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AMD Ryzen 3950X 9: fatalities

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One of the most basic principles followed AMD in recent years, is: “let’s add more cores”. It was under this motto trace their triumphal procession as desktop processors Ryzen together with their HEDT-brothers Threadripper, and server family of chips EPYC. For clarity, can be more think about the AMD offerings for the mass market, appeared on the market in recent years: in the first generation Ryzen vs Quad core Kaby Lake she put processors with eight cores, then eight Ryzen fought with six-core Coffee Lake, and this year the massacre of osmeterium Coffee Lake Refresh was thrown dwenadzatiperstnuu Ryzen 9 3900X. But the story about how AMD imbued with the idea of Osypandfive users of cores, not the end, because the crown family Ryzen 3000, the company decided to make an even more monstrous processor with sixteen cores.

However, despite the thrust to increase the number of cores at every opportunity, present tactics AMD is still significantly different from how she acted before. If in 2017 and 2018, additional kernel Ryzen acted as a kind of compensation lower than the competitor, specific performance and frequency, with the architecture Zen 2 the “Reds” made up for the lag in the rate of IPC and began to pretend to reshape itself for the whole CPU market. As it turned out four months ago, when the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X, for the mass AMD with exceptional performance users willing to pay significantly more typical for this market segment $ 500. Far to go behind examples it is not necessary: when problems with the production Ryzen 9 3900X turned into a severe shortage, and the price 12-core model at the peak jumped to $900, buyers it absolutely did not stop – they continued to methodically sweep them from the shelves.

Now AMD wants to eventually become a mass platform Socket AM4 in the higher positioning, proving that she is not forbidden to cost a half times more established years prices. To prove this will be the new flagship Ryzen 9 3950X in which the number of compute cores has increased by a notch to 16. This processor is estimated by the manufacturer at $749, allowing the platform Socket AM4 to make a shameless RAID on the territory HEDT, and judging by what was already known about Ryzen 9 3950X until today, not only to conduct reconnaissance, but also safe to settle there. Confidence in the viability of the new items give its characteristics. With the help of modern technological process TSMC with a 7-nm rules and thanks to innovative capleton design, AMD was able to do so, that the increase in the number of nuclei in 9 Ryzen 3950X is no lower operating frequency, no deterioration of efficiency. As a result, the 16-core flagship needs to prove themselves worthy in the whole spectrum of existing tasks and in demanding multi-threaded workloads can be expected to really breakthrough to the mass segment performance.

In other words, Ryzen 9 3950X, which is dedicated to this review pretends to be a kind of overprotection to mass platforms, which is characterized by the fact that involve the use of dual-channel memory and are limited in the number of supported PCI Express. But here lies the main intrigue of today’s test: when studying the characteristics Ryzen 9 3950X many may feel that the usual common platform is “too much”, it turns out that along with the powerful 16-core manufacturer allows you to install it and dual-core processors-plugs cost from $50. Whether promising Ryzen 9 3950X “spread your wings”, or its potential will be unrealized due to limitations in the bandwidth of the memory subsystem, and power supply? And talk about this further.

#9 3950X Ryzen in detail

From the point of view of topology, a new 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X very similar to the previously reviewed Ryzen 9 3900X. Before us – the second mass AMD processor, which is based not on two but on three semiconductor crystals, called in modern terminology chipsetati. One of these crystals – universal 12-nm chipset cIOD responsible for the functions of the I / o and contains the memory controller, PCI Express controller and elements of the SoC. The other two 7-nm chipley CCD, in which there are processing cores, eight pieces in each. All this is connected together via a bus Infinity Fabric that binds each of the CCD chipsetov c crystal cIOD. At the same time between a CCD mutual relations have not, but it does not entail any negative consequences, because the whole logic of Infinity Fabric is coplete I / o that calls all the cores of rights. In other words, Ryzen 9 3950X, in contrast to multi-core processors Threadripper last generation, has no-NUMA nodes and logical point of view has a completely monolithic design, in which delays in the work memory and with the mutual data exchange is the same for all nuclei.

Read more about how AMD implements mnogochastny approach for the creation of flagship processors Ryzen, we talked in overview 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X. Shestnadtsatiyaderny Ryzen 9 3950X arranged in the same way, but it uses a fully functional crystal CCD, in which there are no locked cores.

