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ASUS X99 Deluxe Review

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ASUS X99 Deluxe Conclusion:

With the release of its X99 product stack, ASUS continues to deliver a fully functional high end user experience. The X99 Deluxe is on its own a unique looking board that brings an added refresh in the looks department. The shroud over the I/O and down over the Crystal Sound 2 components is an interesting look for sure, but it comes off well. Intel's latest processor drives performance decidedly higher in applications that can use the additional processing power as paired with the X99 Deluxe. When you get an ASUS board, especially one of the Deluxe models, you can be assured there will be a ton of add-ins that take advantage of the technologies implemented on the board.

With this board, ASUS includes a PCIe 4x adapter for an M.2 solid state drive, as well as a bracket to facilitate mounting an M.2 drive on the right-hand side of the PCB. Both interesting ways to implement the technology to take advantage of the platform's 40 PCIe lanes. The second interesting addition is the Fan Extension card that is used to add up to four more Fan Expert 3-controllable fan headers, a great addition for use with a liquid-cooled system. Outside of these, you get the standard complement of drive cables, SLI Bridge connection, Q-Connections, Q-Shield, and new for this board, a dual-band 3T3R Wireless antenna for improved wireless speed and connectivity.

Once you reach the board level, ASUS has improved upon the 2011 v-3 socket by adding pins strategically to its own OC Socket, which when coupled with its UEFI BIOS, works to limit voltage droop under load, as well as improving signalling to the DDR4 interface to improve OC margins for high speed DDR4 memory. Does that help when it comes time to overclocking your system? Surely it will not harm the overclocking potential of your hardware, as I found out during the overclocking phase of my testing with the X99 Deluxe. Surely the 8+4phase Digi+VRM implementation plays a part as well. As far as overclocking is concerned, my CPU will run much higher than the fully stable 4.6GHz I run as the overclock on this system, but those speeds of up to 4.9GHz are only good for some benchmark screenshots.

Memory overclocking is equally robust on the X99 Deluxe through the half dozen BIOS tried during testing. The Corsair LPX 2800MHz modules would run as high as 3200MHz when running the stock CAS latency of 16. These results were achieved by manually tuning the board. Of course, manually tuning the X99 Deluxe is not the only way to get some decent speeds out of your Haswell-E chip. Running ASUS' 5-Way optimization tool does a good job of boosting the CPU speed depending on how you run the tool. It is flexible enough to allow for both bclk and multiplier adjustments. If thats not enough, you can always use the EZ overclocking tool in the UEFI BIOS, which is as simple as answering a few questions using check boxes and pictures to set up your ideal scenario. If nothing else, you get incredible overclocking flexibility with the X99 Deluxe.

ASUS provides a set of utilities and added value software options to sweeten the pot. AI Suite 3 just works. It gives you just about all the configuration options you will need to use while working in the OS. As sub components, you get improved throughput to external USB 3.0 devices with USB 3.0 Boost, faster USB charging of both Apple and Android based devices, power management flexibility with ASUS EPU, and an unparalleled level of fan management with ASUS Fan Xpert 3. ASUS Crystal Sound 2 is based on the Realtek ALC 1150 codec seen on many of the upper tier Z97 boards and delivers excellent audio for an on-board solution that allows the end user to enjoy the sound quality without bending the budget further. Not billed as a gaming ready board, the X99 Deluxe is fully ready and able to deliver up to quad-GPU SLI and CrossFireX compatibility using dual-GPU cards and up to three-way SLI and CrossFireX solutions using three cards. Normally seen on ASUS ROG boards, like the Rampage IV Extreme, is a switch that will disable 16x slots for diagnostic purposes; a nice addition to the Extreme Edition platform.

If you are looking to make a move to Intel's latest Extreme Edition platform, the ASUS X99 Deluxe would not be a bad choice with the extensive feature set and proven hardware design. Coming in at roughly $379, it's not easy on your wallet, but neither are the hex- and octo-core Extreme Edition processors used to fill the OC Socket.

 

Pros:

  • Good looks
  • Functional applications
  • Overclocking CPU & DRAM
  • Multi-GPU options
  • Digi+VRM
  • Energy management
  • SATA Express and M.2 
  • UEFI BIOS
  • Accessories

 

Cons:

  • Memory bandwidth un-tweaked


 

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