ASUS X99-E-10G WS Review
The ASUS X99-E-10G WS proves itself to be a bit of a surprise package.
In any workstation environment it is important to have consistency, and that consistency is our lasting impression of the WS. It didn't matter which test we ran it was nearly always in the thick of the action. The few times it ended up at the foot of the graph it was by such a small margin below the motherboard above it that a tenth of a percentage improvement would have moved it up the graph, and the times it was at the top it actually ended up gapping those models behind it.
Perhaps the biggest surprises come from the two elements you wouldn't assume would be good on a work station motherboard. Namely the overclocking and the 3D performance.
Overclocking was a real highlight. The BIOS is up to ASUS' usual high standards and the quality of the components on the motherboard itself meant that we could push our i7-6950X all the way up to 4.5GHz, 100MHz higher than we can normally manage on modern X99 offerings. This didn't come at the expense of memory speeds either, as it sometimes does. The actual performance reflected the clock speed too, putting the WS up amongst the best of the X99 options. Stock performance didn't suffer for this high overclocking capability either. Indeed the stock results were regularly the highest we've seen, so if you're the type of person who doesn't enjoy dabbling in the dark arts of overclocking you'll be reassured to know that the X99-E-10G gets it done in every scenario.
The other area that Workstation boards usually fall down is in their 3D performance and when we saw the OpenGL result in Cinebench R11.5 - the first 3D test we'd run - we were slightly concerned. As it proved we were concerned needlessly as the WS actually ended up topping the 3D graphs in nearly every case. It's a true all rounder.
Away from the performance the X99-E-10G WS comes with all the bells and whistles that you would hope to find on a board so named, with support for all the latest high bandwidth devices, as well as being able to run both the Intel Core series and Xeon series of processors. Naturally we gravitate towards the inclusion of two 10 Gb LAN ports as being the real stars of this high bandwidth show, and anyone who has particularly fast Network Attached Storage will appreciate the enormous throughput of the Intel LANs on this motherboard. To be 100% clear though this wont magically speed up your internet incase that is what you are thinking, and there wont be many of you that have a 10GBe spec home network yet (although that thought makes us moist) so the networking is either going to be a professional or someone buying into this with the hope of upgrading the rest of their kit when switches for example become more mainstream and therefore prices drop. Talking of prices those 10GBe on board connections have affected prices a little. Asus tell us if they were to bring this to the UK (they are not) it would come with a £699 price tag.
With understated looks and seriously high quality components leading to excellent performance in every conceivable scenario the ASUS X99-E-10G WS is a brilliant motherboard deserving of a place on anyone's wishlist, the 10GBe is awesome and uber fresh but coupled with that price right now it does make this product appealing to a very niche market. Its a very brave tactic though and we feel its deserving of the OC3D Innovation award. Now Asus if you could just sort out some 10GBe network switches that'd be great - thank you!