It would seem that everything is very simple, and it is unclear just why AMD has not provided Ryzen 9 3950X before, simultaneously with other Socket AM4 processors. However, this delay is a logical explanation. The thing is that getting hands on progressive microarchitecture Zen 2, AMD has set an ambitious goal is not just to bring in mass-market processor with 16 cores, and to do so more effectively. To do this, according to the original plan Ryzen 9 3950X had to not only support a maximum table segment number of threads, and high clock frequency, and to have it all together does not lead to a marked increase heat dissipation and energy consumption.

Mnogochislennoe design allows to solve various problems peculiar to large monolithic crystals, due to the fact that a small area of the chips to produce and easier and cheaper. But direct methods to neutralize the growth of energy consumption and heat dissipation when you add in the additional processor cores, it does not offer. So in the end, AMD took some more time to Ryzen 9 3950X able to acquire the desired characteristics: 16 cores, the maximum in the whole lineup Ryzen third generation turbo frequency, and ordinary for the mass CPU heat pack. This is achieved very easy in the description, but it’s pretty dreary in the implementation method of choice for such processors the most high-quality semiconductor crystals.

In fact, the same approach has been applied in 9 Ryzen 3900X, and in the case of this processor, you can see how difficult it is given to the selection of crystals for CCD tracebility processors, even if then they blocked a quarter of the cores. AMD could not meet the demand and ensure uninterrupted supply of 12-core options for the whole quarter, resulting Ryzen 9 3900X has long been in short supply. You can choose the perfect crystals for Ryzen 9 3950X even more difficult: two full eight full chiplet CCD with crystal cIOD must fit within 105-watt thermal package, while providing approximately the same frequency in the neighborhood of 4.0 GHz at full load, as did the rest of the processor family Ryzen 3000.

Pause, AMD taken, was to allow the company, together with our manufacturing partner, TSMC solid state forge, to optimize the manufacturing process and to form a supply of suitable crystals and order of Ryzen 9 3950X turned real, not paper novelty. But to test how effective was all this preparation, we can only after November 25 – that’s when we will start sales of mass 16-core AMD. In the meantime, we have the opportunity to assess only the performance and nuances of working Ryzen 9 3950X, but I can’t vouch for its wide availability in the sale at the price which he has promised AMD – $749.

Passport characteristics 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X in comparison with other Ryzen third generation is as follows.

Cores/ Threads Base frequency, MHz Turbo frequency MHz L3 cache MB TDP, watts Chipley Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16/32 3,5 4,7 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12/24 3,8 4,6 64 105 2×CCD + I/O $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8/16 3,9 4,5 32 105 CCD + I/O $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8/16 3,6 4,4 32 65 CCD + I/O $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6/12 3,8 4,4 32 95 CCD + I/O $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6/12 3,6 4,2 32 65 CCD + I/O $199
Ryzen 5 3500X 6/6 3,6 4,1 32 65 CCD + I/O ~$160
Ryzen 5 3500 6/6 3,6 4,1 16 65 CCD + I/O ~$150

Base frequency Ryzen 9 3950X installed in the 3.5 GHz, slightly lower than other processors of the lineup, but the frequency in turbo mode can reach 4.7 GHz and this is the maximum autorange for any Ryzen third generation. The CPU should not go beyond the thermal pack 105 W, that is, to not be hungry and not hot the older model for Socket AM4, which was available until now.

However, to worry about the heat dissipation Ryzen 9 3950X no special reason. Any requirements on thermal and energy performance from AMD are easily implemented through the technology of Precision Boost 2.0, which sets Ryzen 9 3950X the same limits on consumption and currents that were previously installed for Ryzen 9 3900X or even Ryzen 7 3800X. The value of PPT (Power Package Tracking), limiting the actual consumption of the CPU installed in 142 W maximum current consumption for long loads TDC (Thermal Design Current) is limited to 95 a, And at short-term bursts allowed to increase to 140 And this limit lies in the constant EDC (Electrical Design Current). If in real terms the processor tries to go beyond these boundaries, its frequency is forcibly reduced, which determines the frequency formula in reality.

To assess what range can be frequency Ryzen 9 3950X in practice, we carried out a standard experiment – drove popular rendering test Cinebench R20 with different number of threads and recorded the frequency that was observed in each case. The result is the following relationship.

