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ASUS P9X79-E WS Motherboard Review

Posted January 14, 2014 by Kenny in CPU & Motherboards


Price at time of Review: $469.99 on Newegg.com


Feature and Performance Packed, Intuitive Software package, Large CPU and Memory Support List and Overclocking Stable


A bit expensive, but makes sense for a workstation motherboard
ASUS Workstation platform hits the mark with great feature and performance capabilities without compromise. This is a must have for all WS builders!
by Kenny
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X79 Chipset

First, let’s talk about the what the X79 chipset is limited to compared to the Z87 series boards. The first noticeable item is that the X79 chipset only houses two native SATA III 6 Gb/s ports vs the 6 native from the z87 series. However, as with most users, having only two may not be a big concern, especially with this P9X79-E WS board which houses 10 SATA ports. We will go over more of this information in a little bit.

Other features that you will notice is the internal memory controller. While the Z87 gave it a better controller, the X79 chipset isn’t bad either, offering native DDR3-2400 compared to the Z87 DDr3-3000. Let’s also not forget the Quad vs Dual channel memory configurations.

But the X79 has many more features that offer bigger benefits like the PCIe lanes. On this X79 based board, we will see PCIe X16 lanes across the board supporting up to 4x (X16) PCIe lane speeds. While the Z87 chipset will be dropped down when running more than 3 cards in SLI or Crossfire configuration, the X79 will maintain all cards at X16.

So if you plan on running 3 or even 4 high end graphics cards, the X79 chipset will give your graphics cards better bandwidth to work with. Also with the recent hype of bitcoin mining machines, we are sure these miners are gonna like the full lane speeds available to them.

So let’s take a quick glance at the Intel layout chart for x79 Vs Z87.

X79 ChipsetĀ 


Z87 Chipset

Skipping forward, let’s take a look at the motherboard and see what it has to offer.


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    If the P9X79-E WS only has 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes… then how does it run 3-way SLI or 4-way SLI at x16 speeds? I thought that it had to equal the total number of lanes (i.e., 40)? So then 40 lanes would be achieved by:

    3-Way SLI: x16 +x8 +x16 = 40 lanes
    4-Way SLI: x16 +x8 + x8 + x8 = 40 lanes

    So how do they pull off 3-Way or 4-Way SLI with each card running at PCI-E 3.0 x16 speed (which would seem to require 48 lanes or 64 lanes respectively)? Am I misunderstanding something?


      Hi Archangel,

      This motherboard uses two PLX PEX 8747 chips to increase the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes on the motherboard from 40 to 72. That is how the board is able to handle the full X16 lanes on the PCIe slots.

      or respectively x16/x16/x16/x16 and x16/x8/x8/x8/x16/x8/x8.
      Sorry this information was not touched on in the review, I will be sure to update it.



    This motherboard uses 2x plx chip to achieve 4 way 16x sli , Asrock extreme 11 uses somthing similar.

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