ASUS X99 Deluxe Reviewccokeman -
» Discuss this article (12)
ASUS X99 Deluxe Introduction:
Just over a month ago, Intel released its latest Extreme Edition CPU based on its own Haswell architecture for use in new X99 chipset based motherboards. The Extreme Edition socket still retained the designation of the prior socket as LGA 2011, but changed the pin-out and added the v-3 qualifier at the end of the socket name. By doing so, the previous generation Socket 2011 processors will not fit into the new socket. Go figure!
With a new socket comes a new set of motherboards. ASUS' first board out of the gate is the X99 Deluxe, which comes to the end user full of all the innovation and features you have been accustomed to from ASUS over the past few generations. You get ASUS' all-digital Digi+ VRM circuit, a comprehensive software platform that features a 5-way optimization tool, an all new OC socket design to reduce voltage droop, SATA Express and M.2 support, 3T3R WiFi support, an award winning UEFI BIOS, and so much more. As a board designed for use with an Extreme Edition processor, such as the Intel Core i7 5960X, the price tag for an X99 motherboard is a bit higher than we see for standard Deluxe Edition boards from ASUS, coming in at $379. Let's dig in and take a look at what ASUS brings to the table with the X99 Deluxe.
ASUS X99 Deluxe Closer Look:
For the ASUS X99 Deluxe, we get a new look that shows a picture of the motherboard, as well as a few of the features the board is equipped with or supports on the front panel. The rear panel of the box is loaded with a breakdown of the board's feature set, along with some of the unique ASUS features, including the OC socket, 5-way optimization tool, a fan extension hub, M.2 PCIe x4 expansion card, and new 3T3R dual-band wireless solution that supports speeds of up to 1300 Mbits/s. Flipping the lid on the front panel gives the potential customer a look at the board through a window, as well as taking a deeper dive into benefits of the 5-way optimization tool and wireless feature set. All in all, a pretty convincing package that gives the end user a lot to look at and weigh in on before making a purchase.
Digging into the box, you see that the X99 Deluxe motherboard sits right on top in an anti-static bag and form fitting liner. Underneath the X99 Deluxe ASUS, you'll find the accessory bundle, which does not disappoint. Pretty much what you would expect from an ASUS Deluxe offering.
The engineering that goes into ASUS boards provides a common experience from the top to the bottom of the product stack, for the most part. What differentiates the Deluxe Editions from the standard boards is the accessory bundle. With the X99 Deluxe, ASUS gives the end user the full monty. You get everything that you need to connect to the board and then some extras to utilize all the added functionality. Standard accessories, if you can call them that, include the 6Gbps SATA data cables that have both straight and 90 degree ends, ASUS Q-Connections, and Q-Shield to prevent cuts and improve EMI emissions. Once you get past that, ASUS includes a bracket to stabilize an M.2 drive on the right side of the board, while also including an M.2 PCIe x4 add-in card to take advantage of the higher throughput of the PCIe bus capable of speeds up to 32Gbit/s. A flexible three way SLI bridge connection is included and is a step away from the PCB-based bridges seen in the past.
Also included in the bundle is a controllable fan extension hub to add additional 3-pin fans rated up to 12W and thermal sensors to the system, which can be controlled via ASUS UEFI BIOS or from within AI Suite 3. Wireless connectivity comes by way of ASUS 802.11 a/b/g/n capable 3T3R dual-band (2.4/5GHz) antenna that supports speeds of up to 1300Mbits/s. There is also an installation guide, Feature guide, user's guide, a driver disk and an ASUS sticker. Not bad when you look at the feature set on the board. It's all covered by the bundle.
When it comes to a Deluxe Edition board, ASUS knows where to put its money. Let's dive into the board to see how these accessories will be used.