Thursday, June 14th 2018

ASUS Intros WS X299 SAGE 10G Motherboard with Dual 10GbE and Improved VRM

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 SAGE/10G, a step up variant of the WS X299 SAGE it launched back in Q4-2017. As you can tell from the model name, this board's star-attraction is 10 Gbps Ethernet. It features not one, but two 10 GbE interfaces, replacing the dual 1 GbE interfaces of the original. These interfaces aren't backed by low-cost controllers, but the Intel X550-AT2 "Sageville," which is an $80 chip by itself, and drives both interfaces.

ASUS also used the opportunity to improve the CPU VRM a bit. Although it's still the same combination of chokes and MOSFETs, pulling power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, ASUS improved the secondary VRM heatsink, which pulls heat from the main heatsink over a flattened heat-pipe. This heatsink is now made of a dense aluminium fin-stack like the main heatsink, a section of which protrudes all the way to the rear I/O shield. The rear I/O now consists of four USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, two USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (including a type-C port), and the 8-channel HD audio cluster, besides the two 10 GbE ports. The rest of the board's feature-set is unchanged from the original. We expect a $100 premium over the original's price.
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18 Comments on ASUS Intros WS X299 SAGE 10G Motherboard with Dual 10GbE and Improved VRM

#1
dj-electric
VRM cooling at least looks OK, for the most part. Would like a more open air approach instead of blocking the top.
PCH+3rd party controller cooling looks pretty beefy for their consumption
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#2
Caring1
I'm sure the 10G version has been out for a while already.
I remember reading about it a month or more ago while looking at boards.
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#3
erixx
I always remove the top part of all heatsinks and leave the fins open, they are cheap painted metal or plastic (even stickers) and do nothing but harm thermodynamics!
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#4
Ferrum Master
erixx said:
I always remove the top part of all heatsinks and leave the fins open, they are cheap painted metal or plastic (even stickers) and do nothing but harm thermodynamics!
They protect from some idiots bending the fins etc... I think really that's the only purpose for them.
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#6
CheapMeat
Beautiful board though. Wish I could justify getting it.
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#7
erixx
I wish they would make a more home gamer/office version: more usb, less pci 16x.
But with all those lanes you could plug some nice expansion cards for M.2 and extra ports.... But that is not the goal of this mobo.

And 10 GBe, well... that's for a client-backup server connection and stop counting, or?
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#8
ZeDestructor
erixx said:
I wish they would make a more home gamer/office version: more usb, less pci 16x.
But with all those lanes you could plug some nice expansion cards for M.2 and extra ports.... But that is not the goal of this mobo.
Those would be called the X299 Prime, Strix X299 and ROG X299 series

erixx said:
And 10 GBe, well... that's for a client-backup server connection and stop counting, or?
Just straight speed. There are quite a few people out there pushing well beyond the 1G barrier routinely, and having it on-board is a nice perk. I personally routinely max out my NAS' disk-limited 600MiB/s R/W speeds in everyday use over a 40G link, for example, and if I had a bigger cache, I'd see even higher speeds.

(40G NICs and optics were cheap AF, and the fibre wasn't too expensive either, so out went the idea of buying more 10G bits D:)
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#9
efikkan
Finally, 10 Gb/s Ethernet on a proper controller, the way a HEDT motherboard should have. Why did it take so long this time? Previous generations usually had 10 Gb/s versions.

Ferrum Master said:
They protect from some idiots bending the fins etc... I think really that's the only purpose for them.
Really? Proper fins are not that fragile, like these from Asus X79 WS:


I wish Asus would drop all the covers and shrouds, and just use proper fins instead. Far too many systems today lack proper cooling of VRMs, some have nearly no circulation around the VRMs at all. This will have an impact on stability and longevity of the system.

erixx said:
I wish they would make a more home gamer/office version: more usb, less pci 16x.
But with all those lanes you could plug some nice expansion cards for M.2 and extra ports.... But that is not the goal of this mobo.

And 10 GBe, well... that's for a client-backup server connection and stop counting, or?
Don't Asus have enough X299 gamer boards already?

10 GbE (~1.25 GB/s) is commonly used for backups, NAS, etc. Most serious content creators need a faster backup than a lousy 1 GbE. 10 GbE should have been standard on HEDT by now.
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#10
ZeDestructor
efikkan said:
Finally, 10 Gb/s Ethernet on a proper controller, the way a HEDT motherboard should have. Why did it take so long this time? Previous generations usually had 10 Gb/s versions.


Really? Proper fins are not that fragile, like these from Asus X79 WS:


I wish Asus would drop all the covers and shrouds, and just use proper fins instead. Far too many systems today lack proper cooling of VRMs, some have nearly no circulation around the VRMs at all. This will have an impact on stability and longevity of the system.
I present to you the Abit IC7 Max3 and it's translucent blue wind tunnel:


Some years later, the Abit AA8XE Fatal1ty:


And not to be outdone, Asus' similar-era P5N32-SLI deluxe:


EDIT: fix the stupid images
Posted on Reply
#11
Blueberries
Heatsinks look great, and while I agree with the above posts... the shrouds here are not bad at all; TUF, Aorus, Dark, etc... those are bad. I don't need plastic and glow-sticks in my PC, I'm not a toddler.

erixx said:
I always remove the top part of all heatsinks and leave the fins open, they are cheap painted metal or plastic (even stickers) and do nothing but harm thermodynamics!
This is true until you put a fan on the heatsink, then the plastic acts as a diffuser and increases the air pressure and rate of the air flow through the fin-stack.
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#12
ZeDestructor
Blueberries said:
Heatsinks look great, and while I agree with the above posts... the shrouds here are not bad at all; TUF, Aorus, Dark, etc... those are bad. I don't need plastic and glow-sticks in my PC, I'm not a toddler.



This is true until you put a fan on the heatsink, then the plastic acts as a diffuser and increases the air pressure and rate of the air flow through the fin-stack.
Shame that there's some EPS12V plugs right where one would sensibly install a nice little blower in the first place...
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#13
erixx
Oh bold memories! Oh well gone and forgotten youth!

Indeed I also had Abits and some Asus boards with those crazy fans. They must still be in their plastic package because I had a well cooled tower. But yes, problems should be fixed no worsened!

Of this mobo I like the real solutions, although it is overkill for me. That's why I said I want one with some changes. I don't realy like the ROG and STRIX "marketing". Oh, decadence and fallen folk! Beware of the never-quiet mankind!
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#15
Blueberries
Sabishii Hito said:
No Thunderbolt header on a Workstation board???
That little header after the second PCI-e slot is for a TB3 expansion card.
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#16
Caring1
efikkan said:
Really? Proper fins are not that fragile, like these from Asus X79 WS:


I wish Asus would drop all the covers and shrouds, and just use proper fins instead.
I remember those cheese grater days when skin was lost and fingers sliced.
I appreciate the current VRM covers now.
Posted on Reply
#17
R-T-B
Caring1 said:
I remember those cheese grater days when skin was lost and fingers sliced.
I appreciate the current VRM covers now.
I take it you are like me and like to install things "aggressively..."

Take my advice, find an assistant and stop bleeding inside your PC.

...I'm kidding of course. For you. Not for me, unfortunately...
Posted on Reply
#18
Sabishii Hito
Blueberries said:
That little header after the second PCI-e slot is for a TB3 expansion card.
I definitely wouldn't have looked for it there, thanks.
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