The Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard is an excellent combination of worthwhile features, strong overclocking capacity, and attractive looks. Partnered with the powerhouse that is Intel’s eight-core Haswell-E 5960X, the X99 Deluxe’s performance and feature set come into their own.
Focusing on overclocking performance, Asus has been very loud in pointing out the X99 Deluxe motherboard’s use of its OC Socket implementation. Additional pins feed extra voltage to the CPU and, according to Asus, assist in reaching high memory speeds.
While it is very difficult for us to accurately assess the merits of OC Socket, it is clear that Asus’ X99 Deluxe isn’t afraid of overclocking a hot-and-heavy octa-core chip. We managed to take our engineering sample 5960X up to 4.4GHz with extended Prime95 stability. But the biggest point of reference for OC Socket’s potential performance benefits was the X99 Deluxe’s ability to handle G.Skill’s Ripjaws4 memory sticks at their 3GHz XMP profile without any quibbles.
Layout of the motherboard and its key visiting points is almost excellent, but the downright silly positioning of both USB 3.0 headers is a cause for concern. Other than the aforementioned issue, we don’t have any other layout concerns. Slot spacing is smart, as is positioning and orientation of the 32Gbps M.2 connector. Fan header distribution is efficient and there’s just about enough room between the well-cooled MOSFETs to fit large CPU coolers.
Turning the emphasis onto appearance, Asus has created one of the most strikingly attractive and highly unique motherboards that I have seen for a long time. In regards to computer components, black and white is a colour system that is so easy to ruin, but Asus’ designers have done an admirable job in making the style easy on the eye. The big rear IO covering helps from an appearance perspective.
In typical Asus fashion, the X99 UEFI is faultless. Settings and parameters are easy to access and are provided in abundance. Even the lowly 1024×768 resolution doesn’t impact on Asus’ ability to fit a relevant amount of information on each frame.
Priced at £299.99 from OverclockersUK, there is no denying that the Asus X99 Deluxe is a sizeable investment. But that’s the overwhelming trend for Intel’s HEDT platform, and it’s still less than half the price of the flagship processor. Users spending the best part of £800 on a CPU and then another £200+ on DDR4 memory are likely to be able to absorb the £300 fee for a high-quality, feature-heavy motherboard that overclocks well.
Whether your needs are gaming, power computing, or general hobbyist system building (where appearance is critical), Asus’ X99 Deluxe offers a fine balance of features and performance that will allow it to suit your needs.
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- Packed with a variety of features.
- Strong overclocking performance (perhaps thanks to OC Socket).
- Highly attractive colour scheme.
- Excellent UEFI implementation and solid OS software.
- High-quality audio solution.
- Impressive accessory bundle.
- Layout causes interference with three graphics cards and USB 3.0 headers.
- Black SLI bridge would have been preferable.
KitGuru says: £300 is a steep asking price for any motherboard, even one based on the X99 chipset, but Asus’ feature-heavy, high-performance X99 Deluxe is well worth the investment.