Review: ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS Dual Xeon Motherboard

Published by Christian Ney on 06.06.12
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Conclusion

Allgemein   + -
At a first glance we can see that this motherboard from ASUS is definitely more suitable for enthusiasts than servers/workstations. There are more features that fit the needs of enthusiasts and less for professional useres in the workstation/server area. Nevertheless this doesn't mean ASUS failed doing a worksation/enthusiast motherboard. Indeed it has everything you like. There are for example seven full size PCIe Gen3 slots, an onboard 2D graphic processor - in case you need it -, a lot of SATA connectors and even an audio chip. We also liked the overclocking features like onboard reset/power buttons, postcode LED debug as well as a well furnished BIOS with a lot of options.   - Design
- Overclocking Features
- Overclocking
       
Layout   + -

Looking at the DIMM slots revealed that they have been placed very close to the CPU sockets although there are only eight in total, which is not much for a worksation motherboard. This motherboard has got plenty of PCIe x16 Gen3 slots to enable extreme GPU computing performance thanks to four slots with 16 lanes and three other ones with eight lanes. To provide even more features, this board has got an integrated 2D GPU as well as an audio chip to satisfy both professionals and enthusiasts needs. Too bad the SATA connectors aren't angled on this motherboard, not even some.

  - PCI Express Gen3
- ASPEED AST2300 2D Graphic Processor
- Audio
- 4-Way SLI @ x16/x16/x16/x16
- no VGA cable for the 2D onboard processor
       
Performance   + -
The performance when using synthetic and theorical benchmarks is just impressive. Performance is really up to twice as high when using two instead of only one processor. But sadly you won't see the same for real world workloads. Simply because todays software isn't ready for that many threads. Of course you will see benefits with such a machine if you have heavy computing workloads or you have several virtual machines running. Meanwhile we compared the efficiency with our Gigabyte Dual Xeon motherboard that has been built for servers and the ASUS is performing very close but not always better, it's 50-50. After overclocking (102 MHz of bus frequency and memory running at 950 MHz instead of 666 MHz) the performances increased by up to 3 percent.   - Synthetic Benchmarks - Real World Performance
       
BIOS & Overclocking   + -
The BIOS is of course well furnished for a workstation as well as an enthusiast use. You will find plenty of options in this well organized BIOS that we liked. But no hurry if you take a look at the BIOS dedicated pages where you find all the settings available in the BIOS through pics we took, you will see that there aren't as much overclocking options as you may think. You only have the possibility to change a few voltages, power settings of the processor, raise the bus frequency and set memory settings. Also while overclocking it we only managed to gain 2 MHz on the bus frequency which result on 70 more MHz on the processor and 20 MHz on the memory.   - Memory Frequency up to 2666 MHz - vCore, vSA, vMEM
- Enthusiast Features
- Poor Overclocking, only 2 MHz gain on the bus frequency - Not possible to have the memory stable over 2'000 MHz
       
Recommendation   + -
This expensive setup will target enthusiasts as well as customers who want to build a powerful workstation for content creation for example. For a gamer or an overclocker such a setup is way over the top.   - Worksation
- Server - Running several virtual machines
- Gaming
- Desktop
       
Rating
We give the ASUS Z9PE-8D WS four out of five stars.



Page 1 - Introduction Page 9 - Synthetic - Memory & Cache Bandwidth/Latency
Page 2 - Specifications / Delivery Page 10 - Synthetic - Cryptography & Arithmetic
Page 3 - Layout Page 11 - Synthetic - Multi-Media & Mutli-Core Efficiency
Page 4 - Connectors and I/O Page 12 - Real World - Office Productivity & Data Analysis
Page 5 - BIOS Page 13 - Real World - System Management
Page 6 - Test setup & Overclocking Settings Page 14 - Real World - Media Creation & 3D Modeling
Page 7 - Synthetic - WPrime1024 & UCBench 2011 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - Synthetic - CineBench  


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Author: c.ney@ocaholic.ch Copy edited and translated: m.buechel@ocaholic.ch c.ney@ocaholic.ch




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Review: ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS Dual Xeon Motherboard - Motherboards Intel X79 - Reviews - ocaholic