JJ from Asus first started hinting at a microATX X99 solution from them back in April this year then pics started surfacing of the board during Computex. The product page and manual showed up earlier this month and now Asus has officially launched it, the Asus X99M-WS.
So what are we getting? Rather than a Rampage Gene like previous platforms, for X99 we’re instead getting a WorkStation-series board with that beautiful black/dark grey color scheme from the X99-E WS. So not a Republic Of Gamers board but JJ said that the X99M-WS carries some of the over-engineered pedigree of the ROG line. So hopefully it overclocks like a champ but those wanting a black and red build will have to look elsewhere for now unless Asus sees the light and delivers a Rampage V Gene at a later date.
Alright, enough backstory. The X99M-WS features an Intel socket 2011v3 (the Asus OC socket variant for better overclocking), four DDR4 RAM slots for up to 64GB of memory (non-ECC and ECC supported), three PCIe 3.0 slots, one PCIe 1.0 x1 slot, 3×3 802.11 AC wireless, bluetooth v4.0, dual Intel gigabit NICs, 8 Sata 3.0 ports, M.2 slot (more on that later), isolated Realtek ALC1150 audio, plenty of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 ports on the rear IO, etc. The full specifications page is here and the manual is available here.
One feature I’m personally very happy to see is the PCIe 3.0 x8 slot on the bottom that will allow for a spaced SLI setup. Speaking of which, the board runs a x16 / x16 / x8 lane allocation with 40-lane CPUs (5960X, 5930K) and a x16 / x8 / x4 arrangement with the 28-lane 5820K.
A disappointment though is the M.2 slot. The board supports both Sata and PCIe M.2 SSDs but with speeds only up to 2.0 x2. The selection of high-performance M.2 SSDs is limited right now but that’s going to change quickly in the coming months so it’s sad to see the M.2 slot here is capped to not much more than Sata 3.0 speeds.
Price and availability are unknown.