Review: ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS Dual Xeon Motherboard
Category : X79
Published by Christian Ney on 06.06.12
This time we hold the dual socket LGA2011 motherboard from Asus in our hands. The Z9PE-D8 WS, which has been designed to target two markets at the same time. Indeed Asus provided this motherboard with enough features to satisfy both enthusiasts user and professional users (workstations/servers). Did they succed in making such a motherboard? Lets find out in this review where we also Overclocked the two Xeon E5 2690.




On the following pages we're going to introduce you to the latest dual socket motherboard from ASUS that supports Intel's fastests octacore Xeon E5-2600 series from Intel.

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  



Discuss this article in the forums

[pagebreak]

Specifications / Delivery

CPU Dual LGA2011 Socket Supports Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family CPU Support List
Chipset Intel C602
Memory 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
For Registered Memory, Max. 256GB DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
Multi-GPU NVIDIA up to 4-Way SLI Technology
AMD up to Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology
Slots 4 x PCIe x16 Gen3 @ x16 (16x, 16x, 16x, 16x)
3 x PCIe x16 Gen3 @ x8
Audio Realtek ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Video  Integrated ASPEED AST2300More information on the manufacturer's website
Storage Intel C602 chipset :
2 x SATA3 6Gb/s port, Blue 8 x SATA2 3Gb/s port, Black Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Marvell PCIe 9230 controller :
4 x SATA3 6Gb/s port, Gray Support Raid 0, 1, 10
LAN 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN
(2x Intel 82574L)
I/O internal
  • 1 x USB 3.0 (@ 2x USB 3.0)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 (@ 4x 4 USB 2.0)
  • 2 x Vertical USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x COM
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • 8 x SATA 3Gb/s
  • 2 x IEEE 1394a
  • 2 x CPU Fan (4 -pin)
  • 6 x Chassis Fan (4 -pin)
  • 1 x S/PDIF out header
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power
  • 2 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power
  • 1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power
  • 1 x RAID key header
  • 1 x ASMB6-iKVM
  • 1 x VGA connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio (AAFP)
  • 1 x AUX panel header
  • 1 x SMBus header
  • 1 x System panel
  • 1 x Power-on button
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
  • I/O external 1 x PS/2
    2 x LAN (RJ45)
    2 x USB 3.0
    6 x USB 2.0
    1 x Optical S/PDIF out
    6 x Audio jacks
    Formfactor EEB (33.0 cm x 30.5 cm)
    BIOS 1 x 64 MB flash UEFI BIOS
    Warranty 3 year
    Bundle User's manual
    I/O Shield
    2 x COM port cable(s)
    8 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
    6 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
    1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
    1 x 4-Way SLI bridge(s)
    1 x SLI bridge(s)
    1 x 2-port USB2.0 + 1394 bracket
    On Manufacturer's Website ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS








    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  



    Discuss this article in the forums

    [pagebreak]

    Layout

    The ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS comes on a black PCB and blue expansion slots like other motherboards from ASUS' portfolio. They equipped this motherboard in a way that it will match both enthusiast and worksation/server users needs. But out opinion is that it is more suitable for enthusiasts than for professionals. Indeed it features overclocking options, audio, strong power design, USB3.0 and only eight memory slots. Furthermore there is also an integrated 2D graphic processor, enough SATA ports (but no powerful RAID controller) and dual LAN.

     


    ASUS equipped his workstation motherboard that each CPU are powered by eight digital power phases. Furthermore each set of two DIMM memory slots benefitd from their own two digital power phases. With a total of 4x 2 digital power phases for the memory and 2x 8 for the processors this setup will be highly stable.

     


    Totally you'll find four sets of only two  DIMM-slots on the Z9PE-D8 WS which means there are eight memory slots for an total of up to 64 Gigabyte of memory. Officially supported are the following clock speeds: 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz for the non ECC/ECC, unbuffered memory. As for the registered memory, the motherboard supports up to 256 Gigabyte running at 1600 / 1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz. Memory slots are very close to the CPU socket so if you install high end dual tower coolers you won't be able to fit high end memory modules featuring big heatspreaders.

