14 Jun, 2016   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews .  ASUS X99 AII Motherboard Review

After the ASUS ROG STIX X99 Gaming Motherboard review we are here again with a new ASUS motherboard the ASUS X99-AII a top mid-range motherboard which not only has just the same excellent capabilities as the STIX X99 Gaming Motherboard, but also have a great price associated with it. Based on the Intel LGA2011-v3 socket and supporting the Intel high-end Broadwell-E processors the ASUS X99 AII Motherboard offers great feature like ASUS Aura RBG LED support, SafeSlot a reinvented, strengthened PCI-e slot, a USB 3.1 Type-C onboard and more.

Now let’s see what ASUS X99-AII board have for us.

Features

  • ASUS Aura – Features controllable RGB onboard lighting and 4-pin stripe header that can be synced with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura-capable ASUS hardware.
  • SafeSlot – Reinvented, strengthened PCIe slot utilizes a new insert-molding process to bind the slot to fortifying metal for superior retention and shearing resistance.
  • 5-Way Optimization: Fan Xpert 4 – Elevates customized cooling to new heights, with the ability to detect PWM/DC fans on all headers, utilize high-amperage fans and control water-cooling pumps in software and UEFI.
  • 5-Way Optimization: Turbo Core – Employs Intel’s latest per-core overclocking, allowing you to assign applications to specific processor cores for optimum application performance.
  • Next-gen connectivity – Great flexibility with onboard U.2 / M.2 slots that tap into 32Gbps of PCIe bandwidth and USB 3.1 Type-C.
  • Better Protection from Overcurrent - The extra 4-pin power plug shares current with the standard 8-pin power connector to balance loads and provide ample margin to overclock Intel's latest CPUs to the limit.

    Unique Cache Bus Voltage Adjustment - The cache bus links areas such as CPU cores, DDR4 memory controllers, system agent and the shared L3 cache — so it’s a critical interconnect for the whole CPU subsystem. A higher cache-bus frequency directly accelerates subsystem performance, so ASUS OC Socket exclusively provides an adjustable cache-bus voltage to reach higher cache bus frequencies.

    Make your memory go faster - Drive your memory frequencies to 3333MHz and beyond! ASUS-exclusive T-Topology circuit design plus OC Socket provides a superb memory-overclocking capability to unleash the full power of DDR4 by minimizing coupling noise and signal reflection. With innovative equidistant memory channels, it delivers the most balanced control and powerful overclocking compatibility. ASUS works with almost every DDR4 memory vendor to ensure the best compatibility.

    One click overclock and cooling, done! - One click takes care of all that complex tuning. Your PC is smart with ASUS 5-Way Optimization. It dynamically optimizes essential aspects of your system based on real-time use — so you get superb CPU performance, everyday energy savings, ultra-stable digital power, cool and quiet fans and now even networking and audio settings that are tailored for the apps that you are using. In short, 5-Way Optimization ensures that your PC is perfect for gaming, entertainment, productivity or just about anything else!

    Flexible cooling controls for air and liquid –The latest ASUS X99 motherboards feature the most advanced cooling capability to date, controllable from both Fan Xpert 4 and UEFI.

    AURA Lighting Control – A well-tuned enthusiast system deserves a matching aesthetic. ASUS Aura offers full RGB control with a variety of functional presets for both built-in RGB LEDs, as well as LED strips connected to the onboard 4-pin RGB headers, all of which can be synced with an ever-growing portfolio of Aura-capable ASUS hardware.

    Patent-pending SafeSlot - Protect Your Graphics Card Investment – SafeSlot is the PCIe slot reinvented by ASUS and engineered to provide superior retention and shearing resistance. Manufactured in a single step using a new insert-molding process integrates the slot with the fortifying metal for an inherently stronger slot, which is then firmly anchored to the PCB through additional solder points.

    Multi-GPU support – With support for both NVIDIA® SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™ 2/3-WAY configurations, the X99 motherboard enables multi-GPU setups so you can harness the full power of the latest graphics technologies to drive games at 4K and beyond.

    Crystal Sound 3 - Flawless audio that makes you part of the game.

    Turbo LAN -Network-optimization software for customizable packet prioritization - Turbo LAN with cFosSpeed traffic-shaping technology adds even more lag-reducing support and intuitive user interface. It allows you to lower lag with no expert knowledge — by up to 1.45X! If you're a tweaker, use Advanced Mode for hardcore controls.

    Specifications

    Package

    Board comes in a nice black cardboard box with model number, image of the board and details about supporting technology and features.

    Inside the box

    ASUS X99-AII comes with very nice set of accessories

    Looks

    Board made with a black PCB of size ATX (30.5 X 24.4 cm). A white piano key colour plastic shield covers the back I/O connectors and audio section. Same while colour metal sheets covers the heatsinks giving whole board a rich white and black theme.

