When the X299 platform and its associated motherboards debuted, extreme overclockers like der8auer remarked that the new boards' mostly-decorative VRM heatsinks were actually interfering with cooling the hot hardware underneath. A couple of weeks later, the aforementioned Deutschlander showed that you could resolve that problem just by grinding a few grooves into the heatsinks. Asus has apparently taken that advice to heart, as the new ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming is identical to its "X"-deprived forebear save for the grooved VRM heatsink.
The new board carries forward the same bounty of functionality as its predecessor. Asus says the X299-XE Gaming will handle four channels of DDR4 memory at up to 4133 MT/s. The mobo has three PCIe x16 slots that can run in an x16/x16/x8 configuration with a 44-lane CPU installed, and the pair of M.2 sockets can simultaneously run in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode.
There's on-board 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, a trio of on-board USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (in both Type-A and Type-C flavors), and Asus' top-tier SupremeFX audio setup with a Realtek S1220A codec and Japanese capacitors. The board naturally has RGB LED lighting, and Asus includes a 12" (30 cm) light strip in the box.
The ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming board has only just appeared on Asus' website, and the only listing we found for it is for a third-party Amazon seller, going for $430. As more stores have the board in stock, we expect its price to more closely follow the $345 of the existing ROG Strix X299-E Gaming.
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