As you know, God loves a trinity. We just tested three new X99 motherboards from ASUS. In our test lab has already visited X99-A II and X99-Deluxe II, now is the time of the third model Asus X99-E, which allows enthusiasts to upgrade to Broadwell-E platform at an affordable price. Below we consider Asus X99-E in detail.
You must first eliminate the confusion with names. The fact that the ASUS in the time of the Haswell-E platform released motherboard X99-E WS with whole 64 lines Gen3, which has been directed to professionals and the corresponding workstations. With this motherboard new X99-E is not connected, the design is completely different, as well as equipment. So be careful.
All three motherboards X99 ASUS soldered eight slots DDR4 DIMM, which can extend the memory up to 128 GB. The same goes for the X99-E. In addition, the X99-E there are three mechanical PCIe Gen3 x16 slots and two PCIe 2.0 x1, eight SATA 6 Gb / s SATA interface One Express and M.2 one slot for SSD-module. As for USB, we get eight ports USB 3.1 Gen1 and USB 2.0, and has a port Type C modern standard USB 3.1 Gen2. Add to that the Intel LAN controller and the corresponding audio solution. In principle, a similar set of functions is sufficient for a basic system.
Like the two motherboards X99-A II and X99-Deluxe II, the youngest model X99-E is made in the ATX format. It is built on a black printed circuit board on which the black and gray connectors. Only two passive radiators add white accents, everything is quite traditional for the family ASUS Signature.
Rich supplied by ASUS X99-E should not be expected, it is quite typical for a budget model. In addition to plug I / O motherboard manual Taiwanese manufacturer has made the bridge 2-way SLI, four SATA cables, Q-Connector, screw M.2 slot.
Chipset X99 is very similar to the old Z97-PCH, which is focused on Intel Socket LGA1150. But X99 chipset supports more “native» SATA 6 Gb / s, ie ten ports. You will also receive six “native” port USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen1). chipset offers eight PCIe 2.0 lanes to connect additional controllers. Interface DMI (Direct Media Interface) is based on the old protocol 2.0.
Old X99 PCH chipset on the number of PCI Express lanes can not compete with the new Z170, which offers 20 Gen3 lines. But do not forget that the processors Haswell-E (P) and Broadwell-E (P) supports up to 40 PCIe 3.0 lines of what could be called a sort of compensation, depending on the CPU model. For example, M.2 slot allocated four lines PCIe 3.0 with a theoretical bandwidth up to 32 Gbit / s, so that the CPU itself has sufficient resources not to depend on powerful chipset PCH Z170.
In the motherboard X99-E, we also removed the VRM cooler to consider CPU power subsystem. As you can see, the VRM design is almost identical to the models X99 Strix Gaming and X99-A II. In each case, we have eight phases in a pair with MOSFET. Extra power is supplied through one 8- and 4-pin connector that allows to provide up to 528 watts of power.
We got quite expectedly eight DDR4 DIMM memory slots, which allow you to set up to 128 GB of memory using eight 16-GB DIMM strips. The frequency can be set to a higher level, ASUS indicates to DDR4-3200. In the lower right corner you can see the button MemOK, which helps to set the optimal memory settings in case of problems with the load board.
Unlike the older model X99 Deluxe II, the distribution of the available X99-E line is much easier. On board are three mechanical PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and two PCIe 2.0 x1. The top slot PCIe 3.0 x16 is equipped with the ASUS Safe Slot, which gives additional strength. The top card in all configurations up to 3-way multi-GPU always gets 16 Gen3 lines from the CPU. No matter which processor is installed: on lines 28 or 40 Gen3.
Middle Gen3 slot 16 provides lines to the processor 40 by lines or eight lines Gen3 processor 28 lines. Remains lower slot, which allows a maximum of eight or four lines, respectively. Below are two tables, where you can see the lines of distribution.
Under the top slot PCIe 3.0 x16 ASUS did not install any slot, so dual-slot video card will not block anything. Lower slot uses common resources, we’ll talk about just a little lower.
Set drive interface is quite standard. On board are eight SATA 6 Gb / s interface and SATA Express. You can also see and M.2 slot with the key M-Key to install the SSD module length from 4.2 cm to 11 cm. However, if a user takes M.2 slot, you’ll have to put up with the limitations of the lower slot PCIe 3.0 x16. Both interfaces use common resources. In the case of the CPU 40 will have two lines of four lines Gen3. In the case of processors with 28 lines the bottom slot PCIe 3.0 x16 can not use.
