ASUS WS X299 Sage Work Station Motherboard Review
Published: 6th March 2018 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
As part of their Workstation range the packaging for the Sage is devoid of the shouty elements more regularly found on gaming packaging, but instead aims squarely at the heavy feature set.
There are lots of accessories included, as you would expect with a flagship motherboard such as the Sage, but we'll focus on something extremely useful to power users. With VRM temperatures being very much the limiting factor in overclocking these high end multicore CPUs it's nice that ASUS have not only gone all in on the heatsinks but included a fan to really let you rest easy at night.
Whenever you're attempting to squeeze 8 DIMM slots onto a PCB you'll always be running into space issues. The Sage utilises the slightly larger CEB footprint which is the same length but 23mm deeper, as you can see from the Sage having enough room to fit the CMOS battery up on the top left hand corner. The two main MOSFET heatsinks are tied together with a heatpipe, but again the extra room of the CEB form factor has enabled a heatsink next to the 24pin ATX power in. Speaking of power inputs there are two 8pin 12v CPU power in their usual place, as well as a six pin power input above the first PCI Express slot to help feed them with power. Important if you're planning on utilising all seven slots to their fullest.
With all these PCI Express slots the need for more than the standard 44 PCI lanes supplied by the high end Intel CPUs is paramount, and that's why there are a couple of PLX chips underneath the chipset heatsink. You'll probably spot where they are thanks to the two giant heatpipes protruding from it and being tied into the heatsinks we saw in the image above.
Just because it's a workstation motherboard doesn't mean that you're forced with boring beige features either, as the Sage maintains the RGB LED strip headers that have become a common element of modern ASUS motherboards.
Here, naked and unadorned, are those hugely important PLX chips that free up the PCI Express bandwidth to hitherto undreamed of heights. You can also see the plentiful fan headers including ones for dedicated water pumps and AIOs.
As you would expect the IO section of the Sage is fully up to speed with all the latest technologies, from 10 Gbs USB 3.1 through 40 Gbs Thunderbolt and twin Gigabit LAN. Most of us find ourselves using up all the USB ports on our motherboards and when you're involving some Enterprise applications and their associated hardware that is doubly the case, hence the plentiful ports on the Sage.