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Motherboard MSI Creator X299: and creating, and playing, and dispersing

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The new HEDT processors Intel core Cascade Lake-X and a dramatic decline in the rates has launched a major update motherboard connector LGA2066. No, of course, the old (or should I say “existing”) of the Board working successfully with the new Intel Core i9-10xxx, which is enough to update the BIOS. However, due to the markedly increased level of energy consumption (not stated in the specs, but real) to such boards now increased demands on nutrition and providing cooling. Even the Board is not averse to earn some money on the new models, which are often endowed with new possibilities.

The first one of these models was presented by MSI, without any hesitation calling it the Creator X299. It has much in common with the previously released pay – MEG Creator X299, which is an obvious gaming orientation and much more expensive. In turn, the Creator X299 designed for high-performance workstations with cards the Thunderbolt and M. 2 M3 Xpander-Aero. Let’s look at the new details.

#Specifications and cost

Supported processors Intel Core X in the performance LGA2066 (10000/9000/78xx);
support Turbo Boost technology 3.0 Max
Chipset Intel Express X299
Memory subsystem 8 x DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 256 GB;
Quad channel memory mode;
support modules with frequency of 4266(O. C.)/4133(O. C.)/4000(O. C.)/3866(O. C.)/3800(O. C.)/
3733(O. C.)/3666(O. C.)/3600(O. C.)/3466(O. C.)/3400(O. C.)/3333(O. C.)/3300(O. C.)/3200(O. C.)/
3000(O. C.)/2933/2800/2666/2400/2133 MHz;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
GUI Missing
Connectors for expansion boards 4 slot PCI Express x16 3.0, modes x8/x8/x16/x8 and x16/x0/x16/x8 processor with 48 PCI-E; x8/x8/x16/x8 and x16/x0/x16/x8 with the processor 44 with PCI-E; x8/x8/x8/x0 and x16/x0/x8/x0 with a CPU with 28 PCI-E
The scalability of the video NVIDIA 4-way SLI Technology;
AMD 4-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel X Express 299 :
– 8 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s;
– support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Start, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug;
– 1 × M. 2, bandwidth up to 32 Gbps (supports SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm);
– support Intel Optane Memory.
– 1 × U. 2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe storage.
Intel Core i 9:
– 2 × M. 2, bandwidth of each up to 32 GB/s (both support only PCI Express memory length from 42 to 110 mm)
2 Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel I219-V (10/100/1000 Mbps) and Aquantia AQC107 (10 Gbps);
wireless controller Intel wifi 6 AX200 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax: frequency range 2.4 GHz and 5GHz, support Bluetooth 5, wireless communication standard 11ac (160 MHz range, a bandwidth of up to 2.4 GB/s)
Audio Shielded 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1220;
audio capacitors Chemicon (9 PCs.);
technology support 3 in speed and performance;
left and right channels are separated in different layers of the PCB;
isolated from PCB sound card
USB interface Intel X Express 299:
– 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 4 port USB 3.2 Gen1 (connect to the connectors on the system Board).
Controller ASMedia ASM3242:
– 1 USB port 3.2 Gen2x2 20G (Type-C rear panel).
Controller ASMedia ASM3142:
– 1 USB port Gen2 3.2 (Type-C, is connected to the connector on the system Board).
The controller ASMedia ASM1074:
– 7 ports USB 3.2 Gen1 (all on rear panel)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel The button Clear CMOS and Flash BIOS;
two gold plated connector for the antenna of the wireless communication module (2T2R);
the PS/2 port and two USB 2.0 ports;
4 port USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A);
USB port 3.2 Gen2x2 20G (Type-C), USB port 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A) and LAN-socket RJ-45;
2 port USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A) and LAN-socket RJ-45;
optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm gold-plated audio connectors
Internal connectors on the PCB 24-pin ATX power connector;
3 × 8-pin power connector ATX 12 V;
4-pin power connector ATX 12 V;
8 × SATA 3;
3 × M. 2 port.
port U. 2;
2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting 4 ports;
2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 to connect 4 ports;
USB connector 3.2 Gen2 to connect port, Type-C;
4-pin connector for CPU fan;
4-pin connector for pumps DLC;
6 × 4-pin connectors for case fans with PWM support;
connector Water Flow;
a group of connectors for the front panel;
TPM connector;
connector Chassis Intrusion;
2 connectors for temperature sensors;
the Thunderbolt connector;
connector Virtual RAID on the CPU;
audio connector for front panel
BIOS 2 × 128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.1;
support SM BIOS 2.8
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6797D-M
Form factor, dimensions (mm) E-ATX, 305 × 272
Operating system support Windows 10 x64
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
Minimum retail value for you! 36 000

#Packaging equipment

MSI Creator X299 comes in a dazzling white box vertical orientation. On top of the box there is a plastic handle, which always comes handy, since the model is quite heavy.

