Product revisions allow manufacturers to go back to the drawing board to amend what they didn’t do right the first time or implement additional improvements to make a good product great. That’s the case with Asus’ WS X299 Sage workstation motherboard, which debuted a few months ago alongside other X299-based premium enterprise motherboards like the WS X299 Pro and WS X299 Pro/SE. Although the WS X299 Sage is already the top dog of the trio, and maybe even of the workstation segment in general, Asus came up with a few new ways to kick the motherboard up an extra notch.
The WS X299 Sage’s makeover begins at the motherboard’s power-delivery subsystem. The WS X299 Sage/10G still has the same eight-phase digital design as its predecessor, but Asus beefed up the heatsinks quite a bit. The length of the primary heatsink has been extended to improve cooling performance while the secondary heatsink now extends to the back panel in the form of a stack of dense aluminum fins. The extended area probably cools the Intel X550-AT2 Ethernet controller, which brings us to the most significant upgrade on the WS X299 Sage/10G.
Asus has replaced both standard Gigabit Ethernet interfaces with two 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. The Intel X550-AT2 chip, codenamed “Sageville,” is the Ethernet controller that powers and manages the new ports. However, Asus had to make a few sacrifices to accommodate the chip. As a result, the revised motherboard has lost four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, and a U.2 connector compared to the original WS X299 Sage.
At the time of writing, Asus hasn’t revealed the pricing or availability of the WS X299 Sage/10G. The WS X299 Sage currently retails for around $503.66 on Amazon, and the Intel X550-AT2 chip costs approximately $79.61. That means the WS X299 Sage/10G will likely carry a price tag of around $600.