ASUS Z9 PE-D8 WS Dual Xeon Insanity E5-2660 & E5-2687W

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Dual Xeon Insanity


One of the questions we always wonder about here at OC3D is whether a dual-CPU setup will ever become viable for the home user. Of course the main problem is price as even a basic Xeon processor will set you back a pretty penny. The Xeon price equivalent to the 2500K gets you a 1.8GHz quad-core non-threaded, and the ones we have on test today top out at a whopping £1400 each. The other issue is the sheer amount of performance available from the latest desktop processors. Why would you need to go to the trouble and expense of two CPUs if one provides all you'd ever need?

That doesn't mean it's stopped us from finding out what kind of results you could expect to find from the current range of LGA2011 Xeon's when paired up with the excellent ASUS Z9 PE-D8 WS board.

But we wouldn't stop with just showing you the ultimate, which we are doing with a pair of Xeon E5-2687Ws, but we're also seeing if sheer weight of cores is enough to overcome low clockspeed by bringing a couple of Xeon E5-2660s along for the ride.

So is it a sensible option, or is the 'Workstation' designation there as much as a caveat emptor as anything?

Technical Specifications

In the blue corner, the Octo-Core Intel Xeon E5-2687W.

Processor NumberE5-2687W
# of Cores8
# of Threads16
Clock Speed3.1 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency3.8 GHz
Bus/Core Ratio38
Intel® QPI Speed8 GT/s
# of QPI Links2
Instruction Set64-bit
Instruction Set ExtensionsAVX


And in the .. erm.. blue corner, the Octo-Core Intel Xeon E5-2660.

Processor NumberE5-2660
# of Cores8
# of Threads16
Clock Speed2.2 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency3 GHz
Bus/Core Ratio30
Intel® QPI Speed8 GT/s
# of QPI Links2
Instruction Set64-bit
Instruction Set ExtensionsAVX


Now Xeons differ greatly from the standard desktop versions in that they can't be overclocked, but rather they rely solely upon the turbo function to attain extra clock-speed. On the plus side this is the full-fat 8 core version of the Sandy-Bridge E processors, and because we're running two we'll have a seriously high 32 threads available to us. We know the E5-2687W should break all known benchmark records, but will the rather lethargic E5-2660 manage to take advantage of the extra cores to give the i7-3960X a run for its money?

The trainer at ringside is the ASUS Z9 PE-D8 WS

CPUIntel® Socket 2011 Processors
Dual Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2
* Refer to for CPU support list
ChipsetIntel® C602
Memory8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
* For Registered Memory, Max. 256GB DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
* Refer to or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
System Bus8.0/7.2/6.4 GT/s Intel® QuickPath Interconnect
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or quad x8) *1
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 *1
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode) *1
StorageIntel® C602 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), blue
8 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Marvell® PCIe 9230 controller :
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 10
LANIntel® 82574L, 2 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
AudioRealtek® 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 PortsASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
4 x USB port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Workstation Feature7 x PCIe x 16 slot(s)
Quick Gate: 2 x vertical USB 2.0 on board
ASWM Enterprise
ASMB6-iKVM Remote Management Tool
Special FeaturesASUS Digital Power Design :
- Industry leading Digital 7 +1 Phase Power Design
- Industry leading Digital 2 Phase DRAM Power Design
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
- ASUS SSD Caching
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-Connector
Back I/O Ports1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0
6 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O1 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)
2 x Vertical USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x COM port(s) connector(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
8 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
2 x IEEE 1394a connector(s)
2 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
6 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
2 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
1 x RAID key header(s)
1 x ASMB6-iKVM connector(s)
1 x VGA connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x AUX panel header(s)
1 x SMBus header(s)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
AccessoriesUser's manual
I/O Shield
2 x COM port cable(s)
8 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
6 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)
1 x 2-port USB2.0 + 1394 bracket(s)
BIOS64 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
ManageabilityWfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Support DiscDrivers
ASUS Utilities
ASUS Update
Form FactorEEB Form Factor
12 inch x 13 inch ( 30.5 cm x 33 cm )
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Most Recent Comments

02-04-2012, 15:53:22


What would happen if you combined the power of the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS and two of the latest Xeon processors? We find out.

Continue ReadingQuote

02-04-2012, 15:59:06

It's a beautiful thing... that amount of processing power should be illegal.Quote

02-04-2012, 15:59:16

I seriously want a pair of these for folding. 114k PPD without any bonuses is insane!

(Btw Tom the link is broken mate)Quote

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