ASUS Strix X99 Gaming Preview
Published: 10th May 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
FULL REVIEW NOW LIVE HERE
It's time for a new Intel CPU to hit the market, and if there is a new Intel CPU around then there has to be some motherboards capable of taking full advantage of it.
The X99 range has hitherto been a bit of a sheep in wolfs clothing, with decent feature sets let down by high adoption pricing. Whereas the mid-range Intel chipsets and hardware is affordable and flexible enough to adapt quickly to emerging technologies, the high end motherboards have always tended to be a little slow on the uptake. Whether this is because of their high unit cost, or high development cost, we don't know. It is, however, always a down side of being on the cutting edge at the time of release. You end up desperately trying to claw back that investment whilst trickle-down technologies get cheaper and cheaper. Anyone with an early HD tv, or looking miserably at the upcoming PS4 4K will know the perils of early adoption.
ASUS have been one of the most flexible manufacturers around, always updating their hardware to make sure that the latest model is equipped with the latest gadgets. Since the first X99 launch we've seen the arrival of DDR4, the AURA lighting, USB 3.1 and adoption of NVMe across the board. It must be time for the Strix X99 Gaming to redress the balance.
The basics, if such a word can be used, of the latest X99 motherboard from ASUS are ticking all the boxes even the most demanding user has on their list. Masses of storage options from the regular SATA 6Gb/s ports all the way up through M.2 to the NVMe U.2 port normally found on the most high-specification elitist motherboards. Add in a couple of USB 3.1 ports supporting 10Gb/s and upto 128GB of 3300MHz DDR4 and bandwidth most definitely isn't going to be an issue.
|CPU||Intel Core i7 X-Series LGA 2011-3|
|Chipset||Intel X99 Chipset|
|Memory||8xDIMM Max 128GB DDR4|
3333 MHz (OC) non-ECC un-buffered memory
|Expansion Slots||3x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slots|
1x PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (at x4 mode)
2x PCIe 2.0 x1 slots
|Multi-GPU Support||Supports nVidia and AMD up to 3 Way SLI/CrossfireX|
|Storage||1x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key (supports PCIe SSDs only)|
1x U.2 Port (Supports PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe)
1x SATA Express
8x SATA 6Gb/s ports
|USB||2x USB 3.1|
8x USB 3.0
8x USB 2.0
|Form Factor||ATX 12"x9.6" (305x244mm)|
Beyond the main points one would expect to find on the majority of X99 motherboards, the ASUS Strix X99 Gaming comes with a whole host of ASUS specific features.
As befits a Gaming model it comes equipped with the ASUS Aura lighting control. Enabling you to control either the built in LEDs or your own RGB strips, and with a host of options from breathing, colour cycling or even just changing colour dependant upon your CPU loading, you can be sure that there is an option to suit you own personal preference.
Looking good is important, but sounding good is equally vital. The inclusion of the SupremeFX audio ensures that your ears will enjoy the Strix X99 Gaming as much as your eyes do. With 115dB signal to noise ratio, fully EMI shielded and the Realtek ALC1150 codec all supported by two OP-Amps supplying your upto 300 Ohm headphones with outstanding aural wonderment, you can be sure to find your enemy before they find you.
Making sure you can hit them before they hit you is just as important, and the inclusion of the Intel I218-V Gigabit Ethernet connection supported by ASUS own GameFirst IV technology helps keep your pings low even if your roommate has decided to catch up on Game Of Thrones at the worst possible moment. It's not only your latency that ASUS look after with the Strix X99 Gaming either, as temperatures are managed by the Fan Xpert 4. You can control all of your fans manually, or let it monitor the temperatures and do it itself, or, if you're particularly demanding then you can control all of the fans at once with a single click. The addition of a water pump header ensures that the AIOs we've all grown to cool our CPUs with have a proper place to be installed. No more fearing that you haven't turned the PWM off the right header in the BIOS.
Lastly, before we take a tour of the Strix X99 Gaming itself, connectivity is as up to date as the PCB it's built on. Besides the now de rigueur USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, the Strix is equipped with USB 3.1 of both A+C types. Backwards compatible but blisteringly fast. Just how we like our tech. In addition to the M.2 port, faster than your leading storage solution or your money back, the Strix has the NVMe compatible U.2 port. 32GB/s speeds can be yours. Perfect for those of you with HD media intense lives. Finally if you're into 802.11ac wireless the Strix has 2x2 dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz WiFi modules equipped with MU-MIMO to ensure everyone has a stable connection.
Let's take a closer look.