Asus reveals four new X99 boards for Broadwell-E CPUs


— 12:11 PM on May 10, 2016

Broadwell-E’s release is on the horizon, finally marking an end to the two-year reign of Haswell-E processors. The X99 chipset that's hosted Haswell-E CPUs isn’t ready to give up its throne, though. Broadwell-E is socket-compatible with Haswell-E motherboards, and a firmware update is all that's required for existing X99 motherboards to support the upcoming processors. Enthusiasts willing to shell out for Intel's latest high-end CPUs aren’t likely to be content with two-year-old boards, though, and Asus is ready to solve that problem today with four updated X99 motherboards.

  X99-E X99-A II X99-Deluxe II ROG Strix X99 Gaming
Memory 8 x DDR4 up to 3200MT/s 8 x DDR4 up to 3333MT/s 8 x DDR4 up to 3333MT/s 8 x DDR4 up to 3333MT/s
PCIe 3.0 x16 slots 3 4 5 4
Gigabit Ethernet ports 1 x Intel 1 x Intel 2 x Intel 1 x Intel
Wireless networking None None 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
Storage 1 x M.2
1 x SATA Express
10 x SATA

1 x M.2
1 x U.2
1 x SATA Express
10 x SATA

1 x M.2
2 x U.2
1 x SATA Express
10 x SATA
1 x M.2
1 x U.2
1 x SATA Express
10 x SATA
USB 3.1 1 x Type-C 1 x Type-A
1 x Type-C
3 x Type-A
1 x Type-C
1 x Type-A
1 x Type-C
Price $219 $249 $419 $339

The boards the company announced today share a number of high-end features, including tweakable RGB LED lighting, metal-reinforced PCIe slots, and advanced fan control features. The new boards can automatically sense whether a three- or four-pin fan is connected to a given header, and they also include a dedicated three-amp fan header for the cooling needs of extreme overclockers. The newcomers otherwise tick all the right checkboxes for high-end gear, including eight DDR4 DIMM slots, M.2 slots and SATA Express ports for next-gen storage, and scads of PCI-E slots.

We’ll start with the most affordable of the bunch, the Asus X99-E. Like most of its brethren, this board packs three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. An Intel NIC, 10 SATA ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and a "Crystal Sound 3" audio controller round out the main specs. At $219, the X99-E isn’t exactly a budget board, but it is in the lower end of the price range for X99 mobos.

Next up, we have the X99-A II. This board builds on the X99-E's specs and adds some extra tricks. Asus includes an RGB LED control header on the motherboard for builders who want to complement the on-board lighting with add-on strips elsewhere in the case. A U.2 connector allows for even more storage flexibility, and a USB 3.1 Type-A port finishes out the additions. This board will carry a $249 suggested price.

Next up, we have the X99-Deluxe II. This is the new-and-improved version of the X99-Deluxe we reviewed back in 2014, so it carries on an impressive pedigree. We thought the X99-Deluxe was one of the most luxurious motherboards we’ve ever tested, and the Deluxe II looks like it follows in those footsteps. This is the lone board in the list that features five PCIe x16 slots. It adds a second Intel NIC, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth to its connectivity features.

As icing on the cake, the X99-Deluxe II comes with Asus' ThunderboltEX 3 add-in card. This PCIe x4 card adds an Intel Alpine Ridge-driven Thunderbolt 3 port to this mobo. The ThunderboltEX 3 also supports the USB Power Delivery specification, so it can provide up to 36W of power to charge compatible devices. Asus will sell the ThunderboltEX 3 card as an optional add-on for its other X99 boards.

With Asus' included Fan Extension card, this Deluxe board can control up to nine system fans through its Fan Xpert software interface. The X99 Deluxe II's lengthy feature list comes with a lofty $419 price tag.

Last on the list, we have the ROG Strix X99 Gaming. This board appears to be what happens when the X99-A II dons a suit of Asus' ROG armor. All the other boards in the series stick with simple white, grey, and silver theme, but this board trades that simplicity for Asus’ signature ROG look. Custom stickers let builders color-coordinate the Strix with other components in a system, and extensive RGB LED lighting options add to the flair.

Like other ROG boards, the Strix includes a premium SupremeFX audio suite and some gaming-specific software utilities. Looks aside, the Strix X99 Gaming should go for about $339, and it adds 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a lone USB Type-A port to the features of the X99-A II. 

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
View options

This discussion is now closed.