vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Asus breathes new life into X99

by Parm Mann on 10 May 2016, 14:37

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac2rk

Add to My Vault: x

Remember the X99 chipset launched way back in 2014? It's still the platform of choice for enthusiasts wanting an Intel CPU with six or more cores, and if that sounds like you, there's good news as X99 is being given a new lease of life with revamped boards and, in time, an updated crop of Intel Core i7 processors.

The launch of Intel's Broadwell-E chips has been rumoured for quite a while, with reports suggesting that the new high-end desktop (HEDT) range would arrive in Q2 of this year and be headlined by a 10-core, 20-thread beastie.

Suggesting that the processors are now just around the corner, Asus has today introduced a quartet of updated X99 motherboards; X99-Deluxe II, X99-A II, X99-E and ROG Strix X99 Gaming, with prices starting from $219 US.

X99-Deluxe II ($419)
X99-A II ($249)

While Intel's upcoming LGA 2011-v3 chips are expected to function just fine in existing boards (a BIOS update will likely be required), Asus's refreshed offerings are designed to modernise the X99 platform with new features and eye-catching aesthetics.

Sat atop the updated range is the flagship X99-Deluxe II. Part of Asus's Signature Series, the premium $419 board touts four PCIe x16 slots configurable in an x8, x8, x8, x8 quad-GPU layout, and each slot is reinforced to protect against heavy graphics cards. The reinforcement, dubbed SafeSlot, makes use of metal inserted into the slot's plastic walls, and the slot is then attached to the motherboard with extra solder points.

The elaborate PCIe configuration is just the tip of the iceberg. X99-Deluxe II also promises dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet, a dual-band WiFi AC module, dual U.2 ports, an M.2 slot and a bundled Fan Extension Card that provides a trio of thermal probes and a set of additional fan headers, taking the total number up to nine.

X99-E ($219)
ROG Strix X99 Gaming ($339)

It's interesting to note that Asus seems to prefer adding U.2 storage ports over an increased number of M.2, presumably to minimise the risk of drive throttling, and a few features from Z170 have also been carried over. These include a dedicated pump connector for liquid coolers and the ability to download new software updates from within the UEFI.

All four boards are outfitted with Aura lighting LEDs as standard, and all but the X99-E are equipped with a four-pin header for adding external LED strips. Speaking of the X99-E, at $219 it seems a good bet for users contemplating an X99 build that doesn't break the bank. The lower-end model still offers three-way CrossFire or SLI (albeit with only one SafeSlot) as well as support for up to 128GB of DDR4-3200 memory.

There's been no news on a Sabertooth refresh, nor any mention of micro-ATX updates, but Asus tells us the above four boards will be up for pre-order from Scan Computers in the very near future, with availability expected in a week or two. In the meantime, each board's pertinent specifications have been compiled in the table below.

Asus next-generation X99 motherboards

Model 
X99-Deluxe II
X99-A II
X99-E
ROG Strix X99 Gaming
CPU
NEW Intel Core i7 processor family for socket LGA 2011-v3.
Chipset
Intel X99 Chipset
Memory
8 x DIMM max. 128GB
8 x DIMM max. 128GB
8 x DIMM max. 128GB
8 x DIMM max. 128G,
DDR4, 3333MHz (OC)
DDR4, 3333MHz (OC)
DDR4, 3200 MHz (OC)
DDR4, 3333 MHz (OC)
Expansion Slots 40-Lane CPU
4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
28-Lane CPU
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Audio
Crystal Sound 3
Crystal Sound 3
Crystal Sound 3
SupremeFX
Sonic Radar II
Gbit LAN
Intel I218-V and Intel I211-AT
Intel I218-V
Intel I218-V
Intel I218-V
SATA Express
1
1
1
1
SATA
8 x SATA 6Gbps
8 x SATA 6Gbps
8 x SATA 6Gbps
8 x SATA 6Gbps
M.2
2 (PCIe 3.0 x4;
1 by Hyper M.2 x4 Mini card)
1
1
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110
U.2 Support
2
1
-
1
Wi-Fi
3x3 dual band 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
-
-
2x2 dual-band 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MU-MIMO support
USB
3 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
8 x USB 3.0 ports
1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
8 x USB 3.0 ports
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
8 x USB 3.0 ports
1 x USB 3.1 Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
8 x USB 3.0 ports
OC Socket
Y
Y
-
Y
SafeSlot
Y
Y
Y
Y
Aura
Y
Y
Y
Y
4-pin RGB header
Y
Y
-
Y
Thunderbolt 3
ThunderboltEX 3 add-on card included
Thunderbolt-Ready
Thunderbolt-Ready
Thunderbolt-Ready
US MSRP
$419
$249
$219
$339



HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
ROG Strix? Eh?

This was always going to get messy.
Expect support for all existing X99 Asus boards to be non-existent from now on.
I'll never buy Asus again after paying the premium for the Black Edition Rampage IV - its still on a beta bios and has been completely abandoned.
Asus only seem interested in selling us new products, not supporting them.
zoomee
Asus only seem interested in selling us new products, not supporting them.
They've been doing this for years - I don't even look at Asus products any more when I'm shopping for new components.
They sold boards with only beta bios'?
Tbh I don't think any other board manufacturer is any different re legacy support. With the X79 boards Asus teased that they may support pcie nvme boot support through a bios update but it never officially materialized. It's only through pure fluke that my Asus X79 board unofficially supports it and I can boot off my Intel P3500.