First look: X299-motherboards from ASUS
Two manufacturers sent us a few motherboards for Socket 2066 before launch. While we did not have time for an extensive test, we will briefly cover the motherboards below.
Prime X299-A & Prime X299-Deluxe
The first two ASUS X299-motherboards are a part of the Prime-series and are meant for the average consumer. These boards do not have any bombastic RGB-lighting, but instead feature a design that has a primary role for the colour white. The Prime X299-A offers all basic functionality and is the cheaper one of the two, although we do not have any specific prices at the time of writing.
Both motherboards have eight memory slots and offer support for 4-way SLI. The X299-A combines two M.2-slots with eight SATA600-connectors, while the X299-Deluxe also has a U.2-slot. Furthermore the Deluxe adds a second Intel network controller and 802.11ac/ad-WiFi to the featureset. In both cases the audio is supplied by a Realtek ALC1220-codec.
Aside from the 8 USB 3.0-connectors of the chipset, the X299-A also has two USB 3.1-connectors and an internal header via ASMedia-chips. The X299-Deluxe takes this a step further and also has four times USB 3.1 at the back, once again supplemented by an internal header.
ROG Strix X299-E Gaming
With its grey-black aesthetic and RGB-lighting, the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming is easily recognized as a gaming motherboard. A lot of features are the same as those of the Prime-boards – two times M.2, eight times SATA600, an ALC1220 for audio and an Intel-controller for network. WiFi is present, but not as high-end as with the X299-Deluxe: here we find a regular 802.11ac-chip. A unique feature is the built-in M.2-heatsink, which is connected to the heatsink of the chipset. According to ASUS, fast NVMe-SSDs are kept about 20 degrees cooler because of the heatsink.