Another fantastic motherboard from ASUS.
With the introduction of the X99 chipset to support the newest line of Intel Haswell-E CPUs, a plethora of motherboards featuring this chipset has been released to the delight of PC enthusiasts everywhere. The latest platform is set to feature a lot of goodies that, when combined with the new LGA2011v3 processor, proves to be a formidable combination, especially for people that strive to find that extra bit of performance.
A while back ASUS sent us the X99-A, one of its first X99 based motherboards that had been released to the market recently. Personally, I love that motherboard due to its extensive features offered as well as the performance it brings to the table. Thusly, I got all giddy with glee when ASUS sent to PC.com Tested Labs the bigger brother of the X99-A – the X99- DELUXE. Let’s find out how it fares.
The X99-Deluxe is ASUS’ most featured laden, non-gaming based X99 motherboard. This means you get all of the best that ASUS can fit onto the mainboard, ensuring it is suitable for PC enthusiasts that like to get maximum performance from the latest Intel Haswell processor.
Black and White
Similar to the X99-A, ASUS went with the black and creamy white accent design. This gives it a cool look. Pictures certainly doesn’t do it any justice as the cream white heatsinks are a nice contrast to the black hues used for the X99-DELUXE uses. This, indeed, will look awesome in a casing with side windows. Tying in to the theme, the box it came in is made to be simple with a below the motherboard compartment containing the usual extras like the I/O backplate, user guide, driver DVD, SATA and SLI cables, as well as a Wi-Fi antenna dongle for the built in Wi-Fi unit.
ASUS usually goes with flashy designs to emphasise on looks. With the X99-DELUXE, it focuses on being minimalistic on all counts. Considering the flood of motherboards trying to one up each other, this is a nice change. ASUS has also thrown in a lot of awesome stuffs on this entry. The CPU socket now sports an extra pin called the OC socket. It is used to provide extra control during overclocking for greater stability and faster tweaking processing. You now can also better track voltage usage within the VCore, VCCSA, and CPU cache. A new UEFI interface, combined with ASUS’ 5-Way Optimisation, is also included to ensure the overclocking experience is made better for users. Even if you are new to overclocking, the UEFI has a wizard control that will boost the system according to the cooling and usage. The CPU cache has been raised to a phenomenal 30% as well. Awesome!
You know what else that the X99 chipset supports other than the new Intel Haswell processor? You guessed it – new DDR4 RAM modules! This motherboard can support up to 128GB of these babies, allowing you to scale all the way up to 3200MHz and beyond! With built in XMP profiles, overclocking your RAM is also much easier than before. In terms of storage, this ASUS offering not only supports ten (10!) SATA 3 6GB/s storage systems, it also rocks the new SATA express port, punching out a top speed of up to 10GB/s, and an M.2 SSD connector. This promises a truly snappy experience with this motherboard.
Audio enthusiasts will surely be ecstatic due to the inclusion of ASUS’ Crystal Sound 2. This technology isolates the audio chip, meaning you won’t have any electrical disturbance in the soundstage. Also at the rear, you will find up to 10 high-speed USB 3.0 ports, one of the most ever I have seen on a motherboard. Dual GIGABIT LAN, as well as a high speed Wi-Fi built-in, means you will never have any problems with networking. As usual, there is the CPU lane system – 28- and 40-lane types – that ensures you get additional GPU functionality like three-way SLI/Crossfire, be able to use five full-sized x16 PCIe slots, and even engage the open-ended PCIe x4 slot.
Get Up and Go!
The X99-Deluxe certainly fits the ASUS’ flagship X99 based motherboard. Cool looks, awesome features, and massive performance gains, this is THE motherboard to get if you’re looking for the most badass system out there. I paired the system with the Intel Core i7-5960X (40 lanes) and can certainly say, I would really want this for Christmas.
Processor: Intel Socket 2011 V3, Supports Intel 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Chipset: Intel X99
Memory: 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
10 x USB 3.0 (blue)
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0
5 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16/x16, x16/x16/x8, x8/x8/x16/x8, x8/x8/x8/x8/x8 mode) *1
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4 (max at x4 mode)
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16/x8, x8/x8/x8)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x1 mode)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4 (max at x4 mode)
Multi-VGA output support : Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
PC Mark 8 Results
Home: 4733 (5132 OC)
Creative: 4213 (4763 OC)
Work: 4314 (4398 OC)
Verdict: Worthy of the crown it inherits from its predecessor.