    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  



    Discuss this article in the forums

    [pagebreak]

    Connectors and I/O

    Overall, this board provides you with the ability to connect no less than 14 SATA devices. The Intel C602 chipset is able to drive ten of them, two SATA3 (blue ones on the picture below) and eight SATA2 (black ones on the picture below). The other four SATA3 (the gray ones) ports are controlled by a Marvell 9230 contoller. On this board there is no LSI SAS controller this time. Furthermore you will find no less than seven PCIexpress Gen3. x16 slots, three are running at x8 and the other four at full x16 speed. ASUS claims the ability to run true 4-way SLI/CrossFireX at full x16 PCIe speed on their front retail motherboard box but if you look at the back of this same box you will find that "only" x8, x8, x8, x8 is possible. Well we will find out in our testing whatever is true. Enthusiasts will like it as much as I do, there are power/reset buttons as well as a LED postcode debug available on the PCB between the southbridge and the SATA connectors.

     




    Totally you'll find six fan headers on the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS which is more than enough for a workstation as well as an enthusiast motherboard. You will find two of them at the bottom of the motherboard, another two are right between the memory slots and the SATA connectors and the ones for the CPU coolers are located next to the two 8-pin power connectors. All are 4-pins PWM fan headers. Oops, we forgot the two ones that are located between the USB and PS/2 ports near the backpanel of the board. SO in total they are in eight.

     


    Looking at the external connectors directly at the back-panel, ASUS equipped their worksation motherboard with six USB2.0 ports, two USB3.0, two Ethernet LAN (RJ45), a PS/2 connector as well as the analog audio pannel.


    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  



    Discuss this article in the forums

    [pagebreak]

    BIOS

    Here are the BIOS Settings we used for the testing and are also shown the settings possibilities.



       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       


       




    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  



    Discuss this article in the forums

    [pagebreak]

    Test setup

    Hardware

    Motherboard
  • ASUS Z9PE-8D WS
  • Gigabyte GA-7PESH1
  • Processor 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2690 2.9 GHz (8Core)
    Turbo:
    3'800 MHz (1 Core)
    3'600 MHz (2-3 Core)
    3'400 MHz (4-5 Core)
    3'300 MHz (6+ Core)
     
    Memory 8 x 4 GB G.Skill RipJawsZ F3-19200CL9Q @ 1'333 MHz CL9-9-9-24
    Overclocking 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2690 2.96 GHz (8Core)
    Turbo:
    3'876 MHz (1 Core)
    3'672 MHz (2-3 Core)
    3'468 MHz (4-5 Core)
    3'366 MHz (6+ Core)

    8 x 4 GB G.Skill RipJawsZ F3-19200CL9Q @ 1'904 MHz CL9-11-10-28

    Graphic card ASUS Radeon HD 7970 Direct CU II
    Driver Catalyst 12.4
    Hard disk OCZ RevoDrive 3
    Power supply Seasonic Platinum SS-1000XP




    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    WPrime 1024

    wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions. The less time it takes the faster is your processor.



    UCBench 2011

    UnRAR-crack is a free RAR password cracker. It employs various techniques to maximize cracking speed (e.g. using SSE2, SSSE3, etc. to test more passwords at once, and using multithreading to take advantage of multi-core/hyperthreaded processors).
    UnRAR-crack benchmark uses the password cracking core of UnRAR-crack to test the performance of your system. It works by launching several thousand password checks and measuring the average testing speed, in passwords per second. It repeats the same procedure for different number of threads (up to the max your system can utilize), and using different crypto functions (SSE2-optimized, SSSE3-optimized, etc.). Using it, you can measure the SMP boost, the SSE unit performance, etc. The higher is the number the faster is your processor.



    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    CineBench

    The test scenario uses all of your system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. In fact, CINEBENCH can measure systems with up to 64 processor threads. This test scene contains approximately 2,000 objects which in turn contain more than 300,000 polygons in total, and uses sharp and blurred reflections, area lights, shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing, and much more. The result is displayed in points (pts). The higher the number, the faster your processor.



    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    SiSoftware Sandra - Memory Bandwidth

    Measures the streaming performance of the memory systems. Higher is faster.



    SiSoftware Sandra - Memory Latency

    Measures the access time of the cache and memory systems. Lower is faster.



    SiSoftware Sandra - Cache Bandwidth

    Measures the performance of the cache and memory systems. Higher is faster.



    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    SiSoftware Sandra - Cryptography

    Measures the cryptographic performance (encrypt/decrypt, hash, sign) of the processors. Higher is faster.



    SiSoftware Sandra - Processor Arithmetic

    Measures the arithmetic and floating-point performance of processors. Higher is faster.