Unfortunately, in reality the frequency Ryzen 9 3950X don’t look so good as you would expect. First, the processor does not issue if a single-threaded load the promised specifications frequency 4.7 GHz. AMD has long struggled with this problem, but for a new 16-core option it POPs up again. Despite the fact that the test for ASRock X570 Taichi is already available BIOS based on the most rasposledny libraries AGESA B, the maximum measured frequency at single-threaded load in Cinebench R20 made up of 4.625 GHz, and the average is 4.6 GHz, that is 100 MHz lower than the declared value.

Second, increasing the number of active threads (and number of cores used), this frequency is quite sharply goes down. For example, when the load on the two cores it drops to 4,475 GHz, and four GHz to 4,325 already. It is obvious that AMD and its partners still have to spend some time to fix endemic problems with the turbo frequencies, but now with a new shestnadcatiletnie.

Also, it should be noted that full load in Cinebench R20 on all cores pushes the CPU frequency significantly below 4-gigagertsevogo strap. Thus Ryzen 9 3950X is the first representative of the family Ryzen third generation, which does not hold up to 4.0 GHz with activity of all cores. At our instance the CPU frequency was 3,875 GHz, while, for example, 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X when rendering in Cinebench R20 could work to 4.05 GHz. A reduction in the frequency occurs in this case due to the fact that Ryzen 9 3950X begins to abut against the prescribed limits on energy consumption. And, obviously, for more complex load than rendering, the situation could easily worsen. For example, in the stress test Prime95 29.8 c AVX instructions frequency Ryzen 9 3950X falls even below the nominal value – up to 3.3 GHz.

The underlying causes of the low frequency Ryzen 9 3950X in multi-threaded loads are about how AMD came to the selection of crystals for such processors. Unfortunately, high-quality crystals CCD, capable of operating at high frequency with moderate tension with moderate heat release are extremely rare. Therefore, in order to secure the release of Ryzen 9 3950X in any appreciable quantities, AMD decided to use the two types of fundamentally different quality of the CCD chipsetov. The principle is simple: the first crystal CCD is responsible for the high frequency in turbo mode, but maybe have large leakage currents and higher power consumption and heat. Second chiplet should offer good energy efficiency: it can not take the high frequencies but its efficiency should be definitely better than the first.

The viability of this scheme in the case of Ryzen 9 3950X is determined by what processors Ryzen third-generation heterogeneous not only physically but also logically. At the stage of production they are distributed priorities, and the task scheduler of the operating system always tries to load the job initially more pliable frequency of the kernel (in Windows 10 it is for example, from version May 2019 Update). As a result, AMD really manages to win, sharing tasks between chipsetati. In particular, the performance of the turbo mode is enough to guarantee only for the elite of successful nuclei from chiplet with good scalability in frequency. The rest of the kernels at a high frame rate never go out and are involved in the calculations only in multi-threaded workloads when processor frequency is much lower.

Says it all very simple to illustrate. The following table shows the maximum achievable cores of our instance Ryzen 9 3950X turbo frequency voltages that are requested by them for the functioning in this mode. These data were obtained in a single-thread test of Cinebench R20 when force direction of the load on different cores. Simultaneously with the observation of frequencies and voltages, we also measured power consumption and the running cores.

Here it is clearly seen that the first chiplet (CCD0) is selected in frequency, significantly outperforming the capabilities of scale-out performance the second chiplet (CCD1). So, the kernel of the first CCD chiplet can work at frequencies above 4,475 GHz, without any voltage over 1,466 V. Maximum frequency of the nuclei of the second chiplet 100-200 MHz worse, but despite this, to operate at maximum frequencies require higher voltages, which can reach 1,481 V. thus the characteristic feature of the second CCD lies in the fact that even at the highest possible rate of its nucleus under load consume less power due to smaller leakage currents.

Differences in the efficiency of CCD and crystals is seen at full CPU load. In this case, all cores operate at the same frequency and with the same voltage, but have different power consumption. Here’s how it looks when rendering in multithreaded Cinebench R20.

Our instance Ryzen 9 3950X consumption of the second chiplet was not much lowerthan the first, but the General principle is still clear: the first CCD-chiplet in the high-frequency processor, and the second is slower, but with reduced energy consumption.

To focus on a detailed analysis of the other characteristics Ryzen 9 3950X we won’t: they are exactly the same as Ryzen 9 3900X. So, the processor has a L3 cache capacity of 64 MB, which consists of four 16-megabyte parts, distributed over four CCX (Core Complex) and also offers 24 PCI Express 4.0, 16 of which are typically allocated on the graphics card, 4 – in NVMe drive and 4 – the connection with the chipset. Read more all this can be seen in the screenshot CPU-Z.