The reverse side of the package is not overloaded with information, but everything you need is on it, including the list of interfaces.

The complete set is very rich and corresponds to the status of the product. In additional box is divided into compartments, contains numerous cables, the antenna of the wireless communication module 2T2R WLAN and a flash drive with drivers and software. Complement this set of detailed and brief instructions, stickers for your SATA cables as well as various bonus coupons.


But that’s not all. The main difference between MSI Creator X299 from other models on an Intel X299 Express are two cards in the set. The first – to-Board M. 2 Xpander-Aero, looks like the graphics card is entry level. It can be set from four drives of format M. 2 up to 110 mm, using only one connector PCI Express x16. Obviously, what drives this Board will be perfectly cool, and support for PCIe 4.0 x16 can be useful for the future.


The second expansion card – Thunderbolt M3 (PCIe 3.0 x4) support high speed interface of the same name. It is equipped with two ports USB 3.1 Gen2 and two video outputs DisplayPort 1.4.

The motherboard is manufactured in China and provides a three year warranty. Its cost in Russia starts with a mark of 36 thousand rubles – it is a typical price for motherboards of this level.

#Design and features

The design of MSI Creator X299 can be called calm. On the Board there is no bright inserts and some highly eye-catching components. It is all done in dark tones, including radiators and shrouds that is true, because the product is not gaming or youth and professional level with the corresponding cost.


And yet, on the PCB there were two places in order to slightly dilute the seriousness of the deliberate design of the Board: panels of mirror, plastic, made on the housing interface Board and the chipset.


Both of these area boards are equipped with led backlight. Add that to MSI Creator X299 made in the form factor E-ATX and has dimensions of 305 × 272 mm.

Traditionally, before a detailed analysis of all components of the Board will present its scheme of instruction manual.

Plate interface panel privernuty to the casing of the motherboard. And there literally is no space, so closely placed exits and connectors. However, it should be on the motherboard level MSI Creator X299.

So, it contains two buttons firmware BIOS and clearing the CMOS, two gold-plated connector antenna wireless module, combined PS/2 port, ten USB ports, two network sockets RJ-45, optical, and five gold-plated audio jacks.

In terms of disassembly fee is difficult because of attachment to her radiators and casings involved about 30 different screws. Pure MSI Creator X299 pleasing to the eye ideality soldering and density of the layout.

On the Board with a standard connector LGA2066 category which was developed by Foxconn and is compatible with any Intel Core microarchitecture, manufactured in this design.

Supports all Intel CPUs Sky Lake-Cascade Lake X or-X: Core i7-7800 to thunderstorm power supply Core i9-10980XE. The full list can be find by clicking the link.

In the power supply system of the processor involved in 13 phases: twelve ISL99360 (90 A) the given processor core and one TDA21472 (70 A) OptiMOS Powerstage for Uncore. Doublers on the PCB is not detected. Circuit used titanium chokes of the second generation with improved 30% efficiency.


Over the food placed as many as three eight-pin power connector, and the left – controller with marking Nova-1 QL3 BN4, recognize which failed. There is a suspicion that this is one of the Infineon controllers remarked.

In addition to three eight-pin connectors on the Board are soldered standard 24-pin connector and the additional connector PATA-the type that you want to connect when set to charge three or four graphics cards.


All eight DIMM slots for RAM standard DDR4 on an MSI Creator X299 have a metallic sheath of Steel Armor and extra soldering points on the back side of the PCB.

The total cost, it is possible to install 256GB of memory in eight modules, and if we talk about the maximum frequency, the application support modules with frequency of 4266 MHz, which now is no longer something extraordinary, but the effect on buyers will still produce. Of course, there is XMP support and an extensive list of officially qualified for this card modules.

For each of the four modules uses a dual-channel system power supply and a separate controller the Infineon IR35204.


Chipset Intel Express X299 (22 nm/6 W) is in contact with the radiator via a fabric pad impregnated with, the remains of which can be seen in the crystal after removal from the radiator.

It’s current flagship chipset Intel, although released two-and-a-half years ago. The recommended price is $ 74 US, it is not surprising that the price of a decent motherboard on this chipset is rarely below $ 300.

The MSI Creator X299 four full-size PCI Express 3.0, clad in Steel Armor sheath. Thus according to the soldering on the back side of the PCB is easy to determine that only the first and third can work at full x16 modes, and the lot of the second and the fourth is only x8.


