Asus expands arsenal of X99 motherboards for Broadwell-E

Bringing out the big guns.

Serving as another sign that Broadwell-E is just around the corner, Asus today unveiled four new X99 chipset motherboards that it says are locked and loaded for Intel's upcoming Core i7 processors for socket LGA 2011-v3.

Among the new additions are three X99 Signature series motherboards and the first ever ROG Strix mobo dubbed ROG Strix X99 Gaming. The ROG Strix X99 Gaming is the most feature rich of the bunch with gaming amenities like shielded SupremeFX and Sonic Radar II audio, and Intel Ethernet.

There's not much that isn't included on the ROG Strix X99. It has 8 DIMM slots supporting up to 128GB of DDR4-3333 (OC) memory, eight SATA 6Gbps ports, a single SATA Express port, M.2 Socket 3 and U.2 storage support, built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2x2) with MU-MIMO support, SupremeFX audio, and Thunderbolt 3, to name some of the highlights.

It doesn't come with a kitchen sink, but it does include reinforced PCI Express slots, of which there are three PCI-E 3.0/2.0 x16 supporting three-way SLI and CrossFire configurations, plus another PCI-E 2.0 x16 and a PCI-E 2.0 x1. According to Asus, its SafeSlot fortified PCI-E slots provide 60 percent retension and 80 percent better shearing resistance than non-fortified ports.

Like the ROG Strix X99, all three other motherboards—X99-Deluxe II, X99-A II, and X99-E— have eight DIMM slots supporting up to 128GB of DDR4-3333 (OC) RAM, save for the X99-E, which Asus says tops out at 3200MHz when overclocking the memory.

Each board also has a single SATA Express port, eight USB 3.0 ports, and USB 3.1 Type-C port. All but the X99-E also have a USB 3.1 Type-A port and a 4-pin RGB header to control built-in RGB LEDs and attached RGB strips.

The X99-E also lacks extra pins in the LGA 2011-v3 socket, a technology Asus calls OC Socket, which helps with overclocking.

Asus said its new boards will be available tomorrow at the following price points:

  • Asus X99-E: $219
  • Asus X99-A II: $249
  • Asus X99-Deluxe II: $419
  • Asus ROG Strix X99 Gaming: $339

The X99-Deluxe II carriers a higher price tag than the ROG Strix X99 Gaming because it adds an another PCI-E 3.0/2.0 x16 slot, has more USB 3.1 ports, feature two GbE LAN ports instead of one, and upgrades to the Wi-Fi to a 3x3 configuration.

As for Broadwell-E, most speculation points to a release in the first week of June during Computex.

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