Although Ryzen 9 3950X – processor for conventional mass of the platform Socket AM4 in all your marketing materials AMD clearly indicates that competitors in the ecosystem LGA1151 had not. Mounted on Ryzen 9 3950X price is $749, opposes his proposals for HEDT platform LGA2066. In the official presentation of the new 16-core is called a competitor for the 12-core Core i9-9920X, which according to the official price list costs $1189. But you need to keep in mind that in a few weeks the market will be the Core X ten-thousandth of a series (Cascade Lake-X), the cost of which will be reduced. And soon against Ryzen 9 3950X will be no 12-core and 14-Core nuclear i9-10940X with a suggested price of $784.

As it happens with the performance, we will see, but should bear in mind that Ryzen 9 3950X unlike processors under LGA2066 works with dual channel and not Quad channel DDR4 memory, and also offers twice the PCI Express (but the fourth generation).

#Compatibility issues

Such dramatic changes that occurred this year with the AM4 Socket systems are mind-boggling. But it is doubly surprising that, doubling the number of cores in the older Ryzen series processors, AMD continues to maintain end-to-end compatibility within the entire ecosystem. In other words, the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X can work in Socket AM4-motherboards released this, the past and even the year before. However, with some reservations.

AMD itself recommends Ryzen 9 3950X motherboard, built on chipset X570, because they usually have more powerful power supply, but this is not essential. Required to work 16-core processor for Socket AM4-boards is just to use a recent firmware: correct and stable operation Ryzen 9 3950X is guaranteed only to those BIOS, which are collected at libraries AGESA B ( Patch B). For the most common models based on chipsets X570, X470 and B450, the necessary updates should be out before the end of this month, at least in beta versions. At the same time, these updates will again be retouched work of the turbo mode, the maximum practical frequency at which each update systematically closer to their nameplate values.

The second important point concerns the fact that Ryzen 9 3950X is the first representative of the family which will not come with a bundled cooler even in the boxed version. In the range from AMD is simply not found in standard versions of the cooling systems, which could provide a 16-core processor, a sufficient heat sink. Despite the progressive 7-nm chipley and soldered to the crystals heat-dissipating cover, Ryzen 9 3950X needs more efficient cooling than the senior cooler AMD Wraith PRISM. Therefore, AMD decided to shift the question of selection of the cooling system on the shoulders of the user, giving only vague recommendation that for Ryzen 9 3950X requires liquid cooling radiator sizes from 280 mm. in Fairness it should be noted that the very AMD for their marketing materials tested Ryzen 9 3950X air cooler Noctua NH-D15S. Therefore, it is hoped that productive supercooler for Ryzen 9 3950X also quite suitable.

But it must be borne in mind that the algorithm of automatic overclocking Precision when the Boost Override takes care of including a temperature mode of the processor. Therefore, more efficient cooling may be useful for Ryzen 9 3950X the best result.


Because Ryzen 9 3950X made from two versatile CCD capleton, one of which is not at all about high frequency, overclock the processor a selection of a single fixed frequency for all cores – the idea is strange and, most likely, doomed to failure. However, for the sake of curiosity, we still decided to see how high you can raise the frequency of that CPU, if you act in the forehead.

The best processor family Ryzen 3000 tested in our laboratory, were dispersed simultaneously on all cores to 4.3 GHz. Shestnadtsatiyaderny Ryzen 9 3950X this record was not broken for at least two reasons. First, due to high heat dissipation. Three nearby semiconductor crystal will always be heated stronger of the two, and therefore, despite the use of the test environment, the productive liquid cooling system NZXT Kraken X72, high temperatures became a serious obstacle. Secondly, we should not forget about the second CCD-ciple, which Ryzen 9 3950X selected with a view to lower dissipation, which in some cases is converted into a considerably worse frequency potential.

Ultimately, the maximum frequency at which it was able to work steadily Ryzen 9 3950X under high load on all cores, was at 4.1 GHz. At a supply voltage of 1.2 V the CPU is held on this frequency hour test in Prime95 29.8 c active AVX2 instructions.

