ASUS PRIME X299 DELUXE II Motherboard Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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ASUS PRIME X299 DELUXE II Motherboard Review

The ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe II is an ultra-feature rich solution for today’s discerning computing enthusiast. It does not wear ROG branding, and is clad in white shrouding, letting you know that this is a PRIME motherboard. Is it a bargain priced motherboard? Nope. This one comes in at $500. Let's see if it is worth it.
 

STEM

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Thanks a lot for the review, I've been actually contemplating this board for a while for a new build, but I was afraid to pull the trigger. The Gigabyte X299 Designare EX is the closest thing that comes close to this. However, this ASUS motherboard did everything right that the Designare EX does wrong. On the ASUS you can actually use all of your PCI-E slots, two of the three M.2 sockets are hooked up to the CPU and all SATA ports are always usable. It's a really awesome board. As far as overclocking is concerned, I think that the only better ASUS mobo right now is the ROG Rampage VI Extreme Omega, and that one is $750.
 
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lostin3d

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Thanks for the review. Sounds like Asus hit a home run with this refresh despite the cost and power design.

I know from this and past MB reviews that power design has major parts in overclocking as well as efficiency and durability. Aside from the labeling in advertising are your concerns with this design related to long term durability since it passed the performance tests? Since I generally plan my builds to last 5-10 and this does seem to be a new trend I'm curious about it.
 

DNMock

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"Supports 4-way SLI"

*Has 3 full-sized PCIE slots*

Edit: I know it's nit-picky, wholly irrelevant, and technically correct as I'm sure it can run 4-way SLI with two Titan Z's. Just glanced and saw the 4-way sli bit and thought "hold up, did I miss a PCIE slot somewhere?"

And this made me giggle a bit
 
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admiralperpetual

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why do the displayport connectors on the back say "IN" ? is for thunderbolt passthrough..? apologies if it's written somewhere in the review, I didn't see it
 

STEM

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why do the displayport connectors on the back say "IN" ? is for thunderbolt passthrough..? apologies if it's written somewhere in the review, I didn't see it

You have to run the Display Port cables from your GPU to the motherboard, then you can use those expensive Thunderbolt displays that Apple users usually buy, like the LG 5K Ultrafine. This makes for an excellent Hackintosh motherboard, too bad Apple killed NVIDIA driver support completely for Mojave. Well, you can always use a Vega 64...
 
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"Supports 4-way SLI"

*Has 3 full-sized PCIE slots*

Edit: I know it's nit-picky, wholly irrelevant, and technically correct as I'm sure it can run 4-way SLI with two Titan Z's. Just glanced and saw the 4-way sli bit and thought "hold up, did I miss a PCIE slot somewhere?"

And this made me giggle a bit
3 PCIe slots + Thunderbolt for the 4th?
 

STEM

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"Supports 4-way SLI"

*Has 3 full-sized PCIE slots*

Edit: I know it's nit-picky, wholly irrelevant, and technically correct as I'm sure it can run 4-way SLI with two Titan Z's. Just glanced and saw the 4-way sli bit and thought "hold up, did I miss a PCIE slot somewhere?"

And this made me giggle a bit

3 PCIe slots + Thunderbolt for the 4th?

Nowhere in the motherboard documentation does it say that it supports 4-Way SLI.
 

Dan_D

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"Supports 4-way SLI"

*Has 3 full-sized PCIE slots*

Edit: I know it's nit-picky, wholly irrelevant, and technically correct as I'm sure it can run 4-way SLI with two Titan Z's. Just glanced and saw the 4-way sli bit and thought "hold up, did I miss a PCIE slot somewhere?"

And this made me giggle a bit

Where does it say this? It does mentioned Quad-SLI but not 4-Way SLI, there is a distinct difference. One requires four slots and the other requires two utilizing dual GPU based cards.

Nowhere in the motherboard documentation does it say that it supports 4-Way SLI.

I don't think he meant that the documentation said it, but rather that I typed it somewhere. Although, I can't find that. I searched the page for it and even searched the word document where I wrote it and didn't see that. So, if I missed it please point it out.
 

DNMock

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Where does it say this? It does mentioned Quad-SLI but not 4-Way SLI, there is a distinct difference. One requires four slots and the other requires two utilizing dual GPU based cards.



I don't think he meant that the documentation said it, but rather that I typed it somewhere. Although, I can't find that. I searched the page for it and even searched the word document where I wrote it and didn't see that. So, if I missed it please point it out.

You wrote quad, not 4-way. It's correct, no typo's good to go. Was mostly making fun of myself for just glazing over and then spending 5 minutes trying to find a 4th full PCIE slot. Should have been more clear, my bad.
 

Bgrngod

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So if I were to grab 2 M.2 SSD's and RAID0 them using this board, would both go in the M.2 slots that lay flat, or would I need to have one sticking out of the 3rd m.2 connector by the 24 pin power connector?

For the prices on the Samsung 970 Evo's, I'm seeing it's only $10 more to get 2x 500GB compared to a single 1TB SSD. $10 for presumably faster read speeds, or am I confused about that working?
 

FrgMstr

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So if I were to grab 2 M.2 SSD's and RAID0 them using this board, would both go in the M.2 slots that lay flat, or would I need to have one sticking out of the 3rd m.2 connector by the 24 pin power connector?

For the prices on the Samsung 970 Evo's, I'm seeing it's only $10 more to get 2x 500GB compared to a single 1TB SSD. $10 for presumably faster read speeds, or am I confused about that working?
The two flat slots down on the motherboard are connected direct to the CPU via PCIE. That is what you would want to do.
 

