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Asus Future-Proofs The WS X299 Sage With Dual 10GbE Ports

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.