ASUS P9X79E-WS Motherboard Review



Two PLX chips... check.  Seven PCI-e x16 ports... check.  Full x16 quad-SLI... if you dare.  Go balls-out and see what quad-GPU setups can really do, and why not paint a Xeon into the picture also while you're at it?  And 10 RAIDed hard drives.  And 64GB of RAM.  This is starting to sound like one of those "dream machine" configurators you've played with when you're really bored and want to see what you're missing.  At the heart of all this madness?  The P9X79-E WS will accommodate all of that, and then some.


The ASUS Workstation Series is the ideal foundation for a powerful PC. It delivers awesome power, dependable performance and unmatched multiple I/O scalability for the most demanding tasks and future upgrades. The ASUS Workstation Series intelligently reduces operating noise and dissipates heat through advanced and environmentally friendly methods to accommodate user needs. ASUS Workstation Series motherboards also bring you ultimate reliability and quality through ASUS's 24x24 initiative, which means 24-hour non-stop operation and a 24-month life cycle supply guarantee so you don’t change computers so often. Instead, let the ASUS Workstation Series improve the quality of your work and life.

  • Intel® LGA 2011 platform/Intel® X79 chipset
  • Quad Channel-8 DIMM
  • Best Graphics Performance with 4-Way Geforce SLI™ and Quad CrossFireX™
  • Dual Intel® Gigabit LAN Lower 71% CPU Utilization
  • Server level capability with RAID cards, Lan cards and Capture cards
  • 3X Faster Performance with one-click ASUS SSD Caching



*Courtesy of ASUS




CPU Intel® Socket 2011 Core™ i7 Processors
Intel® Socket 2011 for Xeon® E5-1600/E5-1600 v2 processors
Intel® Socket 2011 for Xeon® E5-2600/E5-2600 v2 processors
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Chipset  Intel® X79
Memory 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *1
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

Supports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots 4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8 or quad x8, black+blue) *2
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x4 mode, white) *2
Storage Intel® X79 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Marvell® PCIe 9128 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue
Support Raid 0, 1
LAN Intel® 82579V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Intel® 82574L, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Audio Realtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- DTS Ultra PC II
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB Ports ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® X79 chipset :
13 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black, 5 at mid-board)
Workstation Features Quick Gate: 1 x vertical USB 2.0 on board
ASUS SASsaby series Cards support
ASUS WS 3-color LED
Special ASUS Features

ASUS Digital Power Design
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
ASUS Q-Design

Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard (purple)
1 x PS/2 mouse (green)
1 x IEEE 1394a
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0
8 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x Vertical USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x TPM connector(s)
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x Optional Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x TPU switch(es)
1 x EPU switch(es)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
Accessories User's manual
I/O Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x 4-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
BIOS 64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
OS Fedora 15
Windows® 8 32/64-bit
Windows® 7 32/64-bit
Windows® Vista 32/64-bit
Windows® XP 32/64-bit
RedHat® Enterprise Linux WS 6.1 32/64-bit
Open SUSE 11.4
Ubuntu Desktop 11.04 *3
Support Disc Drivers
ASUS Utilities
ASUS Update
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor
CEB Form Factor
12 inch x 10.5 inch ( 30.48 cm x 26.67 cm )
Note *1: DDR3 1866 MHz is only supported with Intel® Core™ i7 Processors for LGA 2011 Socket and Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v2/ E5-1600 v2 product family.
*2-1: This motherboard is ready to support PCIe 3.0 SPEC. Functions will be available when using PCIe 3.0-compliant devices. Please refer to for updated details.
*2-2: Blue slot can run x16 or x8 link, black slot only can run x8 link.
*3: Linux OS only conduct installation test OK.

*Courtesy of ASUS

**More detailed specifications available at the ASUS P9X79 WS product page

Meet The Family - ASUS WS Series

ASUS's workstation motherboards can at times be a bit puzzling in where they fit in in terms of ASUS' overall segmentation, but their P9X79 series, which is considered an enthusiast line across the board, places the P9X79-E WS as a Deluxe board with some of the advanced tuning, wireless, and bluetooth features subbed out for higher PCIe bandwidth, Xeon processor support, dual server-grade Intel NICs, expanded I/O options, and special validation, testing, and design to ensure robust 24/7 "just works" operation.  In almost every way, the P9X79-E WS is the same as the P9X79 Deluxe, you just won't find some of the more advanced tuning options which might make your system more vulnerable to instability, minimized "convenience" features (like BT), and beefed up functional features (like a PS/2 peripheral port) and Dr. Power, which detects situations when your PSU attempts to deliver power out-of-spec and reacts to thwart a sudden crash. 


It's geared more towards being able to crank some serious work (high rendering loads are maximized by boosted PCIe bandwidth, RAID arrays, etc) but still packs a "playful" featureset that'll allow you to still log serious overclocks for even the seasoned enthusiast.  Oh, and it'll probably just work, even with a dangerous mix of overconfidence and extreme ambition to push the board to its limits - it has found itself right at home as a workhorse here we've been abusing for several months now.


Included Accessories


I mentioned that ASUS' Workstation boards puts a focus on maximizing I/O capability as well as expandability, the literal pile of stuff that comes with that is the first sign that the worstation boards really mean business.  Tons of SATA cables, SLI bridges (2, 3, and 4-way), rear I/O brackets, and several other less-common accessories to be included with a motherboard now-a-days, like a COM port cable and a USB 2.0 bracket with firewire, you know, in case you're a pro with some pro-level stuff that still likes to have Firewire.  It's all there, and then some.  Seriously, ASUS' workstation line has you covered.  Obviously the obligatory manual and driver disk is also included.

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