The ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace Review: x8x8x8 with No RGBby Gavin Bonshor on August 12, 2019 9:00 AM EST
Setting its sights on professional and workstation users, the ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace encompasses a strict and elegant design without the plethora of RGB LEDs that plenty of other models do. Instead, the Pro WS X570-Ace uses straight angled black aluminium heatsinks with the fins aligned horizontally on an all-black PCB. This includes the power delivery heatsink, the actively cooled X570 chipset heatsink, and the single PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 heatsink. Located around the edge of the board are six 4-pin headers which support one CPU fan, one AIO pump connector, and four chassis fans. At the bottom of the PCB is an ASUS NODE connector hardware interface controller. While there aren't many products out which support this, InWin is currently developing an OLED screen which can display statistics such as CPU temperature, and fan speeds.
In the top right-hand corner of the board is four memory slots with support for DDR4-4400 memory, and is capable of housing up to 128 GB of system memory. A lot of vendors mention support for ECC memory in its specifications, but the ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace has validated support for ECC memory (and non-ECC). This means users can build an X570 based workstation with all the benefits of ECC memory including options in the firmware for memory scrubbing and memory addressing; this ultimately comes down to processor support including the AMD Ryzen Pro models. The WS X570-Ace also benefits from ASUS's OptiMem which is essentially a method of making the memory trace layout more efficient and can help to reduce memory latencies when overclocking, as well as potentially increase memory frequency yield too.
The bottom full-length PCIe 4.0 slot on the Pro WS X570-Ace operates at x8
One of the main features that sets this model apart from the rest of the current X570 product stack is in its PCIe 4.0 support. The ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace has three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which operate at x16, and x8/x8, and the bottom slot operates at x8 powered through the chipset. All three full-length slots include a coating of metal armor re-inforcement, and for users looking to use a dedicated soundcard or another networking card, ASUS also includes a single PCIe 4.0 x1 slot.
Although the ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace is more geared towards workstation users, its power delivery is more than suitable for enthusiasts looking to overclock Ryzen 3000 processors too. It has a 12+2 phase design that is controlled by an ASP1405I running at 6+1 which is a custom variation of an International Rectifier IR35201 PWM controller. ASUS has opted to use teaming as opposed to doubling up phases for better transient response across its X570 models. As a result of this, the CPU VCore section is running 12 x IR3555 60 A power stages and the SoC is using 2 x IR3555 60 A power stages which are teamed together in pairs to create the 6+1 design. Delivering power to the processor is a single 8-pin 12 V ATX CPU power input.
Moving onto the storage capabilities of the ASUS WS Pro X570-Ace, we have two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots with the top M.2 slot allowing for both PCIe 4.0 x4 and SATA drives to be used which includes an M.2 heatsink. The M.2 slot located at the bottom of the board only has support for PCIe 4.0 x2 drives, although this model does include a U.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, and four SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, and 10 arrays.
The ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace uses a Realtek ALC1200S HD audio codec which provides five 3.5 mm audio jacks, and an S/PDIF optical output. On the Realtek ALC1200S HD audio codec is an EMI shield and is supported with six gold Japanese audio capacitors. The audio PCB is also separated from the rest of the board's componentry.
On the rear panel are two Ethernet ports, one being Realtek RTL8117 and the other an Intel I211-AT. ASUS has included four USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.1 G2 Type-C, and two USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports, as well as a pair of video outputs including an HDMI 1.4b, and DisplayPort 1.2. Touching on the Realtek RTL8117 Gigabit NIC, this is supported by the ASUS Control Center Express which is a server-focused application which also doubles up as a management controller. It allows for out-of-band management and hardware-level control.
What's in the Box
Included in the box is a very fundamental accessories bundle which includes four SATA cables, an M.2 screw package, a driver and software installation disc, an I/O shield, and a user manual. The most noteworthy accessory in the bundle is an ASUS VGA holder designed to eliminate sagging in heavyset graphics cards, which can not only damage the card but the PCIe slot too if it isn't secured properly.