It should be noted that approximately the same results were obtained when overclocking Ryzen 9 3900X, from which we can conclude that trickipedia processors do not tolerate the simultaneous rise in the frequency of all cores at once. Indeed, the final frequency the simplest approach to overclocking is much lower than the maximum frequency in turbo mode, giving a clear hint that no need to do so.

The correct method is the use of a Precision Boost Overdrive function, which allows you to remove all the inherent limitations on CPU consumption and its supply currents. In this case, left to itself, the CPU alone will reach those milestones, which will be determined by the quality of its silicon chip and the capacity of the applied cooling system. A huge advantage to overclocking through Precision Boost Overdrive is that this function leaves active opportunistic algorithms-locked loop, and the CPU stores the variability of the frequency depending on the load. And therefore the CPU frequency at low load after the dispersal will be at least no worse than in the nominal mode.

However, when you enable Precision Boost Overdrive test Ryzen 9 3950X proved himself as a typical representative of the series. AMD itself almost to the limit dispersed a 16-core, leaving for experiments users quite a bit of space. Under single-threaded load in Cinebench R20 CPU increased the frequency of only 25 MHz to 4.65 GHz.

But in a multithreaded load frequency Ryzen 9 3950X enabled Precision Boost Overdrive increased by 125 MHz to 4.0 GHz.

Of course, the meaningfulness of such a crackdown raises serious doubts: in the best case, it can raise performance by 1-3 %. But this result is not yet final. We must not forget that while Ryzen 9 3950X does not develop the required frequencies even in the nominal mode, so as soon as AMD and partners will make changes in the motherboard BIOS, the effectiveness of Precision Boost Overdrive can also rise.


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PC / Laptop

Overview motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II: third edition, revised and augmented

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At the end of last year, Intel updated the lineup of its Core-X, aimed at high-performance desktops class HEDT. The proposals of the family Cascade Lake-X is not struck the imagination of the improved performance, but only slightly increased operating frequencies and received support for further instructions AVX512VNNI. Moreover, they proved to be compatible with older motherboards that created a unique precedent in the history of Intel: socket LGA2066 now suitable for three successive generations of processors, and continues to be relevant for the fourth consecutive year. However, this does not mean that any updates to the platform with the release of new CPU did not happen.

The fact that there is a caveat. The new Core-X-design Cascade Lake-X received the support of a greater number of lines PCI Express. While their predecessors had in the best case, 44 lines, any Core-X ten-thousandth of a series already support 48 lines PCI Express 3.0. And to these additional lines before you can use the motherboard design needs to be slightly modified. In other words, despite the fact that Cascade Lake-X is able without any problems to operate in the old LGA2066 cards, fully all their possibilities can be opened only in a new, specially made with an eye on these processors.

Although Intel did not accompany the appearance of Cascade Lake X with the release of a new chipset and offers to continue to use the old X299 chipset, motherboard manufacturers have decided not to miss the chance and most of them presented an updated modification of the old platforms, converted specifically for Cascade Lake-X. These boards, of course, kept compatibility with old processors Skylake-X, but when you install them chips of the new generation got the opportunity to offer the user a slightly better performance. Today we look at one of the X299-mainboard new wave – ASUS ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming, which can be considered the third re-release of the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, revised and expanded.

Why third when the name of the novelty is a Roman numeral “two”, you ask? The fact is that between ROG Strix X299-E Gaming and ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II there is another, “intermediate” fee ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming, with improved cooling system power scheme, which was released almost immediately after the first version, under public pressure, found that the initial fee was prone to overheating. As for the new ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming, the ASUS engineers did not just take into account all the shortcomings of the antagonist in the past, and have tried to improve the original design and high quality, as close your project to the ideal.

However, a little discouraging recommended price ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming, which is set at $499. But do not immediately dismiss this option, based on what to buy for Cascade Lake-X motherboard, for the price which can be purchased, for example, 10-core Intel Core i9-10900X, makes no sense. In fact it is not so scary, and real retail price of the ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming over the last few weeks has fallen dramatically. So now this Board is already turning out to be quite an interesting option to build a new LGA2066 system. And when it seems – need to test.


How would accompanying the release of processors Cascade Lake-X, ASUS has prepared two new ROG series motherboards: maximum heaped ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore and pay easier – considering today ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II. However, “easier” in this case is a very relative definition, because the features of this motherboard will suit almost any enthusiast. It has three PCIe x16 slots; three slots M. 2; two wired NICs, one of which is a 2.5 GB; supports wireless Wi-Fi network 6 and can boast more than a sufficient number of USB and SATA ports. In other words, we are talking about a feature-rich platform, which is justly attributed to the solutions for LGA2066 processors at the senior level.