In the photo you can see one size fits all USB 3.1 Gen1 two. The two combs are connected to the X99 chipset in native mode.
We turn to the I / O panel.
Five analog audio ports (3.5 mm), an optical digital output (Toslink)
On the I / O panel are available nine USB ports. Of these, four are working on USB 3.1 Gen1 standard and four USB 2.0. As a bonus added to the port USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C. There were no good old PS / 2, Gigabit LAN, five audio Toslink and analog ports.
ASUS has installed audio codec Realtek ALC1150, supports 8 + 2 channel DAC in front we get up to 115 dB (A). Codec complementary audio capacitors designed to enhance sound quality. Not without headphone amplifier with an impedance of 600 ohms. Audio functions are combined in Crystal Sound 3 subsystem.
Overall, the layout is very similar to the X99 Strix Gaming and X99-A II, in addition to a similar audio subsystem Taiwanese manufacturer has chosen Controller Super I / O Nuvoton NCT6791D-A, which provides monitoring of voltages, temperatures and fan speeds, and allows you to control the latter. To the left you can see the hub ASMedia ASM1074 USB 3.1 Gen1. It provides three interfaces USB 3.1 Gen1 four I / O panel.
Due controller ASMedia ASM1142 motherboard ASUS X99-E supports USB 3.1 Gen2 technology. The controller provides two ports 10 Gb / s, but only one set ASUS Interface Type C.
I218-V controller from Intel supports speeds of up to 1 Gbit / s or 128 MB / s. It supports features such as VLAN and Wake-on-LAN.
On the lower end of the PCB can be seen not only TPM comb, comb a second USB 3.1 Gen1 and two USB 2.0, but the switch XMP. With it, the user can select a function directly XMP. To the right jumper CPU OverVoltage. As you might guess from the name, it opens the possibility of a higher increase in CPU voltage. But you must be sure of their actions. If you have a card extender fans, it can be connected to the comb-EXT-FAN.
As previously tested Strix X99 Gaming and ASUS X99-A II, we liked the layout. All the components are in the expected places, we were able to easily reach all areas. However, partly due to our SVO Corsair Hydro h110i GT, which we used for proper cooling Core i7-6950X. Many thanks to RGB LED backlight Aura can be incorporated into different modes. Available modes Default, Auto, Static, Breathing, Strobing, Comet, Flash & Dash, Rainbow, CPU Temperature and Color Cycle. ASUS has placed on the cooler LED PCH, in large PCIe slot and rear.
On the motherboard are five 4-pin fan headers. All five terminals can be controlled, including two CPU fan, chassis fan, and two new connector H-AMP. You can connect to last very powerful fans. Also modes “Silent” and “Turbo” mode is available “Manual”, in which the user can put their own settings. If the fan connection terminals will be missed, comb through EXT_FAN can connect the option board that provides three 4-pin sockets.
When we got the motherboard X99-E card in the test lab, ASUS offers a fresh version of the BIOS 0601. We have no problem flashed through her function Instant Flash. Currently, ASUS has released version 0701 and 0801, each BIOS update improves overall stability.
ASUS is quite logical to use the same interface as that of the X99-A II. On a black background we get turquoise and white letters. Let’s start from the top left corner. It displays the time and date. Next to UEFI, you can change the language. A new addition was the master of “EZ Tuning Wizard”, facilitating the task of overclocking for beginners. However, hardcore overclockers this feature to anything, they are likely to prefer to put all the settings manually. But nevertheless pleased that a novice user too, ASUS has taken care.
In the next box provides information on the model of the motherboard, the installed version of BIOS, CPU model, clock speed and memory capacity. To the right you can see the temperature of the CPU and motherboard. Also displays CPU voltage. Below, in the left field displays the installed memory modules information occupied slots, capacitance and frequency. You can also select a profile Extreme Memory Profiles (or XMP), if present. To the right displays the connected drives. Finally, the bottom field allows you to adjust the fan speed, the speed can be set individually using the “Manual Fan Tuning” feature.
In the right pane exhibited a basic mode of operation. By default, Normal mode is active. But it is possible to activate the mode “ASUS Optimal” and “Power Saving”. In the mode “ASUS Optimal” system increases the performance mode “Power Saving” she begins to work more efficiently. You can also easily change the boot order. You can switch to Advanced mode by clicking “Advanced Mode” or by pressing “F7”, it will be discussed below.
