ASUS Reveals Trio of New X299 Motherboards

ASUS today announced three new X299 motherboards to support upcoming Intel®CoreX-series processors. Many computing itches can only be scratched by processors with that magical combination of plenty of cores and sizable amounts of cache and memory bandwidth. The latest refresh of Intel’s high-end desktop platform upgrades maximum RAM capacities to 256GB and adds support for more PCIe connectivity directly from the CPU — just the ticket for multi-GPU rigs and massive NVMe solid-state drive arrays.

Baseline features for the upgraded boards include improved power circuitry with additional power stages, support for faster RAM, Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC) support, and better networking and USB connectivity. All three models also include our AI Overclocking intelligence for automatically turning the knobs on the CPU to find the optimum frequency and voltage settings for the system.

ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore

ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore is one sharply dressed board in the EATX form factor. Right from the get-go, Infinity Lighting holographic accents dazzle and impress atop stylish aluminum ROG Armor. We fortify the primary M.2 slots, I/O shield, and audio signal components with the same material. A 1.77-inch LiveDash OLED display can present POST codes, system information or custom graphics. For those who prefer a stealthy look, the display and onboard lighting can be shut off entirely. Around the back, a single-piece backplate covering most of the board allows for extra heat dissipation and structural reinforcement. All the main PCIe®slots are clad in SafeSlot metal reinforcement, so heavier graphics cards can be plugged in without worry.

Extreme Encore has the ability to handle and overclock the most powerful chips in the Intel Core X-series family. That’s where its humongous 16 power stages come in. Since Intel Core X-series processors can draw a lot of power when overclocked, we used ProCool II auxiliary power connectors with solid pins to maximize current capacity and minimize conduction loss. The VRM sits underneath heatsinks connected by a heat pipe and cooled by two compact fans that will only spin up when needed. Our space-saving DIMM.2 module employs a heatsink to chill NVMe devices also installed there.

One of the reasons to acquire a high-end desktop chip is the copious amount of memory bandwidth it can tap. Extreme Encore lets users take advantage of 256GB of RAM across the quad-channel controller, clocked at blistering speeds as high as 4266MT/s. Our exclusive OptiMem III enhancements help extreme overclockers find the limits of their RAM.

The extra lanes available in the upcoming Intel Core X-series enabled us to increase the onboard NVMe storage device support to four, meaning it’s possible to run massive NVMe RAID arrays with optional Intel VROC technology and push gigabyte-per-second transfers to double digits. Two M.2 slots rest underneath the main heatsink, while the DIMM.2 slot can take in two drives up to 110 mm long on a riser card. And with compatible chips, the three x16 PCIe slots can be run in a x16/x16/x8 configuration for high-speed multi-GPU action, massive deep-learning tasks, and heavy-duty 3D rendering. A USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 connector provides 20Gbps of bandwidth to compatible devices.

To ensure multi-terabyte data sets can be easily delivered over the network, Extreme Encore comes with an Aquantia 10Gbps Ethernet controller humming alongside a tried-and-true Intel Gigabit Ethernet chip. When it’s time to let go of wires and send bits through the atmosphere, an Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6 adapter pushes throughout up to 2.4Gbps.=

Extreme Encore has a total of four RGB LED strips: two on standard headers, and another two on addressable Gen 2 RGB headers that can detect how many LEDs are present in an attached device to preconfigure effects accordingly and make for easier customization. The included ASUS Fan Extension Card II has three extra RGB strip headers, as well as NODE input and output ports for further expansion. The extra RGB LED headers on this card naturally support RGB LED fans with the proper cabling, as well. Our proprietary NODE connector enables the connection of compatible hardware for control and monitoring.

Extreme Encore’s SupremeFX S1220 audio circuitry includes a dedicated headphone amplifier, Japanese-made capacitors, and its own PCB layers for improved signal integrity. We’ve included DTS Sound Unbound enhancements, so that when a compatible game is played, the player takes a dive deep into a soundscape where every object has a pinpoint-accurate aural location, even if it’s above or below.

ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II=

The majority of enthusiasts and gamers in particular often have a specific set of requirements for a motherboard: solid performance, ease of overclocking, good looks, and a set of features that’s still upmarket but doesn’t delve into extravagant excess. ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II fits that bill.

