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Asus X99-A Motherboard Review

As far as well-priced, balanced LGA 2011-3 motherboards go, Asus' X99-A is a very good solution. The number and breadth of features offered is practical for a range of users, and the overall performance levels are consistently positive.

Overclocking performance was as good as we would expect, given the shear proportion of on-chip parameters for Intel's Haswell-based processors. We had no problem hitting our 5820K's 4.5GHz limit with sensible 24/7 voltage levels. Running 3GHz XMP memory was also a breeze.

Those above points are primarily thanks to Asus' excellent UEFI. Not only is the implementation well laid out and easy to use, its function is pretty much flawless. There's no worry about incorrect voltage levels or reading errors; the interface just works, and works well.

Graphics support is where I feel the X99-A shows its biggest weakness. High-bandwidth, 3-card configurations are not possible with a 5820K, despite the chip's capacity for three PCIe 3.0 x8 links. And even with a 40-lane chip, the PCIe-fed M.2 connection must be sacrificed in order to run three graphics cards at sufficient bandwidth levels.

I have outlined my recommendations earlier in the review, and also the limitations to my argument. While the overlap of Venn diagrams for users looking to buy a £200 motherboard and use a trio of Nvidia graphics cards is likely to be small, subtle motherboard changes would have eliminated my complaints. We must remember that the HEDT platforms are used for a long time, so adding another GPU to your 2-way SLI configuration is not such an unthinkable upgrade. Asus' X99-A, however, does not make it a simple one that is without compromise.

Motherboard layout is excellent, and the aesthetic appearance is also very good. The relevant slots and connectors are in their ideal positions with relevant spacing provided for cooling or clearance. And the white and black colour scheme is well-balanced and understated.

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Available for £199.99 from OverclockersUK, the Asus X99-A is fighting in a hotly-contested marketplace. The quantity of sub-£200 X99 motherboards is surprisingly large given the HEDT platform's renowned expense.

Asus' X99-A motherboard is a very good solution that offers a well-balanced set of features and consistent performance. If you are never going to use more than two graphics cards and are happy to pay a little extra (over competing boards) for an eye-catching colour scheme and market-leading UEFI, the Asus X99-A is definitely worth buying.

Read the review on our Facebook page, over HERE.

Pros:

  • Consistent performance in a wide range of tests.
  • Excellent UEFI implementation – functional, in-depth, and easy to use.
  • Strong USB 3.0 performance.
  • 32Gbps M.2 connector can be used simultaneously with SATA Express.
  • Solid overclocking potential and 3GHz XMP support.
  • Very good layout.
  • Eye-catching white and black styling unique to Asus.

Cons:

  • PCIe configuration could have been subtly tweaked to improve graphics/M.2 support.
  • Black SLI ribbon is preferable.

KitGuru says: A well-priced motherboard with consistent performance and a balanced set of features.

WORTH BUYING

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Rating: 8.5.

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