Asus WS X299 Sage/10G packs double-barreled 10 GigE

Gerbils with deep pockets will surely recall Asus' WS X299 Sage motherboard from late last year. High-end workstations these days are all but required to have 10-Gigabit Ethernet, though, and the pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports on the WS X299 Sage may have disappointed some buyers. For those folks, Asus has a new version of that board called the WS X299 Sage/10G that upgrades both RJ-45 jacks to 10-GbE sockets. The newer revision also packs an upgraded VRM heatsink.

The new network connections are powered by an Intel X550-AT2 chip codenamed Sageville. Because of all the high-speed PCIe connectivity the fast NICs require, the WS X299 Sage/10G loses a few of its connections compared to the original board. It still comes equipped with a full suite of 7.1-capable analog audio connections, four USB 3.0 ports, and a pair of USB 3.1 connections (one of which is a Type-C port.) There are also onboard headers for two more USB 3.0 ports and a USB 3.1 front-panel jack. The second U.2 port also goes bye-bye on the revised board.

This board's only other change from the original version is an upgraded VRM heatsink. The difference isn't stark, but part of the heatsink now extends to the back panel, likely to cool the Sageville network chip. The secondary VRM heatsink is also a bit longer. The changes could help cool power-thirsty X299 CPUs, although the extant WS X299 Sage board already has one of the densest fin stacks we've seen on a motherboard's power-delivery circuitry. Rumor has it that Intel has 22-core CPUs on the way in September for LGA 2066, so it's also possible this change is to help prepare for those CPUs' likely prodigious power draw.

If you're curious about further details, you can check out the product page or our coverage of the original WS X299 Sage. Since Asus just put up the product page, we don't know how much the new board will cost. You can probably figure on a premium of at least $100 over the $529 price of the original board, though.

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