The board’s cybertext motif, sleek angular lines and smooth finishes all meld together to create a distinctive style that looks fantastic whether on its own or under RGB LED lighting. A translucent ROG logo on the I/O shield can light up to reveal more cybertext embedded in the acrylic nameplate. A 1.3-inch LiveDash OLED display sits just underneath the CPU socket for at-a-glance view of system information or just to show off.

To feed and overclock the CPU, Strix X299-E Gaming II uses a 12-power-stage VRM. The power-delivery cooling system has a two-piece heatsink with a heat pipe running through it, and it’s further chilled by a 40-mm fan that’ll only kick in under high power draw. For those choosing to overclock their processor, the AI Overclocking function will intelligently figure out the best settings.

Power plugs can get a little toasty when overclocking CPUs to their limit, so the auxiliary 12V ProCool II connectors have solid-core pins to deliver more current. Two columns of four DIMMs can take in a total of 256GB of RAM. Sticks clocked at 4266MT/s and beyond will slot right in with ease.

Strix X299-E Gaming II features SafeSlots on all three PCIe slots to easily support multi-GPU setups. Three M.2 slots are ready to take in fast NVMe devices as long as 110mm and have dedicated heatsinks, all using PCIe x4 connectivity. Intel VROC support enables multi-drive NVMe action for the fastest storage transfer rates this side of a server. USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports in both Type-Cand Type-A flavors grace the back panel, and there’s a header available for an extra front-panel port.

For networking, a Realtek 2.5Gbps and Intel gigabit Ethernet adapter handle communications. There’s also Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX200 adapter for up to 2.4Gbps of wireless bandwidth, plus Bluetooth®5.0 support.

Strix X299-E Gaming II comes with two standard RGB LED strip headers, plus another pair of connectors for addressable Gen 2 RGB LED strips. A NODE port also lets the board monitor and control compatible components.

Strix X299-E Gaming II has an additional set of handy niceties. The FlexKey allows the reset button to toggle lighting effects on/off, or boot directly into the firmware. SupremeFX S1220A audio includes its own shielding alongside the usual niceties like Japanese capacitors, and it comes bundled with Sonic Studio III and DTS®Sound Unbound.

Prime X299-A II

Our Rampage and Strix boards have the looks and over-the-top luxury to match their performance, but some users prioritize straightforward results over a flashy appearance and a mile-long feature list. However, not every PC has to be a lavish affair – even if it’s using a high-end Intel Core X-series chip. There are plenty of times when the most important aspects are stability, horsepower and subtlety. For those looking for a simple and solid X299 motherboard, we have ASUS Prime X299-A II.

While X299-A II is the most affordable model in our refreshed trio, it’s not bare-bones by any stretch of the imagination. After all, it’s got a 12-power-stage, all-digital VRM ready to juice up even top-end Intel Core X-series processors, along with ProCool II auxiliary power connectors. Much like on our higher-end boards, three PCIe x16 SafeSlots can deal with multiple graphics cards in SLIor CrossFireXarrays. Likewise, eight RAM slots in a quad-channel topology can take in as much as 256GB clocked at 4266 MT/s, and there are three PCIe x.4 M.2 slots. This model supports Intel VROC arrays with the necessary hardware key, as well.

White-and-silver accents and heatsinks lend the X299-A II a subdued look that’ll blend with any build. For those looking to add RGB LED flair, the board’s neutral shades will look fantastic under coloured light. Standard LED strips can be hooked up to a pair of available headers, and extra-fancy illumination is possible thanks to an addressable Gen 2 RGB header for compatible addressable strips.

Prime X299-A II does upstage its fancier brethren in one way, though. Since professional users are more likely to pick out this model, we fitted it with a Thunderbolt3 header so opening up the option of next-gen peripherals with the optional ASUS ThunderboltEX3 card. Audio and video gear in particular makes great use of Thunderbolt 3’s low latency and massive bandwidth, and the X299-A II will happily become the centerpiece of any AV studio. Naturally, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and USB 2.0 peripherals can go into any of the several ports in those formats. Sonic delectation emanates from the Realtek S1220A codec enhanced by DTS:X®Ultra  3D audio positioning.


Check with your local ASUS representative for details on availability and pricing in your region.

For further information, product images and specifics on these new motherboardsplease check out our article at Edge Up ASUS.

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