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Sep 12, 2014

ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS, Dual-Socket Intel Xeon CPU Motherboard Released




We thought that the ASUS X99-E WS LGA 2017-A motherboard would be the only one with seven PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, but it turns out that is not the case. There are others, or at least there is one other now.

ASUS still holds monopoly though. This may change once other mainboard suppliers start to release their respective platforms based on the X88 chipset, but for now no dice. Anyway, ASUS has formally released the Z10PE-D8 WS motherboard, which has two CPU sockets instead of just one. The company intends for it to be used in high-end, powerful workstations. Curiously, though, the newcomer still has “only” eight memory slots, meaning that you won't be able to go above 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, despite the presence of two CPUs.

The expansion capabilities

Having seven PCI Express expansion slots is no small matter, especially since they're supposed to work at full x16 power even when they are all populated. And since two CPUs alone aren't likely to possess sufficient PCI Express lanes even together (2 x 40 lanes), we can only assume that a third-party controller is used here as well. Either way, you can create systems with quad-channel SLI (NVIDIA) or CrossFireX (AMD) graphics setups, assuming you don't get PCI Express GPU compute accelerators instead. Whatever your decision is, you will have three slots left over, where you can install RAID cards, PCI Express-based SSDs, video capture cards, and other things.

One person we've been in contact with reveals how they use GPU expanders. Basically, large add-on modules where several more PCI Express graphics cards can be installed, with a single PCI Express connector sustaining the link to the PC. So you can have five-seven extra GPU cards in the same system, while using a single PCI Express slot on the motherboard. 

Likely uses of the ASUS motherboard 

The ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS will enable some really mean workstations, especially if you populate those nice PCI Express 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD slots with fast solid state drives (1.8 GB/s or so). 12K solid capacitors and other special components ensure a long life, of course, and so does the flexible fan speed control and Q-Code Logger, an easy-maintenance button that copies four-digit port 80 code logs to a flash drive, for when administrators want to diagnose problems. Of course, unless you're swimming in cash, you won't afford the two Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 CPUs, or the DDR4 memory for that matter. ASUS intends to sell the newcomer for $599 / €599 and $1,000 / €1,000, give or take.


ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS
Images credits to ASUS

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