Asus exhibited the Asus ROG Dominus Extreme at CES 2019. The mainboard is intended for Intel’s upcoming 28-core Xeon W-3175X.
The core race is over for now
About half a year ago, Intel made an announcement at Computex 2018 that made people sit up and take notice. The company is planning a processor with 28 cores for the HEDT sector. This high number was previously only available for servers. There was also a demonstration with overclocking to 5 GHz at that time. The next day AMD surprisingly announced the new generation of threadripper processors. The special thing about it is that the top model has 32 cores. The Threadripper 2990WX has been on the market since August 2018, while Intel has taken more time with its 28-core flagship. With these processors, the core race in the mainstream market is probably over for the time being. In the server market, however, the battle continues with Epyc 2 with 64 cores and Cascade Lake AP with 48 cores.
Half a year later Intel is about to launch the Xeon W-3175X, which was finally introduced in autumn last year. The company has also launched a new platform called X599 and the LGA-3647 socket for this purpose. At Computex there were only two mainboards, an unknown gigabyte mainboard and the Asus ROG Dominus Extreme, a prototype of which could also be found at the Asus booth. Asus has now exhibited the finished motherboard again at CES 2019.
Two 24-pin, four 8-pin, two 6-pin
It’s understandable that the Xeon W-3175X needs a lot of power considering the 255 Watt TDP. However, Asus seems to have exaggerated a bit with the Dominus Extreme. Although the new Xeon processor actually has a similar form factor to Threadripper, the square board is significantly larger than E-ATX. The form factor is called EEB/ATX and measures 14×14 inches. This size is also necessary to accommodate everything on the motherboard. The new X599 platform offers hexa-channel support, which is why the Dominus Extreme has 12 memory slots for up to 192 gigabytes of DDR4-4200 RAM including ECC support. 32 VRM phases are used for the power supply. These are fired from an army of connections. There are two 24 pin mainboard connectors, four 8 pin EPS connectors and two 6 pin PCIe connectors. The VRM phases are cooled by a huge heat sink, which in turn is actively cooled by four invisible fans.
When it comes to cooling, Asus explains that potential customers are most likely to opt for custom water cooling. There are two PWM connections for pumps and 12 PWM fan connections directly on the mainboard. On the connection side there is everything your heart desires. In addition to the obligatory Gigabit Ethernet connection, there is also a 10G connection. AC WLAN with the AC9260 chip is also integrated directly into the mainboard. On the USB side there are five USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, twelve USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. 12 of them can be found on the back, two of the four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports are type C ports. Asus SupremeFX S1220 is used as the sound chip.
Many PCIe-Lanes, $1500 price tag
Considering the PCIe lanes, the Xeon W-3175X has 48 available. Asus divides this between the remaining ports using different sharing methods. A total of four full PCIe 3.0 x16 slots are installed. For memory connection, four M.2 SSDs can be connected via two DIMM.2 expansion cards. Two U.2 ports and eight SATA 3 ports are also installed. The X599 chipset, which is based on the C621 chipset, sits under a cover with the ROG logo and is actively cooled. In addition to the Aura Sync RGB control, there is also a 1.77″ OLED display for displaying status information or graphics.
It is not yet clear when the mainboard will be launched on the market. The manufacturer gives only rough information that the Asus ROG Dominus Extreme will be on sale this year. On the product page there is not much to see yet. At the moment there are only rumours about the price. It is said to be a good 1,500 US dollars. However, Asus has not yet confirmed this. The Intel Xeon W-3175X is also not yet available, but already listed. Its price is somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 US dollars.