Advanced Mode mode is visually similar to the EZ Mode, but has a more traditional structure. The first tab “My Favorites” contains a set of the most commonly used BIOS functions that the user can change at their discretion. To add a function should click on “My Favorite (F3)” at the top or use the key “F3”. This will open a separate window where you can select the function.
On the main “Main” page provides basic information: BIOS version installed CPU model and memory specifications. Here you can change the menu language if required. Next there is a tab “Ai Tweaker”. It summarizes all the overclocking functions, implemented a large number of new features that will be sufficient and experienced overclockers. You can put the clock frequency of the CPU or memory, as well as individual voltage. Below is a description of what each function performs.
Numerous integrated components can be traditionally turn off at the next tab. Some of the information displayed in the monitor is constantly right field, but ASUS has added a separate tab “Monitor”, where possible, including, display the speed of the fans. You can also watch the temperature and voltage.
All settings that affect the boot process, are located on the “Boot” tab. If you are concerned about the boot image, you can disable it here. There is also a Boot Override option, which usually bring to the last page. ASUS has also added several utilities. Through the “ASUS EZ Flash 3 Utility” can update UEFI through a connected drive or directly through the Internet. All settings can be stored in UEFI eight profiles that you can save on a USB-stick or import via the function “ASUS Overclocking Profile”. Option “ASUS SPD Information” reads the SPD (Serial Presence Detect) to the DIMM. In paragraph “Exit”, you can save the settings or load the default settings. Before saving the UEFI settings displays a small window, which lists all the settings are affected. In addition, if you want to add notes, then you do not need a pen and paper – you can simply activate the “Quick Note”.
Easy new interface UEFI we estimate good. As we found in the management interface using the keyboard after a while begins to “slow down”. But after a reboot everything works fine. Otherwise, all setting works well. As for the stability of the complaints we have is not there.
Motherboard X99-E is based on the proprietary socket OC, to which the first months after the submission of Haswell-E platform in August 2014 ASUS had exclusive rights. The UEFI available a variety of overclocking settings. For example, you can specify different VDIMM voltage memory channels A / B and C / D. The UEFI divider allows you to set the memory frequency up to DDR4-4000, available 65 delays. These are just a few examples of the rich range of overclocking options.
X99-E motherboard allows you to set the base frequency from 80 MHz to 300 MHz in 0.1 MHz, although we prefer an interval of 0.01 MHz for finer adjustment. CPU voltage can be changed in three modes Override, Adaptive and Offset. It can be put directly in the Override mode and Adaptive 0.001 V to 1.920 V. In adaptive mode specifies a fixed value and the offset for the Turbo mode, ie under load. The mode Offset (offset) you can stand the tension in both directions from -0.999 V to 0.999 V. In all three modes pitch is 0.001 V. All other overclocking tools are given in the table.
We proceed to overclocking memory. We used four DIMM module capacity of 4GB – “G.Skill RipJaws4 DDR4-3000”. In the first test we will check the XMP functionality, and memory overclocking second hand, without using XMP.
Profile Extreme Memory Profile correctly recognizes, working with him was completely stable. The same applies to the values that we have made by hand, and we were able to put even lower latency. VDIMM voltage was 1.35 V.
ASUS motherboard with put-known set of AI Suite, which is supported by a large number of functions for Windows. With the new X99 motherboards included a third version of the package. A good example can be called “TurboApp”, which is part of a set of 5-Way Optimization. This feature allows for each application to set the CPU multiplier, sound configuration and the network priority. As a result, you can ensure that only the desired application and / or the game will run with increased CPU performance. It also supports feature Dual Intelligent Processors 5 with TPU and EPU.
Of course, AI Suite 3 package includes four other functions. TPU is responsible for clock speeds, updated Fan Xpert 3 provides adjustment of fan speed. Digi + function ensures stable operation of the power subsystem. Maximum efficiency provides the function “EPU”, in which there are four modes: automatic, efficient, economical and inactivity. In the bottom panel, you can at any time to view information about the CPU and memory frequencies, voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. If you click on the gear icon, then open the settings of individual categories.
