ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe II Review
Published: 2nd January 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
The ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe II is one of those motherboards that brings a lot to the party, with a few minor things that require explanation.
Starting with the aesthetics, the Prime series famously introduced quality white parts to the motherboard universe, ones that didn't end up yellowing over time - assuming you didn't chain smoke right next to your PC of course. The Deluxe II continues the trend by having white plastics from the chipset heatsink to the centre, including the OLED display, and the IO section down to the SupremeFX audio is also covered in white. The IO section also has a stripe of RGB lighting built in, which is echoed on the chipset heatsink. Beneath that we have a silver heatsink which is, curiously, a different shade of silver than the M.2 heat-spreaders. In the end you have the monochrome colouring that has ended up totally dominating the market but instead of being simply black, or black and white, it's like all the shades of a greyscale. We're not entirely sure how successful this has been, but it certainly is something that you'll either love or hate.
Less subjective is the addition of a raft of technologies to the Prime formula which leads to the Deluxe II having something for everyone. At the basic level the amount of pump, AIO and fan headers alongside ASUS own RGB and addressable headers mean that there is plenty to keep your system cool and looking spectacular. The Prime Deluxe II also comes with the new ASUS Node header which connects to all sorts of interface types, including the supplied fan extension card, letting you control them all from within the ASUS Software Suite. Network connectivity has the Intel Gigabit LAN and, if you've got a serious networking setup, support for 5G LAN via the Aquantia AQC-111C RJ45 port. Those of you who live in the wireless world can enjoy the benefits of the Intel AC-9260 MU-MIMO wide channel HT160 wireless connectivity alongside the latest Bluetooth 5.0 format providing longer distances and faster transfer rates than Bluetooth 4.
Performance is a little bit of a mixed bag. At stock the Prime Deluxe II is okay, but never more than okay. There is a slight reduction in memory bandwidth when compared to the other X299 setups we've tested which has a snowball effect in the type of benchmarks we run, leading to decent but unspectacular scores. On the flip side the overclocking performs well, taking our Core i9-7900X up to 4.6 GHz across all ten cores with 3200 MHz DDR4. This left it running in the midpack of our test suite, although a closer look at the actual scores we achieved shows that whilst it never really spanks the competition, neither is it remotely disgraced. If you like the looks and the feature set then clearly it should be up on your wishlist.
The one thing that we really feel is worth highlighting on its own is the inclusion of DisplayPort inputs on the IO section, letting you fully utilise the Thunderbolt 3 tech to daisy chain your displays. We know it's a niche feature, but until now Thunderbolt 3 has been something with a lot of potential that hasn't been taken advantage of, whereas now with the ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe II if you have the hardware available to take full advantage of this particular feature, then it's the only X299 motherboard that utilises it to its fullest. Kudos to ASUS for making the effort, especially when the audience is somewhat limited. If you build it, they will come.
The Prime Deluxe II has a rich feature set and good performance that makes it a very solid choice for those of you who like either the white colour scheme or want a motherboard that isn't part of the ROG range. It's an unconventional choice but one you'll be glad you made.