    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    SiSoftware Sandra - Processor Multi-Media

    Measures the multi-media and media processing performance of processors. Higher is faster.



    SiSoftware Sandra - Mutli-Core Efficiency

    Measures the efficiency of inter-core, inter-module and inter-package communication of processors. Higher is faster.



    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    Office Productivity

    The Office Productivity scenario models productivity usage including word processing, spreadsheet data manipulation, email creation/management and web browsing.

    SYSmark 2012 measures system performance by measuring the response time of tasks on a PC using real applications and simulated user input. In the SYSmark 2012 scoring methodology, task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects the user experience. The faster a PC responds to the application workloads in SYSmark 2012, the higher its SYSmark 2012 performance ratings will be.

    Read, create and search for emails. Create and execute a rule on email inbox. Use multiple browsers to browse a blog, online shopping site, wiki site and social networking site. Check web mail in a private browser session. Combine multiple scanned pages from a complex document into an encrypted PDF document using optical character recognition (OCR). Create a PDF with fillable form fields from scanned pages. Archive a diverse set of files into an a single encrypted file. Use an advanced OCR program to convert scanned pages of complex and simple documents into editable word documents. Create a blog post and do a mail merge. Use a spreadsheet program to do data analysis. Create and view complex presentations that include clip art and video. Some of these activities are performed concurrently to model typical multitasking behavior.





    Data / Financial Analysis

    The Data/Financial Analysis scenario creates financial models to review, evaluate and forecast business expenses. In addition, the performance and viability of financial investments is analyzed using past and projected performance data.

    SYSmark 2012 measures system performance by measuring the response time of tasks on a PC using real applications and simulated user input. In the SYSmark 2012 scoring methodology, task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects the user experience. The faster a PC responds to the application workloads in SYSmark 2012, the higher its SYSmark 2012 performance ratings will be.

    Generate sales forecasts by region and currency based on historical data, and produce summary graphs and pivot tables using a spreadsheet application.





    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    System Management

    The System Management scenario models the creation of data backup sets and the compression, and decompression of various file types. Updates to installed software are also performed.

    SYSmark 2012 measures system performance by measuring the response time of tasks on a PC using real applications and simulated user input. In the SYSmark 2012 scoring methodology, task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects the user experience. The faster a PC responds to the application workloads in SYSmark 2012, the higher its SYSmark 2012 performance ratings will be.

    Install and then upgrade an application using a complete application installer and patch installers. Perform a (simulated) full system backup using encryption, then after making changes to the initial backup dataset, perform two encrypted incremental backups. Restore both backups. Create an encrypted archive of various sensitive files for transfer across unsecured communications, and another unencrypted archive of various files. Decompress the initial backup and two incremental backups. Decompress the encrypted and unencrypted archive files.





    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    MediaCreation

    The Media Creation scenario models using digital photos and digital video to create, preview, and render a video advertisement for a fictional business.

    SYSmark 2012 measures system performance by measuring the response time of tasks on a PC using real applications and simulated user input. In the SYSmark 2012 scoring methodology, task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects the user experience. The faster a PC responds to the application workloads in SYSmark 2012, the higher its SYSmark 2012 performance ratings will be.

    Create a panoramic image using an image editing application, combine a set of photos into one high dynamic range (HDR) image, and adjust and prepare both images for print. Preview and encode a complex video project using a video compositing application. Here, OpenGL is used for all video previews and a software render is used for maximum video quality upon final output as recommended by software vendor documentation. Transcode the video to a format suitable for web publishing using a video editing application.





    3DModeling

    The 3D Modeling scenario focuses on creating, rendering, and previewing 3D objects and/or environments suitable for use in still imagery. The creation of 3D architectural models/landscapes and rendering of 2D images and video of models are also included.

    SYSmark 2012 measures system performance by measuring the response time of tasks on a PC using real applications and simulated user input. In the SYSmark 2012 scoring methodology, task response times are used to generate a performance rating that reflects the user experience. The faster a PC responds to the application workloads in SYSmark 2012, the higher its SYSmark 2012 performance ratings will be.

    Create components for a 3D scene, including a panoramic image and texture images, using an image editing application. Create and render views of an architectural model using realistic materials in an architectural modeling application. Add visual features to an existing architectural model, and render "sketch" style views using an architectural modeling application. Create a 3D scene, rendering views and a fly-through animation of the scene's progression through development, using a 3D modeling application.





    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

    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  


    Discuss this article in the forums

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