- 4 x SATA cables
- Rear I/O shield
- 1 x ASUS VGA holder
- 1 x M.2 screw package
- 1 x Installation disk
- User manual
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shabby - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkI agree, the difference between $200 and $400 boards is slim. The extra power/vrm features aren't needed since all cpus hit a 4.3ghz wall, 10gbe should be standard here.
1_rick - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkI bought one of these a couple days after launch and it came with a code for 20% off a custom cable order at CableMod.
funks - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkPCIE Bottlenecked out of the box.
Target: Hypothetical 4K -> 8K Video Editing workstation station (using Davinci Resolve)..
2 - x8 lanes PCIE 3.0 Video Cards - Primary and Secondary X16 slots
x4 lanes NVME PCIE 4.0 (OS / Application Drive) - Primary M2 slot
x4 lanes NVME PCIE 4.0 (Data / Scratch Drive) - Secondary M2 slot (hanging off chipset)
x4 lanes PCIE 2.0 (10 Gigabit NIC) - Tertiary x16 slot (hanging off chipset)
PCIE 4.0 NVME x4 drives already exist out in the wild, so if you plug one of those on the secondary M2 slot (Data Drive), and happen to plug in a 10 GB PCIE 2.0 x4 card on the third mechanical PCIEx16 slot - then you are bottle necking already as both are trying to go through the PCIE 4.0 x4 link between the chipset and the CPU. For 4K -> 8K Video Editing using a shared file server (connected via 10 Gigabit NIC) along with the DATA drive (secondary M2 running at PCIE 4.0 x4) as a scratch disk - there's a bottle neck. Davinci Resolve for example can use multiple video cards (so primary and secondary PCIEx16 slot will be at 8x each populated with a video card). Primary M2 slot can be used with PCIE 4.0 NVME for OS / Application Data.
It's like buying a network switch without adequate switching capability for the number of ports exposed. I guess it's why TR4 ain't obsolete.
cygnus1 - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkI'd say it's fine. You're just building it wrong. I'd suggest putting the scratch disk on the x4 NVMe slot and your boot/app drive on the x2 slot. Scratch disk needs throughput a lot more than the app/boot disk. PCIe 4.0 x4 is overkill for a disk if it's just boot and apps, x2 is fine. The lesser number of channels does not reduce IOPs capabilities and that's more important than bandwidth on the boot/app disk.
funks - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkFor the price you pay on these boards, shouldn't have to compromise.
BTW, what's up with the dual LAN ports on these boards? People planning on setting up their machines as a router or something? Those two PCIE lanes (One for Realtek LAN - RTL8117 , and one for Intel LAN - I211-AT should have been connected to an Aquantia 10 Gigabit NIC instead.
2 - PCIE 3.0 lanes have about 2 GB/sec of bandwidth, plenty for a 10 Gigabit ethernet
cygnus1 - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkSo, realistically this has 1 real NIC. The RTL NIC is the remote management controller, aka a BMC. I myself really wouldn't put that on a network that gets exposed to the internet
kobblestown - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkI fail to see why would anyone choose this instead of a Threadripper board. I bought the Asrock X399 Professional Gaming (stupid name!) one year ago for 350 UK pounds and TR 1920X for the same price. The board has 10G ethernet + plus 2 1G intel ones (plus WiFi but who uses that for real work), 8 memory slots with ECC support, two 16x and 2 8x PCIe slots plus three M.2 slots. No compromises. It even has a serial port (so you can configure Linux with serial console support and log in over that from, say, an RPi). I don't miss anything I see here.
ibejohn818 - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkReally liked Asus x99 WS boards. However, this feels like a girl with a stuffed bra and fake id... you take her home and realize you can't go all-the-way :(.
I hope they put together an x399 WS board for TR3 release and I'm looking forward to seeing the TR3 yields and if slim yields are going to raise the prices on the top of the line sku's
Lord of the Bored - Monday, August 12, 2019 - linkBut without the lights, how will you know it is working?
The_Assimilator - Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - linkWhat utter trash. No front USB 3.2, no 10GbE, only 7 rear USB ports. "Workstation" used to mean "no frills and tons of features", Asus has changed that to "has no RGB and costs double the price of better-featured boards".