ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe II Review
Published: 2nd January 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Being a Prime motherboard the Deluxe II has white plastics. How much you like the looks are very much a matter of personal taste. We're fairly undecided as the combination of sharp angles and stripes make for a curious blend of 2000s angled design themes and the 'everything has stripes' aesthetic that was such a feature of the 70s. It's certainly unique.
You can also spot the two M.2 heatspreaders between the PCI Express slots - the third M.2 slot is vertically mounted just below the ATX 24pin - as well as the OLED display below the CPU socket.
The quality of the ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe II heatsink is worthy of mention. It's been a long time since ASUS have used a fin solution on their high end motherboards, and given how much VRM temperatures limited overclocking on early models it makes perfect sense for their design team to have spent a little more energy ensuring the Deluxe II has no issues in this area.
As well as another close up look at the excellent VRM cooling solution on the Prime Deluxe II, you can see how much has been squeezed into the top edge of the PCB. All X299 motherboards have limited real estate so fitting two 12V CPU connectors as well as twin CPU fan headers in alongside the ASUS RGB header without putting them in places that are likely to slice your fingers is a piece of careful design that deserves applause.
One area the Prime Deluxe II takes no prisoners is in the amount of storage options available. As well as three of the superfast M.2 connectors there are eight - count them - SATA3 ports alongside the USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 front panel connectors. Those of you with huge collections of drives will be delighted to know you wont have to choose between them or even hotswap any.
The Prime Deluxe II wouldn't be an ASUS motherboard if it didn't come equipped with a full set of onboard buttons, RGB and Addressable headers as well as the MemOK! switch that lets you boot even the most bizarre combination of DIMMs.
If you prefer to have your fans in more regulation positions then the Deluxe II has a dedicated AIO and Pump header below the left bank of DIMM slots. You can also see the M.2 heat spreader and its screw locking it in place. Nicer than a plastic clip.
There are plenty of connections in the IO but one is deserving of special attention, the Aquantia AQC-111C LAN header supports - with CAT6 cabling - 5G speeds across your network. We understand that the infrastructure necessary to take full advantage of these high speeds is a significant investment at the moment, but it wont be long before it's affordable to all so it's nice to know you're future-proofed. Even better, if you have got a monster networking arrangement the Prime Deluxe II lets you explore these enormous transfer speeds straight away.
No matter how many headers there are on the PCB we can all do with a few extra fan slots. Partly because the beefier X299 CPUs require a serious amount of cooling, and partly because tucking the fans around the back make it much easier to keep the front side of your system looking neat and tidy.