Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gam­ing

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If spend­ing £400 on the Prime X299 Deluxe tips you over your bud­get then Asus’ might be your next best choice, com­ing in at £400 inc VAT. The cash sav­ing has come from fairly pre­dictable cuts in the ac­ces­sory box, but thank­fully, it still sports many of the Deluxe’s same on-board fea­tures.

It’s the only other board on test to in­clude Wi-Fi, although it’s only 802.11ac and not the new 802.11ad stan­dard of the Deluxe. How­ever, un­like the Gi­ga­byte board, you get an M.2 heatsink, which cut our Sam­sung SSD’s run­ning tem­per­a­ture from 67°C to 50°C. You also get a ded­i­cated M.2 fan header should you need ad­di­tional cool­ing, plus mounts for a 3D print­able 40mm fan holder.

Ev­ery board on test in­cludes two M.2 slots, although Asus has made all three of its boards sport one that’s ver­ti­cally mounted next to the DIMM slots. The ROG Strix X299-E Gam­ing has one more SATA 6Gbps port than the Deluxe too, and it lacks the Deluxe’s U.2 port, although that’s ar­guably not a huge sac­ri­fice. Asus has also cut back some of the overclocking and test­ing tools; there’s no re­set or clear-CMOS but­tons, which is a shame given the price tag.

While there’s no fan hub as found on the Deluxe, the ROG Strix X299-E Gam­ing still makes for a po­tent wa­ter-cool­ing board, with seven fan head­ers, in­clud­ing one that can out­put up to 36W for 3-pin pow­ered pumps, which can all be con­trolled via the EFI or Fan Xpert 4 soft­ware. There’s a separate header for the all-in-one liq­uid cooler pumps too.

Mean­while, the on-board au­dio is roughly the same as the other boards on test, and per­forms sim­i­larly, although Asus’ 8-chan­nel ROG Supre­meFX S1220A sports dual op-amps, Nichicon au­dio ca­pac­i­tors and im­proved shield­ing. There’s a ROG-branded au­dio soft­ware front end too, in the form of Sonic Stu­dio III, which pro­vides equalis­ers and ef­fects, plus the abil­ity to send dif­fer­ent sound streams to dif­fer­ent de­vices.

Light­ing is flashier than on the Deluxe too, but still re­strained. The light­ing cen­tre­piece is a mir­rored ROG logo with RGB light­ing, plus a set of in­di­vid­u­ally con­trolled RGB LEDs on the I/O shroud. There are two 12V 4-pin RGB head­ers, plus a 5V header for a wide range of LED strip sup­port op­tions. You get USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports as well, plus a USB 3.1 header, although there are only six other Type-A ports on the rear I/O panel.

Mean­while, the EFI is up to Asus’ usual high stan­dards, although while it was clearer and more modern-look­ing that of the Gi­ga­byte X299 Aorus Gam­ing 3, Gi­ga­byte has mas­sively im­proved its fan con­trol sec­tion, and now pips Asus in this area. Thank­fully, the ROG Strix X299-E Gam­ing was easy to overclock both in the Win­dows-based AI Suite soft­ware and EFI, with no sta­bil­ity is­sues or overly high power con­sump­tion.

We man­aged to get our chip to 4.6GHz at 1.24V, which matches the other best boards on test, rais­ing the RealBench sys­tem score from 233,957 to 259,100. Also, while the Strix’s bench­mark fig­ures were sim­i­lar to the rest of the field, it had the edge in Ashes of the Sin­gu­lar­ity: Es­ca­la­tion.

Con­clu­sion

If £300 is your limit, the ROG Strix X299-E Gam­ing looks great, has loads of use­ful fea­tures and a tonne of handy soft­ware. The Gi­ga­byte X299 Aorus Gam­ing 3 is £20 cheaper and per­forms sim­i­larly, while of­fer­ing even bet­ter fan con­trol op­tions and a lit­tle more aes­thetic piz­zazz, but the ROG Strix X299-E Gam­ing has a bet­ter EFI and more el­e­gant soft­ware, plus an M.2 SSD heatsink. The ROG Strix X299-E’s ex­pan­sive fea­ture set just gives it the edge, but they’re both great boards – the choice is ul­ti­mately down to your pri­or­i­ties and per­sonal taste.

The light­ing cen­tre­piece is a mir­rored ROG logo with RGB light­ing

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