The package ASUS AI Suite 3 has other useful features, including Ai Charger + for iPhone fast charging, iPad and iPod with the support of BC 1.1. With EZ Update ASUS provides update installed software and BIOS. Each time after the release of a new version of the BIOS, you can download it, and then through the USB BIOS Flashback feature to flash the new version using the USB-drive. In special cases, such as when a planned reboot of the system, AI Suite can remind the user of the event via Push Notice function. It is also possible to inform and other events, for example, exceeded the threshold voltage or temperature.
Function USB 3.1 Boost provides high-performance connected devices USB 3.0. Supported UASP mode (USB Attached SCSI Protocol). Devices connected to this port, are charged as quickly as possible. Depending on the configuration, the port can work even when the system is idle, sleep or off.
Today, the question is quite relevant PC power consumption, energy consumption and the difference between motherboards is far more common than the difference in performance. On the one hand, it can be associated with BIOS, Intel wherein power saving functions may be implemented or not completely correct. Or simply disabled by default. Or inactive integrated components when they are replaced by additional chips, or simply not used, is not turned on and continue to consume energy. The power supply circuit also contributes to the overall power consumption, since it can provide more energy than is required components. Yes, and efficiency (efficiency) power supply system is also very important. If the efficiency is low, the system consumes more energy from the power supply. We should not underestimate the role of management software, the entire power supply system must be balanced and coordinated in order to ensure an acceptable efficiency.
At ASUS X99-E contains additional controllers. Namely LAN-controller, the controller USB 3.1 Gen2, Hub USB 3.1 Gen1 and audio codec, they all contribute to the overall system power consumption.
We measured the power consumption of the system in idle mode under Windows, as well as a full 2D-load Cinebench 11.5 and Prime95 (torture test, full load). The following is the power consumption for the entire system.
Compared with the well-equipped motherboards X99-A II or X99-Deluxe II ASUS offered a minimalist version of the X99-E. The user is free to decide whether he offered sufficient functions. But the price is certainly attractive. Motherboard X99-E is made in a standard ATX format, it is completely ready for the Broadwell-E processors for Socket LGA2011-3, thanks to eight DDR4 DIMM memory strip can be installed capacity of up to 128GB. As our tests showed memory overclocking, you can set and higher DIMM frequency. There is a toggle switch and a button XMP MemOK !, increasing comfort with the memory subsystem.
The Taiwanese manufacturer has established not only are two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots for expansion cards, and three mechanical PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, oriented graphics. Motherboard ASUS X99-E supports up to three graphics cards from NVIDIA or AMD configurations in multi-GPU (CPU with 40 lines). If the processor 28 lines, you can use up to three graphics cards AMD or up to two NVIDIA. ASUS has decided not to abandon the Aura Light function even in the low-end model. Therefore, visually motherboard also has to offer a lot. As for the connection of drives, you’ll have to settle for eight native SATA 6 Gb / s interface and SATAE. They complement M.2 slot (M-Key), although it uses the shared resources with the lowest expansion slot. With processors Core i7-5820K or Core i7-6800K you have to choose what to use: M.2 slot or lower x16 slot with four lines Gen3.
Of course, plenty of USB ports available on the motherboard ASUS X99-E. Namely, four external and four internal USB 3.1 Gen1 and USB 2.0, supplemented by one port USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C. To connect to the network provided a gigabit LAN-Controller Intel I218-V, responsible for the sound subsystem 3 Crystal Sound chip Realtek ALC1150. Last supplemented by a number of audio capacitors and a headphone amplifier with high resistance.
Less we liked the ASUS X99-E high energy consumption, given the modest feature set. Even after switching off the automatic acceleration Multicore Enhancement power still remained at a high level. Note and quite a long download time fee, it even exceeded the X99-A II results. Here, of course, the ASUS has the potential to improve. In BIOS, we are not faced with any anomalies. UEFI interface was traditionally extensive, perhaps after a long work in one session, he began to “slow down”.
Price ASUS X99-E is from 227 euros. It seems to be relatively high, but do not forget that this is a platform for enthusiasts. In general, the motherboard ASUS X99-E will be a worthy platform for new Broadwell-E processors.
The power consumption of the motherboard ASUS X99-E is relatively high, and not such a short download time as we would like. But with the latest ASUS can remedy the situation in future BIOS updates. The rest of the X99-E – an excellent basis for the new Broadwell-E processors or old Haswell-E, if you’re willing to settle for a standard set of functions.