However, in fairness it should be noted that, if you pay attention to the other boards in the same price category, some of them can be found on the single PCIe x16 slot more other – 5 Gigabit network controller, and the third – fangled USB ports 3.2 Gen2x2 with throughput up to 20 Gbit/s. All this on a ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II no, but it boasts four USB ports 3.2 Gen 2 on the back panel, which motherboards by other manufacturers, as a rule, half.

Get acquainted with the characteristics of the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II in the following table.

ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II
Supported processors LGA2066 Core processors to X series 7000, 9000 and 10000
Chipset Intel X299
Memory subsystem 8 × DDR4, up to 256 GB, up to DDR4-4266, four channel
Expansion slots 2 × PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode x16)
1 × PCI Express 3.0 x16 mode (x8/x4)
1 × PCI Express 3.0 x4
1 × PCI Express 3.0 x1
The storage interface 8 × SATA 6GB/s
2 × M. 2 (PCI-E 3.0 x4 devices format 2242/2260/2280/22110)
1 × M. 2 (PCI-E 3.0 x4/SATA devices format 2242/2260/2280/22110)
USB ports 3 × USB 3.2 Gen2 on the rear panel
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C on the rear panel
1 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C internal connector
2 × USB 3.2 Gen1 on the rear panel
4 × USB Gen1 3.2 internal connectors
4 × USB 2.0 rear panel
4 × USB 2.0 internal connectors
Network controllers 1 × Intel I219V (Ethernet 1 Gbps)
1 × Realtek RTL8125-CG (Ethernet 2.5 Gbit/s)
1 × Intel Dual Band Wireless AX200NGW/CNVi (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4/5 GHz) + Bluetooth 5.0)
Audio 1 × SupremeFX S1220A (7.1)
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × USB Gen2 3.2 (Type-C)
3 × 3.2 Gen2 USB (Type-A)
2 × USB 3.2 Gen1
4 × USB 2.0
2 × RJ-45
5 x audio jacks are of type minijack
1 × S/PDIF (optical output)
2 × antenna connectors
button FlashBack Button
Form factor ATX (305 × 244 mm)
Price $499 (recommended)

The difference with the first version of your ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming clearly visible even in the specifications. The newest version of the Board diminished one PCIe x4, but added a third M. 2 slot and a second a 2.5 Gigabit LAN and two additional USB port 3.2 Gen2. And I must say, this is not all. Already on the image Board it is clear that in the latest version, we now use a more advanced cooling system and a more powerful power system to which it has become possible to connect directly two 8-pin power cable. All the details we’ll talk about that later.

#Packaging equipment

ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II comes in a relatively small box, clearly disproportionate to the value of this Board. However, as it will be easier to carry from the store.

The packaging has a striking black and red design. The front side is given over to large photo of the motherboard, and on the reverse is a more detailed information about the characteristics. We always pay attention to what the technology marketing Department of the manufacturer has decided to highlight the box themselves, and in the case of ROG Strix X299-E Gaming is II: support 2.5-Gigabit network and WiFi 6, three M. 2 slot is for installing drives, branded diagnostic OLED screen LiveDash and connectors for addressable led strips of the second generation.


The supplied ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming imagination is not amazing, although it is unlikely someone will guess to call him a miser. To the Board included:

  • the mounting for the M. 2 drive in the vertical slot;
  • four SATA cable;
  • two screws to install the M. 2 drives;
  • Wi-Fi antenna;
  • extension cable for connecting led strips with a length of 80 cm;
  • extension cable to connect addressable led strips;
  • external temperature sensor;
  • ASUS Q-Connector to connect the case buttons and indicators;
  • a set of cable ties;
  • DVD with drivers and software;
  • stickers and printing products.

It should be noted that the necessary drivers and software to motherboard ASUS continues to put on a DVD-ROM, which frankly, in modern conditions seems somehow anachronistic. However, if your system will be optical device to come to the aid of technology Armoury Crate which allows you to automatically download and install software over the Internet. It works in Windows 8 and 10 using the function of the Windows Platform Binary Table that performs automatic backup of UEFI and the startup after loading a pre-trained manufacturer service utilities.