    Layout

    Detailed layout of board.

    1. ASUS custom LGA 2011-V3 socket (OC Socket)

    2. ASUS X99 AII is equipped with eight DIMM DDR4 memory slots supporting Max. 128GB, DDR4 3333(O.C.)/3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2133 MHz Memory

    3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)

    4. ATX CPU Power Connector 8-pin and 4-pin ATX12V_2x4.

    5. Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s), 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s), 2 x USB 3.1 ()Type-A + Type-C, 4 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 5 x Audio jack(s)

    6. 7. 10.1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), 4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 x 4 -pin)

    8.MemOK! Button when pressed automatically pick up the necessary parameters of the memory for a successful system boot.

    9. 17. 2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)

    11. 1 x U.2 port, 1 x SATA Express connector: , Compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports, 8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)

    12. Expansion Slots 40-Lane CPU- 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or x16/x16, x8/x16/x8). 28-Lane CPU - 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16/x8, x8/x8/x8), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode) , 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 (x1 mode)

    13. Front panel Audio connector, SPDIF out port and COM Port

    14. Power-on button, Reset button, Q-Code display and Chassis Intrusion connector(s)

    15. Aura RGB Strip Header

    16. 14-1 pin TPM connector

    18. USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)

    19. System Front panel(s) (Q-Connector)

    20. EZ XMP switch, 1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector, 1 x Thermal sensor connector(s), 1 x Thunderbolt header(s)

    Removing Heat-sinks

    Heatsinks are made up of dense aluminum with thermal pad installed, giving great passive cooling to VRM MOSFETs and x99 chipset.

    Component Layout

    Let’s now see what all components ASUS have planned for this board.

    1. 2. Digital 8-phase CPU Power VRM Section controlled with ASP1257 controller with International Rectifiers IR3535M Integrated PowIRstage is a synchronous buck gate driver IC with co-packed control and synchronous MOSFETs and Schottky diode with up to 60A of output current capability each, 60A Ferrite Chokes, and 10K Black Metallic Capacitors.

    3. 4. Two separate DRAM Power section using pair of 97374 Ti MOSFETs and PWM controller is DIGI + VRM ASP1250 chip

    5. GB LAN-controller is Intel WGI218V

    6. USB 3.1 Gen 2 support with ASMedia ASM1142 chip

    8. THA 1601 controller used to switch buses for M.2 slot.

    9. Two ASmedia ASM1480 chips switching PCI-e lanes between M.2 and U.2 port.

    10. Intel X99 Express Chipset.

    11. 12. 13. Asmedia ASM1480 PCIe bus switch chips and UEFI BIOS is stored in a Winbond 25Q128fV 128MB 8-Pin DIP Package chip, installed in a DIP socket 8-Pin for easy user replacement.

    14. Asmedia ASM1074, the four downstream ports USB3.0 HUB Controller

    15. Multi I/O capabilities are based on NUVOTON NCT6791D chip which controls the operation of the system fans, as well as provides the monitors.

    16. ASUS X99 AII audio subsystem is based on Realtek ALC1150 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 sound systems with 115dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality.

    A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference. Audio section is having premium Nichicon Gold Capacitors for audio filtration. In addition ASUS used TI R4580I Op-amp for rear audio amplification.

    RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing test ASUS X99 AII audio against Asus Xonar DX Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by on-board audio.

    RMAA Asus Xonar DX

    RMAA ASUS Audio

    18. ICS P7129 used for COM Port communication.

    19. 20. ASUS X99 AII uses two custom TPC chips

    Testing

    CPUIntel Core i7 6900K
    Board ASUS X99 AII
    RAM4 X 4GB Corsair DDR4
    SSDKingston SV300 120GB
    CoolerCM Nepton 240M
    GFX ASUS STRIX GTX 950
    PSUCorsair RM650x
    DisplayAcer S220HQL
    OS Windows 10

    BIOS

    Bundled Softwares

    Benchmarks

    Overclocking

    Power Consumption

    Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

    Pros

    • USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C
    • Great build quality
    • RGB LEDs onboard and support for External strip

    Cons

    • Being a white colour themed motherboard and setting RGB to white light via AURA Software results in a light blue light instead of pure white.

    Conclusion

    ASUS X99 AII motherboard from ASUS offers quality components supporting new Intel Broadwell-E CPU and is bundled with lot of features. Being a modder, I really like how ASUS has incorporated the RGB LED support via its AURA Software illuminating On-board as well as via external RGB LED strip, giving everyone an option to customize their case colour lighting. Board’s overall layout is same as of X99 STRIX board, with slight changes in WIFI and Audio section.

    Considering the features and built quality the ASUS X99 AII motherboard is highly to be considered, if you are going for a Broadwell-E build

    Manufacturers Info

    Site Link

    Thanks.

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