Wednesday, July 24th 2019

ASUS Rolls Out Pro WS C246-ACE Motherboard with Xeon E-series Support

ASUS today rolled out of the WS C246-ACE, a sober-looking workstation motherboard in the ATX form-factor based on the Intel C246 chipset, which supports not just Intel Xeon E-series processors in the LGA1151 package, but also 8th and 9th generation Core processors. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the processor with a 9-phase VRM that's cooled by heavy ridged heatsinks. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 128 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and two metal-reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC or x8/x8). Two open-ended PCIe 3.0 x1 and a PCI-Express x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4) make for the rest of the expansion area.

Storage connectivity on the ASUS WS C246-ACE include two M.2-22110 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, a U.2 port, and four SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking is care of two 1 GbE interfaces, driven by a combination of Intel i211-AT and i219-LM controllers. The onboard audio solution combines a Realtek ALC1220S CODEC with EMI shielding, ground-layer isolation, and a headphones amp circuit. USB connectivity includes four 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, all on rear panel, one of which is a type-C port; and six 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, of which two are via headers. Display connectivity include HDMI and DisplayPort. The company didn't reveal pricing.
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7 Comments on ASUS Rolls Out Pro WS C246-ACE Motherboard with Xeon E-series Support

#1
Kokorniokos
Why on earth would asus opt for 4 sata only? Same story with their x570 board. Does anyone know of good and reliable sata addon cards?
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#2
DR4G00N
Kokorniokos, post: 4086270, member: 189232"
Why on earth would asus opt for 4 sata only? Same story with their x570 board. Does anyone know of good and reliable sata addon cards?
The SFF-8643 ("U.2") connector below the SATA can be split into another four SATA connections with a simple adapter IIRC.
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#3
Owen1982
I would double check that - i think although the connector is the same as a MiniSASHD connector the signal is PCIe x4 instead of SAS or SATA. I would check motherboard manual/website just to confirm that it is dual purpose. Normally when it says U.2 this primarily for NVME PCIe SSDs.
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#4
efikkan
The Asus WS models have been solid models for years, unfortunately they've been a bit expensive lately.

I do wonder why Asus are rolling out this board now, just a few months before Comet Lake.

The heatsinks are not the worst, but could have been much better.
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#5
Dr_b_
Have the original WS C246, which doesn't support 8th/9th gen CPUs, only Xeon (i checked with Asus Support) so that was a bit of a let down, so your options down the road if you ever wanted to use a maintstream cpu in it were non-existent, probably because the VRMs were not up to it. That board also couldn't handle keeping the IGPU running when a X16 GPU was connected to the primary x16 PCI-E slot. The heatsinks on the first iteration of their C246 were really flimsy, flexed and moved. Other than that, it was stable, just dont expect to use an iGPU with the x16 GPU (no quicksync). The board is now sitting around collecting dust.

This board doesn't look like it has a post code either. Likely they beefed up the power delivery on this board in anticipation of new E series Xeons with more cores, but its a bit strange they didn't do it right, and get it right, with their original board. Why should WS = stripped down.

not related to the board, but to intel: C246 doesn't make any sense outside of the realm of users who can't run without ECC. Artificial market segmentation, which will hopefully change because AMD doesn't do this.

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#6
efikkan
Dr_b_, post: 4087696, member: 149863"
The heatsinks on the first iteration of their C246 were really flimsy, flexed and moved.
Perhaps the mounting was bad, but at least WS C246 PRO have heatsinks with real fins, unlike the newer boards with just a block of metal.

Dr_b_, post: 4087696, member: 149863"
not related to the board, but to intel: C246 doesn't make any sense outside of the realm of users who can't run without ECC. Artificial market segmentation, which will hopefully change because AMD doesn't do this.
I agree that the segmentation between i5/i7/i9 and Xeon is unnecessary, but remember that Ryzen 3/5/7/9 don't support ECC either.

Nice PSU BTW.
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#7
ypsylon
DR4G00N, post: 4086314, member: 158752"
The SFF-8643 ("U.2") connector below the SATA can be split into another four SATA connections with a simple adapter IIRC.
No, never.

There is difference between U.2 SFF-8639 and HDmSAS SF-8643. Never connect SAS cable (SFF-8643-4xSATA) to U.2 (SFF-8639). Connector only looks the same.

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Looking at this board I have to say, some barebones have more stuff on them. That's really extreme essentials versions for ATX format.
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