Asus WS-X299 Pro does away with the bling

My affection for hardware festooned in RGB LEDs is something of a meme among the TR staffers, and one that many gerbils are no doubt familiar with. Still, even I have to admit that motherboards glowing with rainbow light shows or bedecked with dragon accents can look decidedly tacky in a workstation environment. For that kind of machine, you'd do better to get a board like Asus' new WS-X299 Pro. This ATX motherboard has an LGA 2066 socket and all the connectivity you expect from a workstation offering without any gamer glitz.

Builders basing their work- or battlestations on this board can slot any LGA 2066 Core X-series CPU into it, though the board won't take Xeons. Capacity for RAM therefore maxes out at 128 GB of non-ECC DDR4, though all that memory can run at up to 4133 MT/s. Maximum performance is the order of the day here, and the board supports a trio of graphics cards from Nvidia or AMD in its four PCIe x16 slots. Other PCIe devices can hook up to the fifth slot, to the U.2 connector, or to one of the two M.2 sockets—all of which support data connections over four lanes of PCIe 3.0. For further storage expansion, there are also six SATA ports available.

On the outside, the WS-X299 Pro has four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 connectors, and two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. Internal headers can hook up yet another pair of USB 2.0 ports, a pair of USB 3.0 connectors, a third USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, and regular old serial port. Dual RJ-45 jacks hook up to Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers. Curiously, Asus equips the WS-X299 Pro with its high-end Crystal Sound 3 audio package based on a Realtek ALC1220A codec—the same one that's used by the ROG boards' SupremeFX audio.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the WS-X299 Pro is that it actually fits the ATX form factor. Many high-end LGA 2066 boards sprawl out into the larger E-ATX form factor, but not this one. That said, you'll probably want a nice big case to fit the necessary cooling for your many-core CPU. The WX-X299 Pro has dedicated connectors for water-cooling pumps and thermal sensors, along with the usual CPU and case fan headers. While the board doesn't offer onboard LED lighting, it does have Aura headers for RGB LED strips.

As the product page mysteriously materialized on Asus' site overnight, we don't know when this board will be available or for how much. Keep an eye out, though. The board's relatively staid styling might make it popular with workstation builders.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Well, I wouldn’t build a workstation out of that; It’s a toy consumer board through and through. There are two glaring omissions, each of which disqualifies it for the workstation moniker:

    1) It’s not even using a C422 chipset, so what’s the point?
    2) It only supports 128GB RAM when 512GB RAM is standard for S2066 WS boards.

    I’ll take it as a decent X299 offering without ridiculous gimmicks aimed at the Pewdiepie generation, I just wish they wouldn’t call it “workstation” when it’s clearly a gaming/consumer board with overclocking features, fancy sound and no Xeon support.

      • FakeAlGore
      • 2 years ago

      Agreed. Xeon support is critical in a workstation build. This more a “prosumer” board or maybe one suited for low-level creative professionals using Adobe CC.

      Edit: Here’s a much better Socket 2066 workstation motherboard: [url<][/url<]

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        That Super Micro looks nice. At a glance my only complaint is a NbaseT Ethernet chip instead of 10GbaseT. For the workstation crowd 10G Ethernet is pretty much the norm there already considering that if you’re making money off of this hardware, you can afford 10 G network cards and switches.

    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    It still has bling heatsinks rather than functional ones. Do motherboard manufacturers think their customers are scared of fins or something?

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Things with fins are scary:

      Sharks kill people
      Dolphins rape people
      Missiles explode people
      cheap heatsinks cut people.

      The health and safety departments clearly have our best interests at heart.

    • Waco
    • 2 years ago

    No ECC? No workstation. Sorry, Intel, but your product segmentation here is doing you no favors.

      • Krogoth
      • 2 years ago

      I suspect that marketshare loss and pressure from Epyc and Threadripper is going to change that tune sooner than later.

      • the
      • 2 years ago

      Realistically this should be using the chipset that supports the Xeon W lineup to get that ECC option but with full support for the consumer socket 2066 chips. That is kinda crazy on the PCIe lane count config (16x, 28x, 44x and 48x) but that is the peak of Intel’s stupid product segmentation that Asus would have to deal with.

    • ArdWar
    • 2 years ago

    So… Ten USB port on the back, six of them are USB 3 variant, while still managed to put two GBE port.

    Nice, at least that dispel my suspicion that they had USB port shortage so that they had to put so few on their ROG offerings… :/

    • Goty
    • 2 years ago

    I wish they made an X370 WS board. I got pretty close with the PRIME X370-Pro, but I’d rather have more connectivity options than the couple of LEDs they placed on the board.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    This board has come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass.

    And it’s all out of bubble gum.

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