ASUS has released a new BIOS version 0601 for its ROG Dominus Extreme motherboard that ‘improves PCIe compatibility’ when using Intel’s latest Xeon W processors based on the Cascade Lake architecture. The move confirms that existing extreme workstation motherboards originally developed for Xeon W-3175X (and other Skylake-SP products) will work with Intel’s latest Xeon W-3200 processors.

When ASUS launched its ROG Dominus Extreme platform several months ago, the list of supported CPUs was limited to the flagship 28-core Xeon W-3175X as well as several other Xeon Gold and Xeon Platinum processors based on the Skylake-SP design and designed to use the LGA3647 socket.

Recently the company released its new BIOS version 0509 that added support for a variety of Intel Xeon W CPUs featuring the Cascade Lake microarchitecture and a slightly different physical layout. This week the company launched another BIOS version 0601 that is designed to improve PCIe compatibility whe using Intel’s Xeon W-3275/W-3275M products unveiled in early June.

One of the key physical differences between Intel's Skylake Xeon W and Cascade Lake Xeon W processors is that the latter does not reserve 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes for on-package chips (e.g., OmniPath) but instead offers 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes to add-on cards instead. Since the LGA3647 package had all the pins necessary for 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, but the previous-generation processors did not use them, a new BIOS release was necessary to ensure compatibility with the new Intel Xeon W-3275/W-3275M as well as other new CPUs. Whether these lanes are actually used or not is a different matter.

While it is positive to see that ASUS is taking care about compatibility with Intel Xeon W-3275/W-3275M and its motherboard for extreme workstations, what remains to be seen is whether Intel plans to offer an unlocked Xeon W-3200X for those who want overclocking.

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Source: ASUS (via momomo_us/Twitter)

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  • Kevin G - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    It'd be nice if this board supported the Xeon Gold 6138P with the built-in FPGA. This is one of the few Xeon boards that could easily support that chip's 255W TDP. Much like Cascade Lake on this board, various IO functionality may not be supported. Reply
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