Packaging and Overview
The box and packaging are nothing too special, in fact, they are very similar to what I saw when I reviewed the X99 Deluxe II motherboard last year.
The accessory package includes six SATA6Gb/s cables, a WiGig Antenna, a 2T2R Wireless AC antenna, verticle M.2 mount, SLI HB Bridge, 3-way SLI bridge, ThunderBolt 3 card, TB3 GPIO cable, DisplayPort to miniDP cable (for TB3), two temperature probes, digital RGB LED extension cable, fan extension card with cable, IO panel, manuals, and DVDs.
ASUS is at war with other vendors, resulting in a fan arms race. The motherboard has seven onboard headers; the ones circled in blue offer DC/PWM hybrid support for either type of fan. The header circled in yellow is also a hybrid header but supports up to 3A, it's meant for high-end water pumps. The header circled in red is a header meant for AIO pumps, I assume it runs full speed by default. You can allow multiple temperature sensors built into the motherboard to control the fans, but ASUS also provides a probe header circled in green.
ASUS also offers a fan extension card, its header is circled in orange, and it provides extra hybrid headers and even temperature probe headers and is fully integrated into the UEFI and ASUS's Windows based utility. The motherboard's white and black aesthetics have been proven to work on X99, so ASUS brought them back with X299. ASUS is trying a new style, and I like it a lot, especially the way the RGB LEDs illuminate the harder underneath translucent strips (you can see it light in the test setup page). The back of the motherboard is not bare, we do find our second NIC there as well as some switches, and a slab of aluminum to help cool the back of the VRM.
ASUS offers a BIOS Flashback button on the rear IO panel, the Wireless AD/AC card (it shares bandwidth with the first PCI-E x1 slot), four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two Intel LAN ports, three USB 3.1 type-A ports, one USB 3.1 type-C port, and 7.1 audio outputs with S/PDIF out.
The PCI-E layout is not that simple, and it won't be with any X299 motherboard. You can only run 3-way with a 44-lane CPU, at x16/x16/x8, in the slots that are reinforced with metal. These slots are routed to the CPU, as is the other x16 slot (except its maximum bandwidth is x4). If you want to run 2-way it's x16/x16/x0 (44 lane), x16/x8/x0 (28 lane), or x8/x8/x0 (16 lane). The single x16 slot is always the first x16 slot. The first x1 slot shares with the Wireless AD card.
The motherboard offers seven SATA6Gb/s ports, but they are shared too. SATA6G_7 shares with the second x1 slot, and ports 5 and 6 share with the last x16 slot, but only with 28 and 16 lane CPUs as they aren't connected to the last x16 slot. Here is where things get interesting, the second x16 slot, the max x4 slot that is routed to the CPU for 28 and 44 lane CPUs, switches over and shares x2 lanes with the front panel USB 3.1 header when in use with a 16 lane CPU.
So basically, ASUS is allowing you to use the second and fourth slot, but routed to the PCH and disabling SATA/USB 3.1, so at least you have options... Please read the manual if you are going to use a lot of devices, X299 is complex. There is a U.2 connector; it shares all its bandwidth with the vertical M.2 slot. There is a right-angled USB 3.0 header located below the 24-pin connector.
One RGB LED header is located near the CPU fan headers at the top of the motherboard. You also get an extra 4-pin CPU power plug, which is recommended for overclocks over 4.5GHz with 10+ core CPUs. A vertical M.2 slot sits right above the USB 3.1 internal type-C header.
Boot LEDs can help with a quick diagnosis of any problems you might encounter. The motherboard's 7th SATA header is angled straight into the air. We also get the VROC, TB 3 GPI, and front panel headers in this area. A USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 internal header can also be located here.
ASUS has made it so that one of your M.2 drives can sit under and be cooled by the PCH heat sink. An OLED display shows live statistics, my favorite at the boot codes it produces during booting, so you know where the system is in the POST process. After boot, it shows a variety of system stats.
The motherboard also offers an addressable RGB LED header that operates at 5v (Digital RGB), XMP switch, MemOK! Button, Clear CMOS button, POST Code display, as well as power and reset buttons. The motherboard heat sinks were not that easy to remove, I ended up stripping one of the PCH heat sink's screws, so I wasn't able to get it out. The VRM heat sink is tight on the components, but it's not that big.
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The ASUS PRIME X299-DELUXE Motherboard retails for $XXX at Amazon.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X299-Aorus Gaming 9 Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS X299-Aorus Gaming 9 Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS X299-Aorus Gaming 9 Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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