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ASUS Strix X99 Gaming Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Strix X99 Gaming motherboard is the newest product in ASUS Strix product line, bringing a more performance gaming focused board into the ROG (Republic of Gamer) sphere. The board features an armored rear panel and audio components, integrated RGB LEDs throughout the board's surface, and support for the Intel X99 chipset. The board supports all Intel LGA2011-3 based processors paired with DDR4 memory in up to a quad channel configuration. The Maximus VIII Formula can be found in the wild for an MSRP of $399, making it more expensive than most offerings but justified in light of the integrated features and design quality of the board.

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS integrated the following features into the Strix X99 Gaming board: eight SATA 3 ports; one SATA-Express port; one U.2 32Gbps port; one M.2 PCIe x4 capable port; an Intel I218-V Gigabit NIC; 2x2 802.11ac WiFI adapter; four PCI-Express x16 slots; two PCI-Express x1 slots; on-board power, reset, MemOK!, and USB BIOS Flashback buttons; Aura RGB LED 4-pin power header; RGB Q-Slot support; 2-digit Q-Code LED diagnostic display; Q-LED support; ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel audio subsystem; and USB 3.0 and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS Maximus VIII Formula motherboard!

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Courtesy of ASUS

For board aesthetic configurability, ASUS integrated RGB LEDs throughout the upper surface of the board, including into the the PCIe slots and and into the rear panel cover. These LEDs can be configured to display any color desired as well as operating in one of ten modes: Static, Breathing, Strobing, Color Cycle, Music Effect, CPU temperature, Rainbow, Comet, Flash and Dash, and Glowing Yoyo. LED operation can be easily configured using the LED settings located on the Onboard Device Configuration page under the Advanced tab in the UEFI or via the Windows-based AURA control applet.

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Courtesy of ASUS

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Build in Intel® Socket 2011-v3 Core™ i7 Processors
Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Chipset Intel® X99
Memory 8 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Supports AMD 2-Way CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe 3.0 / 2.0 x16 ( x16, x16 / x16, x8 / x16 / x8 mode with 40-LANE CPU; x16, x16 / x8, x8 / x8 / x8 mode with 28-LANE CPU)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 *1

*1 The PCIEX4_1, PCIEX1_2, and USB3.1_EC1EA2 connectors share the same bandwidth. By default, the PCIEX4_1 slot and PCIEX1_2 slot automatically run at x1 mode with USB3.1_EC1 and USB3.1_EA2 enabled for best resource optimization.

Storage New Intel® Core™ i7 Processors:
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only)
1 x U.2 port, support PCIe 3.0 x4 NVM Express storage

Intel® X99 chipset:
1 x SATA Express port, Compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Recovery Technology *2

*2 These functions will work depending on the CPU installed.

LAN Intel® I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Wireless Data Network Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4 / 5 GHz
Supports MU-MIMO
Bluetooth Bluetooth V4.1
Audio ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature:
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Audio amplifier: Provides the highest-quality sound for headphone and speakers
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Sonic Radar II
USB Ports Intel® X99 chipset:
5 x USB 3.0 port(s) (1 at back panel, blue, 4 at mid-board)

Intel® X99 chipset:
8 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, 4 at mid-board)

ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller:
3 x USB port(s) (3 at back panel, blue)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller:
2 x USB 3.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, Type-A + Type-C)

ROG Exclusive Features ROG RAMCache
Overwolf
GameFirst IV
ROG Aura
- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura RGB Strip Headers
USB BIOS Flashback
Special Features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert 4, and Turbo Core App
Gamer's Guardian:
- ESD Guards on LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB3.1/3.0/2.0 ports
- DRAM Overcurrent Protection
- Stainless Steel Back I/O
- Highly Durable Components
- DIGI+ VRM
ASUS Exclusive Features:
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- ESD Guards
- USB 3.0 Boost
- USB 3.1 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- Mobo Connect
- PC Cleaner
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution:
- ASUS Fan Xpert 4
ASUS EZ DIY:
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- Push Notice
ASUS Q-Design:
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
RAMCache
AURA: RGB Lighting Control
Operating System Support Windows® 10, 64bit
Windows® 8.1, 32bit / 64bit
Windows® 7, 32bit / 64bit
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 (red)Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 (black)Type-C
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth v4.0
Internal I/O Ports 1 x U.2 port
1 x AAFP connector
1 x Aura RGB Strip Header
2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x SATA Express connector: , Compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only)
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x EZ XMP switch
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN (Extension Fan) connector
1 x DRCT header(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x CPU OV
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x Water Pump header (4-pin)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
1 x COM port header
1 x High AMP Fan header (4-pin)
Accessories User's manual
I/O Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
ROG Fan Label
1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
BIOS 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.
Manageability WfM2.0, DMI3.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Video News


August 29, 2016 | 10:38 AM - Posted by Drewidian (not verified)

Can both the U.2 and M.2 ports be used simultaneously?

