Asus has done nothing to challenge EVGA’s dual-socket SR-2 motherboard in the LGA 1366 days. But now that Sandy Bridge-E has arrived, the Taiwanese company won’t do the same mistake again and it started preparing a dual-CPU solution of its own, dubbed the Z9PE-D8 WS.
A preproduction sample of this board was present at the company’s CES 2012 booth, and while we can’t tell you anything about its performance at this point in time, it certainly looks like it will be a great competitor for the EVGA SR-X.
As with EVGA’s creation, its most distinctive feature is the inclusion of the dual LGA 2011 sockets which are paired 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 has 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 board 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.
No info regarding pricing and availability has been provided so far, but VR-Zone actually has a couple of pictures showing the Z9PE-D8 WS motherboard running dual Xeon E5 CPUs and 4-way SLI, so its launch should be near.