We experienced some problems initially with the 2687W processors which was due to an older bios being installed on the Asus Z9 PE-D8 WS. We updated to the latest 3109 version which cured a frequent ‘micro stutter’ issue.
The ‘main’ panel shows a brief overview of the system, with 64GB of memory installed and two 2687W processors at 3.1ghz.
The AI Tweaker panel was put in place by ASUS to cover the eventuality that Intel may release unlocked E5 processors. Sadly they haven’t so many of these functions are wasted.
The ‘ Advanced’ panel shows an overview of all the configurable areas of the motherboard. We were surprised to find DIMM timings in the Chipset configuration, rather than the Ai Tweaker panel.
As this is a server style workstation motherboard, there is a dedicated menu system for viewing Smbios and System event logs. The ‘Boot’ panel offers various traditional options for configuring the boot phase, such as adjusting drive positions and boot screen logo on/off.
The ‘Monitor’ panel details a list of temperature, fan speeds and voltage readings. Very useful for troubleshooting and checking the cooling performance. The Security panel allows an IT manager or system owner to lock out the bios to unfriendly hands.
The Tool menu is used for flashing the BIOS to as newer revision. It works painlessly as we had to do this to get the system fully operational for the 2687W dual configuration. The EXIT tab can be used for saving and rebooting after making changes to the system. There is also a handy boot override menu for a ‘one time’ setting.
As mentioned earlier in the review, the XEON E5 processors are locked by Intel and there is no way to overclock these processors, apart from increasing the BLCK. We only managed a a 104mhz result, so it is pointless to include results at this speed.
With 64GB of the Kingston Predator 2,133mhz memory installed we tried to push past the default 1,333mhz ‘safe’ setting. This is handled by using the ‘DDR speed – force’ option in the bios. We managed to get stability at 1,600mhz with 9-9-9-24 1T timings, but any higher resulted in a no post.
The system was unable to rescue itself from 1,866mhz or 2,133mhz options, so we manually had to reset the CMOS via the jumper switch every time.
We tried loosening the timings to 11-11-34-2T at 1,866mhz, but it still wouldn’t post. 1,600mhz was the limit with 64GB installed.
System validation of our build is available over here.