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ASRock X99 WS-E LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Third board is the charm! 09/10/2016

This review is from: ASRock X99 WS-E LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: - Capable of using 256 GB of DDR4 RAM. Tested 8 x 32GB Crucial CT32G4RFD4213 ECC RDIMMs w/ Xeon E5-1650 v3 CPU
- PLX chips enable 4x PCI-E 3.0 x16 bandwith. (Currently tested with and using 3 NVIDIA GPUs -- GTX 1080, Quadro K6000, GTX Titan Black)

Cons: -- ASRock's Quality Assurance (QA) is iffy at best, spent way too many hours troubleshooting what was in the end faulty hardware. ASRock really needs to test their boards thoroughly:

- First board had a bad DIMM slot (D1), caught by Memtest 7.0.0 beta 1 throwing ECC errors on that slot consistently after a few hours or a few seconds of testing, eventually. Sometimes Windows System process would spike up to 20% and stutter when playing back a 1080p video in the process of handling hundreds of correctable ECC errors (shown in Windows Event Log as WHEA ECC correctable errors)

- Second board had either bad PCI-E slot(s) or more likely one or two bad PLX chips. Ubuntu 16.04 (Linux O/S) reported NVRM Xid 32 errors ("Invalid or corrupted push buffer stream") in /var/log/kern.log followed by the GPU falling off the bus and a hang when using gpuburn to stress test 2 NVIDIA GPUs at a time. In Windows, testing with Heaven 4.0 benchmark after a few minutes resulted in monitors going to power save, and unrecoverable system state. Also noticed monitor flickering and then hang when nvflash (nvidia tool to save/update BIOS/UEFI) was used to save a BIOS copy in Windows.

- Southbridge fan tends to be either too loud, or to get stuck every now and then on the boards I had -- yet another QA issue that ASRock should look into.

Other Thoughts: I had initially purchased an ASUS Rampage V motherboard for my next build from a different retailer, as a previous Rampage IV model gave me no issues. However, I had stability issues in warm boots after sleep, so I decided to try ASRock's offering. In the end, I do not regret it, as it is stable now! However, if buying this board, be aware you might lose countless hours troubleshooting to get a stable system. ;)

- If you have a Haswell processor, (e.g. Xeon 1650 v3) don't bother to install any BIOS update above version 1.8. The 3.x versions are completely unstable under both Ubuntu 16.04 and Windows 8.1 x64 and tech support has indicated they are specifically for Broadwell processor use.

- If you have a Broadwell processor, (e.g. Xeon 1650 v4) then you NEED to have at least BIOS version 3.00 (or 3.20, latest is 3.40 so far) in order for it to work. I have not tested this configuration, so if you do, you are on your own ;)

- If using an M.2 PCI-E SSD, be aware to install it first, as long video cards will block it otherwise -- there might be some heat issues in play as well, but I have not tested with an M.2 PCI-E SSD yet.

- If using a GTX 1080 (or any Pascal-basd NVIDIA card) with this motherboard under Windows 8.1/10, the time to return from sleep can be longer if there are video outputs plugged in to the GTX 1080 under driver versions older than 368.69. The current drivers also fix DPC latency issues related to Pascal-based cards.

- If using Linux, update to kernel 4.4.0-25.44 or higher (I use 4.6.3) to avoid a USB 2/3 race condition occurring which slows up/stalls the boot process stopping at codes 99 and b4. (search for 'hub_port_init lock controller instead of bus' for details of this issue)

Update: As of Sept/10/2016, the motherboard continues to work well and very stable. Any new 3.x BIOS revisions (3.4, for example) still cause boot hangs/instability -- these are useful only to Broadwell processor owners, presumably -- no experience with that configuration.

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G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series 128GB (8 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Intel X99 Platform Extreme Performance Memory Kit Model F4-2400C14Q2-128GRK
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Works out of box, with no timing adjustments needed (as opposed to buying whatever DIMMs end up being cheapest)

Cons: price, but hey, this was $1k a few months ago when I first looked

Other Thoughts: BIOS 1701 of RVE detected all 128 GB on first boot
Tested w/ MemTest86 V6.3.0 for 5+ hours so far with no errors.

Tried w/ 5830K CPU later on (nedeed 40 lanes for 3 GPUs and additional PCI-E card) and could not get the ASUS Rampage V motherboard to stop hanging on POST after a sleep and restart event w/ all modules populated. Might have been a CPU integrated memory controller issue, but I could not debug in time and scrapped the build... just a warning for others, make sure sleep state works if you need it before return period is over!

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ASUS USB 2.0 External Blu-Ray 6X Writer with BDXL Support Model SBW-06D2X-U/BLK/G/AS
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: USB to slimline SATA interface works alright for reading discs (did not do a burn test yet)

Cons: Removing drive from enclosure is a bit tricky -- two tiny screws under top of ASUS label at corners. Use guitar picks or similar to separate both sides and then unscrew another screw on USB board, unscrew four screws holding plastic enclosure to drive (2x on both sides) and 2 additional small screws on the thinner side of the drive which also holds against inner plastic enclosure.

As someone else mentioned, the faceplate included is bigger than your standard faceplace if using it in a SFF desktop, but can be removed/replaced accordingly with an older faceplate.

Other Thoughts: Good price for UJ-260 in bonus USB enclosure

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Luis T.'s Profile

Display Name: Luis T.

Date Joined: 10/05/07

  • Reviews: 7
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 12/22/11
  • Last Review: 09/10/16
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