18 X299 motherboards review: battle for first

An affordable, overclockable or ultimate motherboard for your Skylake-X? We’ve got you covered!


Painful areas

We would not be very good at our jobs if we would not cover some of the painful areas of the new high-end Intel platform, specifically in regards to the power consumption and heat levels on one hand, and the somewhat disappointing functionality on the other hand. 

Right after the launch of the X299-platform there were a lot of issues with the power supply of many motherboards. We also managed to reproduce these problems. The problems are primarily caused by the large power consumption of the Skylake-X processors, especially if they are overclocked.

If you want to overclock you have to bear the quality and quantity of the power supply on the motherboard in mind. After all, with even a small overclock about 300 watts has to pass through it! Good cooling of the VRMs is at least as important. A motherboard with a heatpipe or a heatsink with many fins is preferred for overclockers.

The power supply of cheaper X299-motherboards does not factor in overclocking.

Multiple motherboard manufacturers have already announced second revisions of certain motherboards. These have an adjusted, strengthened power supply. 

What is missing

We already stated that X299 does not really appeal to the imagination. The differences with predecessor X99 and mainstream counterpart Z270/Z370 are not very big. If you thought that Intel would implement every thinkable innovation on their latest, most luxurious platform, you are probably surprised.

A few things stand out because of their absence. While Intel is one of the most important developers of the USB-standard, the chipset still does not offer an integrated controller for 10Gbps USB 3.1-connectors (‘gen. 2’). Competitor AMD has already integrated this on their AM4-platform, and in our opinion Intel should have done this on their latest high-end platform as well. A company that fares well because of this omission is ASUS-daughter ASMedia. This is because literally every X299-motherboard uses a controller manufactured by them in order to offer USB 3.1-connectivity.

Nearly every X299-motherboard contains one or more ASMedia USB 3.1-controllers.

Another functionality that is missing is Thunderbolt. On more expensive X99-motherboards we sometimes found these lightning fast and multifunctional connectors using the then-current Thunderbolt 2, but with X299 this entire standard seems to be forgotten. After asking Intel why this was, they stated that they have ‘not yet been able to’ validate Thunderbolt 3 with their latest high-end CPUs. We find this rather odd, but so be it.

We cover the X299-motherboards per brand.

Also read these motherboard articles on Hardware.Info

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