FrgMstr

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Awesome! Thanks Kyle. I can't wait for my wife to look at it and then ask where the hell the hard drive is. I'm going to shrug at her and tell her they don't make those anymore just to see if she falls for it.
NVMe is good stuff for sure. Leaves much more room for fan wiring. :)
 

STEM

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So if I were to grab 2 M.2 SSD's and RAID0 them using this board, would both go in the M.2 slots that lay flat, or would I need to have one sticking out of the 3rd m.2 connector by the 24 pin power connector?

For the prices on the Samsung 970 Evo's, I'm seeing it's only $10 more to get 2x 500GB compared to a single 1TB SSD. $10 for presumably faster read speeds, or am I confused about that working?

NVME RAID 0 sucks on Intel X299. If you want a better solution that actually works, do it on X399, and save yourself the hassle of having to buy a special Intel to get full bootable RAID functionality working.

To be perfectly honest, X299 is a dead end, at the end of its life. AMD X399 has the potential to receive another CPU upgrade this year. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Zen 2 Threadripper will work. Let me put it this way: the AMD chipsets are more for decor on a motherboard, just so manufacturers have something to use a southbridge, as most of the functionality has been moved to the CPU. That's why you have a SOC voltage for AM4 and TR4 CPUs. The chipset (technically it shouldn't be called a chipset anymore) retains the SATA ports and some other functionality.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the motherboard in the review with this comment. I still think that it's an excellent solution. I'm just stating that if you plan on staying with the same CPU longterm and put up with some of the limitations of X299, then go for it. otherwise, AMD's offering is far superior.
 

FrgMstr

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NVME RAID 0 sucks on Intel X299. If you want a better solution that actually works, do it on X399, and save yourself the hassle of having to buy a special Intel to get full bootable RAID functionality working.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the motherboard in the review with this comment. I still think that it's an excellent solution. I'm just stating that if you plan on staying with the same CPU longterm and put up with some of the limitations of X299, then go for it. otherwise, AMD's offering is far superior.
On the other side of that coin, what you have in the X299 is something that is incredibly mature and stable. I would not count on putting a new generation CPU in it past where we are now. I considered building a new X299 system for my personal box.

The X399 has gotten over most of its teething pains and I am not seeing issues that we were at launch, it has matured a lot for sure. The overall support from the CPU is certainly a bit more elegant than the X299, but the X299, at its heart, is years old.

I am just looking for the day I can put a 2990WX in this motherboard and encode X.264/5 and it not end up looking like a 2700X in terms of speed.

If you are looking for top end X299, of course that gives you the purchase of a 9980XE, and that it not inexpensive, and on par with the 2950X. And that is likely as fast and wide CPU that you will ever put in that socket. And with X399, I would suggest that its legs are still going to be fairly long.

I just bought what I needed to round out a custom loop in my personal box. I am looking forward to what this box can do on water and Precision Boost Overdrive.
 
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Dan_D

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NVME RAID 0 sucks on Intel X299. If you want a better solution that actually works, do it on X399, and save yourself the hassle of having to buy a special Intel to get full bootable RAID functionality working.

To be perfectly honest, X299 is a dead end, at the end of its life. AMD X399 has the potential to receive another CPU upgrade this year. Actually, I'm pretty sure that Zen 2 Threadripper will work. Let me put it this way: the AMD chipsets are more for decor on a motherboard, just so manufacturers have something to use a southbridge, as most of the functionality has been moved to the CPU. That's why you have a SOC voltage for AM4 and TR4 CPUs. The chipset (technically it shouldn't be called a chipset anymore) retains the SATA ports and some other functionality.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the motherboard in the review with this comment. I still think that it's an excellent solution. I'm just stating that if you plan on staying with the same CPU longterm and put up with some of the limitations of X299, then go for it. otherwise, AMD's offering is far superior.

Reality doesn't track with what your saying. I've done the tests and quite frankly, despite the fact that AMD's X399 always uses the PCIe lanes that go to the CPU, it isn't any faster than X299 using the PCH's PCIe lanes. Intel knows what its doing. The problem you run into via the PCH comes into play when using more than two drives. At that point you run into bandwidth issues. I've commented on how I think buying a vROC key is bullshit. So I'm with you there, but from a performance standpoint AMD's X399 isn't better. AMD's X399 also lags behind in that it doesn't support RAID 5 (not that you'd want to use it, but it's there) and it supports only two stripe sizes. Intel supports a wide range of stripe sizes.

I've been reviewing motherboards for 12 years. In that time, I've never seen AMD beat Intel on basic I/O from drive controllers, USB ports etc. As for the PCH from Intel vs. AMD, AMD's and Intel's solutions are more similar than they are different. The main difference being that Intel's offers far more PCIe lanes. All of which are PCIe 3.0 compliant where as AMD's are only PCIe 2.0 compliant. Even AMD's USB controller that's integrated into the CPU isn't faster than Intel's. I test these ports all the time and the data is clear. They either come out the same or Intel ends up with a slight edge. On the platform alone, the only way Intel is more limited than AMD in this case comes down to the need for a vROC license key in order to access the full feature set of the chipset. You can still do traditional PCH based RAID arrays on any X299 based boards. Additionally, Intel's platform supports Thunderbolt 3 and AMD's doesn't. There are pros and cons to each of these chipsets but the reality is that these differences aren't going to make much of a difference in day to day use of the system.

Now, I agree with you in that X299 has a shorter upgrade path than X399. That's the one point I'll concede is certainly in AMD's favor. Again, X299 is very mature as Kyle mentioned and it isn't as quirky as X399 can be. At this point I would probably go with X399 but for me, that's primarily a result of Intel's CPU pricing vs. AMD's rather than a platform advantage. I do like the idea that X399 has a longer life span ahead of it but the reality is I tend to replace motherboards at least as frequently as I replace CPU's.
 
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