#Design and capabilities

During the existence of the platform LGA2066 we posted about it countless articles. Therefore, to discuss in detail all possible model ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II, we will not — focus only on unique and characteristic traits, which, as it turned out, she had a lot. And to start here is directly from the CPU rasheem because, as it turns out, the new ASUS with a full range LGA2066 CPUs are not compatible. A list of suitable models for it includes CPU Core X seven thousandth, thousandth and ten-thousandth of a series design Allows Cascade Lake X or-X, but for some reason does not include Quad-core processors Kaby Lake-X (Core i7-7740X and Core i5-7640X). However, it is unlikely it will bring great inconvenience: Kaby Lake-X is a rare beast, though from sale until it finally disappeared.

The second feature of the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II relates to the memory subsystem. Like other LGA2066-motherboard, it supports Quad channel DDR4 SDRAM, but for her, including the declared support for modules with capacity up to 32 GB. In the compatibility list lists several proven ASUS variants, in particular, fit 32-GB strap Corsair, Crucial, Micron or SK Hynix, which are based on chips production SK Hynix or Micron.

But register memory to your ASUS ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming does not work, although their application to certain boards based on X299, perhaps. It proved the engineers at ASRock, which recently added support for RDIMM in your motherboard X299 Taichi CLX.

The new processors Cascade Lake-X received 48 lines PCI Express 3.0, and it is with an eye on these processors, created a draft of ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II. In this card on the processor lines of PCI Express “hang” three PCIe x16 slot operating in modes x16, x16 and x8, and two of the three M. 2 sockets – those located on the Board flat and closed “wings” of the chipset. They only support NVMe drives, and each of them is four lines PCI Express 3.0. In this scheme of distribution lines there is no variation, everything works exactly as described above with any combination of installed cost of expansion cards and drives.

However, if the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II will be installed the processor Skylake-generation-X with 44 lines of PCI Express, the third PCIe x16 slot will switch from the logical mode x8 in x4. In the case of installation in processor Board with 28 lines (which is a Core i7-7820X or Core i7-7800X) in mode x8 switch and the second PCIe x16 slot and the CPU will turn off the M. 2 slots.

All three of the PCIe x16 slots have a mechanical reinforcement and separated so that they could install an expansion card with a massive cooling systems.

The remaining two PCIe x4 and PCIe x1 are operating from the chipset, and the small slot shares resources with the USB connector 3.2 Gen2 to the front panel. However, the probable loss of the PCIe x1 is unlikely to upset someone because he still is under the first PCIe x16 slot will be blocked by the graphics card.

The chipset provides eight SATA connectors placed along the left edge of the Board, and the third M. 2 slot, which is to talk separately. First, this is the only M. 2 socket on the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming, which is able to take the SATA drives in that format. Second, it is located in a rather unusual place – in front of the DIMM slots. So drives are installed in it vertically, and for their reliable fastening ASUS has included a special metal frame. Frankly, we like the idea of a vertical M. 2, because in this case the drive is easy to organize a good cooling. However, sometimes you have to meet the complaint that a vertically mounted drive mixes with cooling the memory.

Amid LGA2066-plat of past generations of ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II stands out not only by the presence of three M. 2 slots, but the increased number of USB ports. It is taken from the chipset, six 5-Gigabit ports USB 3.2 Gen 1 the developers added five more 10-Gigabit ports USB Gen 2 3.2. Four high-speed port is displayed behind the Board, and one is made in the form of internal connector and designed for connection to a connector on the front panel. In order to accommodate this amount of USB ports 3.2 Gen 2 on Board took place three additional chip ASMedia ASM3142.

With USB ports connected and one more funny solution. ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II has in its Arsenal as many as eight USB 2.0 ports, and four port not working directly from the chipset, and via MTT hub GL852G. Someone might need such a number of USB 2.0 ports is unclear. Last version of the Board Strix X299-E Gaming ports of this type was less than half.

But the main difference between ASUS ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming from the last version, with almost the same name, but without a Roman numeral two at the end, is how now made your meal plan. Last charge was eight-channel Converter processor power, now, allegedly used a 12-channel scheme, at least according to the description on the manufacturer’s website.