August 29, 2016 | 10:46 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

It looks likes you can, but M.2 is favored over U.2. In the BIOS, you can specify two use one or the other as well.

August 30, 2016 | 04:00 AM - Posted by HectorO (not verified)

Yes, but the manual for this motherboard says it shares bandwidth with the M.2 slot.

In fact most things are shared (WiFi, USB3.1) if you only have a 28 lane CPU.

September 1, 2016 | 05:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

yes you can.

August 29, 2016 | 10:57 AM - Posted by YTech

Would you know if ASUS will be revising their X99 MICRO ATX motherboard?

Saving for the ASUS X99-M WS and will make the purchase by the end of the year. But would be nice to know if a newer board will be released then which includes various improvements as seen on the other boards.

September 1, 2016 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

I am not sure, truthfully, but have not heard of a revision coming out...

August 30, 2016 | 04:08 AM - Posted by HectorO (not verified)

I have this motherboard along with Corsair LPX 3200MHz, 4x16GB modules.

The issue I have with it (and if you read a lot of newegg reviews) is that the board will not post above DDR4 2400MHz with this memory. Is it just the size of my RAM and compatibility?

When it doesn't post, the only way to get it back is to unplug it, remove the battery, and clear the CMOS. Then you have to hold the power button for 20-30 seconds. Then it posts.

It's ridiculous and I can see why so many newegg reviews claim it doesn't boot after a week.

Did it pose any problems for you?

Right now I'm running it at 2133MHz just because I'm tired of it not turning back on if I shut it down.

It's weird though because I can get it to boot at 3200MHz after it successfully boots at 2133MHz. Until I shut it down. Restarts are fine. And sleeping is fine.

August 30, 2016 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

I had a hard time dialing it in for overclocking and did notice an issue getting high memory speeds to work, but was able to get similar corsair modules to boot and run stable at 3200MHz.  My testing was done with a Haswell processor.

Were you using a Haswell or Broadwell processor in your system?

August 30, 2016 | 03:00 PM - Posted by HectorO (not verified)

I replied to the wrong comment, but you can find my reply under hechacker1.

August 30, 2016 | 02:59 PM - Posted by hechacker1 (not verified)

Thanks. 6800k in my system.

My system actually runs stable at 3200MHz memory using XMP, along with a 4.5GHz on all cores at 1.370v (I won the silicon lottery?). I played around with the cache multiplier, but that didn't make a difference in it booting.

Everything else is basically set to auto voltages.

The issue is simply that it won't boot with the RAM at higher clocks from a cold boot. With a warm reboot and it's fine.

I didn't buy a 4x16GB kit, rather 2 kits since it was cheaper.

September 1, 2016 | 10:40 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

That's an odd one.  I did have quite a time getting the board to board with RAM at 3200MHz, but, it did eventually once i got it dialed in (without using the XMP setting too).The board itself is just a bit "finnicky", but that may have more to do with the changes made to support the Broadwell processor perhaps.  Didn't have the same challenges with older X99 boards. (Note that this is speculation on my part based on testing experiences, and not based on anything I've heard/been told by ASUS or other manufacturers).

One thing to check is the BIOS version, make sure to update to the latest if you haven't already.

One other thing, Raja from ASUS put out this very comprehensive guide on overclocking the Broadwell-E processor on X99 boards, that also includes memory tweaking.  I found it very useful myself:

http://edgeup.asus.com/2016/06/17/broadwell-e-overclocking-guide/

January 8, 2019 | 07:46 PM - Posted by Fox (not verified)

The thing is (and I'm a Strix x99 gaming motherboard owner) that this board is marketed as an overclocker's dream, but in actual life it's the furthest thing from it.
It seems to have issues even at factory settings, it's quite choosy about RAM, and it has a delicate voltage regulation circuitry - I've had to RMA it AND my CPU after the dreaded QCODE 00 hit my board one morning a few months after assembling my rig. And I know that others with this model encountered it as well.
Now I'm pretty stable (the board alternates between Qcode AA and Qcode 40 most of the time) with the latest bios, and a UPS unit to make sure that there are no spikes. But I would think twice about buying a board from this series again. Even the newer x299 LGA2066 model. Just my two cents.

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