ASUS Z97 A, WS & Deluxe Preview
Published: 28th April 2014 | Source: ASUS |
The Workstation (WS) version is one of those motherboards that a lot of people tend to overlook because they want a gaming system, without taking into account that any board designed for a workstation has to have some serious performance. Gaming might be fun, but time is money and productivity is king.
If the gold on the Z97A piqued your interest then the heatsink on the WS will certainly grab your attention. It looks a lot like the early heatsinks on motherboards, and is clearly designed for performance rather than any aesthetic considerations. Like the Z97A the WS supports up to 3300MHz OC RAM.
There are 4 PCI Express 3.0 slots if you want to cram the WS full of cards for rendering, gaming or even just utilising GPU encoding. Well positioned next to the 24pin ATX power input are two USB 3.0 front connectors. Connectivity is everything in our modern world and the Universal Serial Bus has nearly become a victim of its own success with everything being USB these days, so to have the chance to break a lot out to the front of the case really enhances usability.
With dual-LAN the WS certainly has your networking needs covered. It has four SATA 6Gb/s ports and 2 SATA Express (the 10Gb/s) ports. Tucked in just behind them beneath the heatsink is the M.2 Socket 3 which supports 10Gb/s and would make a perfect OS drive.
Finally the IO area has all of your needs covered with an HDMI, DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort; Optical and 8 channel audio outputs, 2 Intel GigaLAN, 6 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 ports. That's as well as the USB BIOS Flashback button, which is important for recovering from any problems you might encounter.