ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe review

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A motherboard tested

ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe

It is time for our second X299 review, this turn goes to the X299 Prime Deluxe from ASUS. A totally fab looking motherboard in black and white accents with a small embedded LCD display. It's not just about the looks though as the X299 motherboard can house Kaby-Lake-X and Skylake-X processors, but also is injected with a lot of extra features.

This motherboard is intended for Intel Skylake-X processors that will be released this summer based on Socket LGA2066, however, the motherboard also supports Kaby Lake-X procs in the form of the quad-core Core i7 7740K and Core i5 7640K. We got our grubby little paws on a 10-core Skylake-X processor, as such welcome to this full review (but not thanks to Intel). Intel’s primary processor business has been releasing and refreshing quad-core processors for years now with an E type (e.g. Broadwell-E / Haswell-E) processor release every now and then. They had no rush and have been competitive and relaxed all the way for years now. Zen or Ryzen Intel did anticipate, but the AMD consumer aimed Threadripper 16-core and Naples server segment 32-core made Intel step up its game a notch. Initially it was expected that Intel would announce a new 10 and maybe 12-core processor based on Skylake-X architecture. With everything that has been going on, there now have been a number of announcements going from top to bottom with an unexpected quad-core Kaby Lake-X release as well as announcements that entails Intel will release 18-core processors. The Skylake-X processors up-to 10 cores are going to be released initially. You will not see any availability for the 18, 16 and 14-core parts anytime sooner than October/November 2017. Skylake-X will release up-to 10-cores only. It is rumored that in August we’ll see the 12-core part. 

ASUS will be offering Intel X299 based boards in three motherboard series; Prime, TUF, and ROG. All aesthetically pleasing, all have RGB LEDs that can be combined with ASUS Aura Sync and all get proper solid audio with a SupremeFX integrated audio based on a Realtek S1220A codec. ASUS offers a standard sized ATX board with the Prime X299-Deluxe, it can support three-way graphics configurations from NVIDIA or AMD with the PCIe slots having SafeSlot technology (reinforced slots die to say heavy graphics cards). There are no SATA Express slots however you will find a U.2 port for enterprise-grade SSDs. Obviously ASUS will offer storage nirvana, and includes dual M.2 PCIe slots. The main slot is hidden under the chipset heatsink, which ASUS says reduces drive temperatures. A secondary one mounts drives vertically near the DIMM slots. Finally, I have been bitching about it for years but  ASUS included PROPER WIFI as the prime has an integrated 802.11ad Wi-Fi module. Not just that, but it is a dual-band module that could fill up to 4.6Gbps with WiGig (an exta 60Hz band). This motherboard also has dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers. Unfortunately ASUS did miss the opportunity to go with a 5/10 GBps Ethernet solution. With so many features and just an ATX size motherboard, it's hard top place all the chips, hence ASUS included a ThunderboltEX 3 daughter board that features two USB Type-C connectors and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector for 40Gbps of bandwidth to external gear. 

As you can understand, the ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe is the more exclusive segmented product and certainly high-end. On the next page, a word or two on the processors and architecture, after which we'll dive into a full photo-shoot.


Meet  the new ASUS X299 Prime Deluxe - A sexy mofo alright.

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