cheap and does the job (once I was able to get it configured). I put a Gigabyte board in my wife's 7850K build. I used to be an Abit man, but that is no longer an option. :)
    Reply
  • meacupla - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    nope, list of Asus things that have failed on me:

    P5W-DH deluxe, some USB ports and flaky NIC
    TF101, faulty wifi/bt
    X202E, two broken keyboards, two bursted batteries
    P8Z77-I deluxe, fails to boot when DVI port is used
    H97-I plus, fails to boot when memory is set beyond 1333Mhz

    Asus support? Pitiful and lacking. They don't stand behind their products.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, August 1, 2015 - link

    Gigabyte gave me the run-around over an obvious BIOS bug recently. I told them all that needed to be done to find the problem was to change one setting off of "AUTO" and they kept demanding that I give them more information. Reply

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