This was confirmed by the specs of the Board, and more about the operation modes of the PCI Express slots for different processors and storage in ports, M. 2 says the following scheme.

Everything seems great (especially for processors with 48 lines PCI Express), but if you on-Board MSI Creator X299 will use the overall cooling system, it is next to the CPU socket slot will be blocked radiator (tested with supernumerary Noctua and Phanteks).

When using one graphics card it has no effect, because it can always be installed in the third slot, but a couple of graphics cards on this motherboard can be installed, only if your CPU waterblock, not supercooler.

Go on. Eight on-Board free chipset SATA ports 3 disposed in a horizontal orientation, and one port U. 2 (PCIe 3.0 x4). The last and previously was little demand, and now, in the era of high-speed and regularly falling SSD, it lost its relevance. But MSI apparently decided that a flagship Board should be all existing interfaces for drives.

In addition to the SATA on the Board has three port M. 2 with a capacity of up to 32 GB/s. the Upper is connected to the chipset and supports both SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm.

Middle and lower are connected to the CPU and only supports PCI Express drives the same length. Over all ports of the installed plate-the implementation with the spacers.

In total, nineteen MSI Creator X299 USB ports. On the interface panel has 10 USB ports, including two USB 2.0 free chipset, seven USB 3.2 Gen1 (via ASMedia ASM1074) and one high-speed USB Gen2х2 3.2 Type-C implemented by the controller ASMedia ASM3242 and having bandwidth up to 20 GB/s.

Internal ports is represented by four ipsecname USB 2.0, four USB 3.2 Gen1 and one Gen2 3.2 USB Type-C (using ASMedia ASM3142) for the front panel of the system unit.

And let’s not forget about the additional ports on the expansion card Thunderbolt 3, which we told above.

On Board two wired network controller. First implemented by Intel I219-V c technology cFosSpeed.

The second is a high speed controller Aquantia AQC107 with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps.

The MSI Creator X299 there’s a wireless controller Intel wifi 6 AX200 supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax and Bluetooth 5, which can operate in frequency bands 2.4 and 5 GHz (160 MHz) with a bandwidth up to 2.4 Gbps and support for multi-interface MIMO (MU-MIMO).

The main audio chip on the Board is 7.1 channel HD audio Realtek ALC1220P.

Next soldered the Japanese Chemicon capacitors and gold-plated needle connector internal audio connector.

Additional optimizations of the audio path select breeding left and right channels in different layers of the PCB and the isolation of all audio components from the rest of the elements on the PCB is non-conductive strips. Declared support technology surround 3 in speed and performance.

For the functions of the Super I/O and monitoring on the Board is provided by controller Nuvoton NCT6797D-M.

Facilities include 8 fans with the regulation voltage or PWM. Each fan is individually adjusted in the BIOS or in the app.

Besides them, the MSI Creator X299 there is a connector to the flow velocity of fluid in the DLC, seven internal temperature sensor and one connector for external. The set is more than sufficient for any task.

Dual BIOS on the Board, with the support of the technology of automatic image restore the main chip from the backup. In addition, through a separate USB 2.0 port, you can update the BIOS without installing a CPU and RAM.

Despite not overclocking the positioning of the MSI Creator X299, the Board has not only led Boot/VGA/DRAM/CPU, but the indicator POST-codes, as well as the switch of operating modes of the CPU OC GENIE 4 Knob.

He has eleven pieces, each of which for a particular model of processor sets its frequency. The line switch and frequencies for each processor model is given in the table.

The backlight on the motherboard installed in the upper part of the casing of the interface panel and over the chipset heatsink. In addition, there are three connectors for the led strips, and control of the lighting system Mystic Light Infinity is possible through the same application, which is available to 26 different modes.

Lighting really looks nice and, most importantly, unobtrusive. The two connectors of the backlight located on the bottom edge of the PCB Board where they are combined with the power connectors, USB 2.0 connectors for fans.

The cooling system motherboard has no complaints. On the chipset is placed a massive radiator, which are connected to three plate heat spreader M. 2 drives.

The radiator circuit VRM processor power is relatively compact, but it is connected to 6-mm heat pipe with a massive radiator mounted behind interface panel.

The radiator has multiple fins and is further cooled by airflow from the CPU cooler. It does its job 100%, since temperatures above 65 degrees on the VRM circuits during the tests we recorded.


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PC / Laptop

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

Promo code not required. The deal applies to a specific group of goods. The deal is available for all customers of the e-store. The deal is available without amount restrictions

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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