But to be honest, the power to consider the Board – on the basis of the six-phase PWM controller ASP1905. But each phase is assembled from pairs zaparoleny power stage Infineon IR3555M and inductances that allows you to shoot with a six-phase scheme, the currents, reaching 720 But without taking into account food processor SoC, which laid its own seventh 60-amp channel. In other words, to work with a voracious processors ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II prepared well, but the overall design of the Converter power still raises questions because of the small number of “honest” phases.

Emphasizing the fact that ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II can cope with arbitrarily powerful processors, ASUS installed on it from two 8-pin power connector, and CPU VRM placed on a pretty massive cooling system with a heat pipe and a 40 mm fan.

But no matter how impressive these radiators may look in the photo, actually nothing special in that no cooling besides that it is generally adequate for this application. That is, even when overclocking Core i9-10980XE to 4.5 GHz and under high load in Prime95 the power supply circuit does not overheat. Although its maximum temperature and reached 100 degrees, when the fan accelerates to maximum speed, overheating or throttle we have not seen.

The main working part of the system cooling the VRM is a small aluminum heatsink plate on the center of the aluminum block adjacent to the power elements through the pads. The heat pipe here is only for the more uniform distribution of heat, because the second aluminum block placed on her, hardly performs any function at all. On the Board under it are USB controllers that do not have a high dissipation, and its upper portion fully closes the plastic cover of the rear, preventing any convection. In General, why this second bar is a mystery.

It turns out that the efficiency of the cooling system is greatly facilitated by a fan, which is why it is covered from top with decorative mesh. And that’s why we suggest from this mesh right to get rid – so and the noise will be less, and temperature will be lower. Especially if to take into account the fact that with increasing temperature the VRM fan is able to accelerate up to 6000 rpm.

In practice, to assemble a system on your ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II conveniently enough, the cards are well thought out, which is hardly surprising as it is an updated version of another popular motherboard. It without problems will be any massive cooler, including the air, not a MSI Creator X299, where the developers put too little space between the first PCIe slot and CPU socket.

But it is worth considering that for those who love experiments in the open stand, ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming may not offer an exhaustive set of controls. The Board has only the power button, a set of diagnostic LEDs and POST controller. Even reset the BIOS settings is available on the old – fashioned way with jumper.

But considering the fee is not deprived of the opportunity to update the firmware (no need to start the system), allows you to connect an external temperature sensor and is able to manage a sufficient number of fans. In addition to the connectors for the two CPU fans and the fan VRM, the PCB has two connectors for the pumps (without the possibility of adjustment speed) and three connectors for case fans (with the possibility of fine adjustment of rotation speeds depending on the temperature).

Much attention is paid to the illumination. Although ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II and intended for the construction of the mighty HEDT platforms, it still relates to gaming series motherboard. However, the Board itself no special RGB-extravaganza no. Only a small illuminated acrylic panel cover the rear panel.

But the possibilities might be notklaatu whole bunch of led strips. In store for them, two sockets for a conventional three-meter RGB 5050 strips standard and two slots for addressable WS2812B strips standard with the maximum number of LEDs for 120 pieces. All lights on the Board works under the guidance of the corporate AURA and 52UA0 microcontroller 32-bit ARM processor STM32F 072CBU6. The user also seems to set all this sparkling ensemble with a special app ASUS Sync Aura.

In addition, on the Board between the CPU socket and the first PCIe x16 slot there is a small monochrome OLED display LiveDash, which can also be used in information and decoration purposes.

To control the contents of this display from ASUS provides a special utility, but by default it displays POST codes during system startup and the CPU temperature – when it is working.

In the rest of the equipment ASUS ROG Strix X299-E II Gaming is quite typical for the modern boards are high enough level. For integrated sound codec Realtek ALC1220 (according to tradition renamed S1220A), which this time works without the support of additional high quality DAC, but accompanied by two operational amplifiers which are capable to pump high-impedance headphones.

Network connections can be implemented in three ways: through wireless controller Intel wifi 6 AX200 2×2 802.11 ax or by wire through a 2.5 Gigabit controller Realtek RTL8125 or Hibiny Intel WGI219V.

Given all the above, the contents of the back of the PCB you might not be surprised.

There are four USB 2.0 ports; two USB 3.2 Gen 1; four USB ports 3.2 Gen 2, one of which has an execution of Type-C; two network RJ-45 connector; connectors for wifi antennas; five analog audio jacks; SPDIF output and the BIOS FlashBack button for offline firmware updates.


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