We've covered most of the X99 Deluxe already, but here's the full spec sheet in case we missed anything.
|Platform||Intel X99, socket LGA2011-v3|
|DIMM slots||4 DDR4, 64GB max|
|Expansion slots||5 PCIe 3.0 x16 via CPU
1 PCIe 2.0 x4 via X99
|Storage I/O||1 M.2 type 2242-22110 via CPU (PCIe only)
1 SATA Express via X99
10 SATA RAID 6Gbps via X99
1 SATA Express via ASMedia ASM1065E
2 SATA RAID 6Gbps via ASMedia ASM1065E
|Audio||8-channel HD via Realtek ALC1150
Real-time digital encoding via DTS Connect
Surround virtualization via DTS UltraPC II
|Wireless||Dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi via Broadcom adapter
|Ports||2 USB 3.0 via ASMedia ASM1042
8 USB 3.0 via X99 and 2 x ASMedia ASM1072 hub
4 USB 3.0 via internal headers and X99
2 USB 2.0 via X99
4 USB 2.0 via internal headers and X99
1 Gigabit Ethernet via Intel I218-V
1 Gigabit Ethernet via Intel E211-AT
1 analog front/headphone out (amplified)
4 configurable analog ports
1 digital S/PDIF out
|Overclocking||All/per-core Turbo multiplier: 31-80X
Min/max CPU cache ratio: 12-80X
CPU strap: 100, 125, 167, 250MHz
Base clock: 80-300MHz
Base:DRAM ratio: 100:100, 100:133
CPU voltage: 1.0-2.0V
CPU cache voltage: 1.0-2.0V
System agent voltage: 0.8-2.0V
CPU input voltage: 0.8-2.7V
DRAM A/B voltage: 0.8-1.9V
DRAM C/D voltage: 0.8-1.9V
PCH core voltage: 0.7-1.8V
PCH I/O voltage: 1.2-2.2V
VCCIO CPU 1.05 voltage: 0.7-1.8V
VCCIO PCH 1.05 voltage: 0.7-1.8V
VTTDDR A/B voltage: 0.2-1.0V
VTTDDR C/D voltage: 0.2-1.0V
PLL termination voltage: 0.2-2.1938V
|Fan control||2 x CPU, 4 x SYS, 3 x EXT fans:
Standard, silent, turbo profiles
Manual profile with three temp/speed points per fan
DC and PWM fan support
The PCIe configurations are for 40-lane CPUs. See the first page of the review for the skinny on how things work with neutered 28-lane processors.
Our testing methods
We upgraded our motherboard test rig with a couple of new components just for this review. The first is Cooler Master's beastly Nepton 280L water cooler:
With dual 140-mm fans and a fat radiator, the Nepton is fairly extreme as far as liquid coolers go. It sells for $139.99 at Newegg right now, and it seems to do a good job of keeping our Haswell-E processor cool. However, we've had some issues with the pump not turning on properly on boot, which sends CPU temperatures skyward. This only happens intermittently, but we've observed it on a couple of different motherboards. Seems like we might have gotten a unit with a wonky pump.
The other addition to our test rig is some swanky DDR4 memory from Corsair:
These Vengeance LPX modules have standard-height heat spreaders that steer clear of potential cooler conflicts. The quad-channel 16GB kit is rated for speeds up to 2800MHz with 16-18-18-36-2T timings. Asking price: $399.99 at Newegg.
All of our testing was conducted with the memory running at 2800MHz, and none of our usual benchmarks complained. We had to adjust the system voltages by a smidgen to get the machine stable in Prime95, though. Upping the DRAM voltage by 0.05V and the CPU System Agent voltage by 0.025V did the trick. We're still investigating whether the CPU, memory, or motherboard is at fault there.
If you've made it this far, you may be curious about what the rest of our test system looks like. We've posed it for your viewing pleasure.
We used the following configurations for testing.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-5960X||Intel Core i7-4960X|
|Motherboard||Asus X99 Deluxe||Asus X79 Deluxe|
|Platform hub||Intel X99||Intel X79 Express|
|Chipset drivers||Chipset: 10.0
|Audio||Realtek ALC1150||Realtek ALC1150|
|Memory size||16GB (4 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 SDRAM at 2800MHz||Corsair Vengeance DDR3 SDRAM at 1800MHz|
|Graphics||Asus GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II with 340.52 drivers|
|Storage||Corsair Force Series GT 120GB
Samsung 840 Series 256GB
|Power supply||Corsair AX850 850W|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro x64|
Thanks to Intel, Corsair, Samsung, and Asus for providing the hardware used in our test systems. And thanks to the motherboard makers for providing those.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
- 7-Zip 9.20 64-bit
- TrueCrypt 7.1a
- Chrome 34.0.1847.131
- x264 r2431
- DiRT Showdown demo
- CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3b
- FRAPS 3.5.99
- RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.2.5
- Cinebench R15
- Unigine Valley 1.0
Some further notes on our test methods:
- All testing was conducted with motherboard power-saving options enabled. These features can sometimes lead to slightly slower performance, particularly in peripheral tests that don't cause the CPU to kick into high gear. We'd rather get a sense of motherboard performance with real-world configurations, though; we're not as interested in comparing contrived setups with popular features disabled.
- DiRT Showdown was tested with ultra detail settings, 4X MSAA, and a 1920x1200 display resolution. We used Fraps to log a 60-second snippet of gameplay from the demo's first race. To offset the fact that our gameplay sequence can't be repeated exactly, we ran this test five times on each system.
- Power consumption was measured at the wall socket for the complete system, sans monitor and speakers, using a Watts Up Pro power meter. The full-load test combined Cinebench's multithreaded CPU rendering test with the Unigine Valley DirectX 11 demo running in a 1280x720 window. We reported the peak power consumption during the Cinebench run. Our idle measurement represents the low over a five-minute period sitting at the Windows desktop.
- The Force GT 120GB SSD was used as the system drive for all tests. The Samsung 850 Series 512GB was connected as secondary storage to test Serial ATA and USB performance, the latter through a USAP-compatible Thermaltake BlacX 5G docking station. The Samsung SSD was secure-erased before each test that involved it. The Corsair drive was also wiped before we loaded our system image.
- Ethernet performance was tested using a remote rig based on an Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard with an Intel 82579 Gigabit Ethernet controller. A single Cat 6 Ethernet cable connected that system to each motherboard.
- Analog audio signal quality was tested using RMAA's "loopback" test, which pipes front-channel output through the board's line input. We tested while the system was loaded with Cinebench's multithreaded rendering test, the Unigine Valley benchmark, and a CrystalDiskMark 4KB random I/O test running on the Samsung SSD attached via USB 3.0.
The tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. All tests except power consumption were run at least three times. Unless otherwise indicated, we reported the median result for each test. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.