I currently have the normal WS. This new model looks like ASUS' response
to the Asrock X79 Extreme11, except without adding SAS. It's nice that the
E improves the multi-GPU support to be 4-way @ x16 each, not so much for
gaming but for those using CUDA, etc., but a real shame that the 3rd party
6Gbit ports are still by Marvell because their controller is awful. 2 native Intel
ports just isn't enough. Does anyone make a decent SATA3 controller besides
The only thing that annoys me with these boards is the locking mechanism
for the PCIe slots. With multiple cards installed and a big air cooler, it's kinda
hard to reach the latch to extract a card.
I have lots of SAS controllers. It depends what you're doing. SAS cards give
excellent sequential I/O, but 4K random is limited by the card's ASIC, which
can ruin the potential of multiple SSDs connected to such cards. They make
more sense when used with Enterprise SAS/SATA for strong sequential, but
with battery-backed cache to give strong 4K performance aswell (I get 2GB/sec
on one of my PCIe cards) combined with data reliability in the event of power
failure. But yes, multiple SSDs in RAID would work better with a bunch of native
Intel SATA3 ports if only such were available (alas most boards only have two).
Where you are wrong however is if one is just using a normal single mechanical
drive. A SAS card with a 600GB 15K SAS leaves any SATA in the dust when it
comes to general performance, while even just 3 of them will give more than
The caveat though is that some SAS cards with 6bit SAS support will link at
only 3Gbit when connected to a SATA3 device. In the case of LSI, one can
user particular firmware releases to solve this issue for specific cards.