The ROG Strix X99 Gaming measures 12 inches by 9.6 inches (30.5 x 24.4 centimeters) and supports up to 3-way Nvidia SLI or 3-way AMD CrossFireX. In terms of CPU support, it’s based on Intel socket LGA 2011-v3 and is fully compatible with existing Haswell-E chips (Core i7 5820K, Core i7 5930K and Core i7 Extreme 5960X) and fully supports upcoming Broadwell-E chips (Core i7 6800K, Core i7 6850K, Core i7 6900K and Core i7 Extreme 6950X).
The board features ten LED effects which can be customized with ASUS Aura, a lighting control software utility that launched in December with the ROG Maximus Hero III Alpha. This utility provides customizable lighting for fan headers, PCI-E slot retention clips, and the overall color scheme of the motherboard.through other built-in RGB LEDs and strips attached with the 4-pin RGB strip header. We are talking about “breathing” effects, music effects, fading color cycles and dynamic CPU temperature-based colors that adjust based on CPU load. The board also features new decals to allow users to color-match lighting effects with interior case design and overall artistic style.
The ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming supports up to eight memory modules totaling 128GB of DDR4 at 3333MHz memory speeds and features three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (CPU), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (PCH) and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots (PCH). Other connectivity options include one U.2 slot supporting PCI-E 3.0 x4 ACHI / NVMe drives, another M.2 Socket 3 Type M slot supporting PCI-E 3.0 x4 AHCI / NVMe drives, one SATA 3.2 Express 1969MB/s port, and eight SATA III 6Gbps ports (two shared with SATA-Express).
Networking features include an Intel I218V Gigabit LAN controller, 802.11n/ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, and Bluetooth 4.1. It also has an on-board Q-code LED display for a quick view of POST codes and CPU temperatures, a DirectKey button for instant BIOS access, a 4-pin water pump header, an ROG extension header – and most importantly, on-board power and reset buttons.
Regarding the USB input situation – there are a two 10Gbps USB 3.1 ports using an ASMedia controller on the back panel (Type-A / Type-C), five USB 3.0 ports controlled by the X99 chipset (one on back panel, four on-board), three USB 3.0 ports using by an ASMedia controller (on back panel) and eight USB 2.0 ports controlled by the X99 chipset (four on back panel, four on-board).
In terms of audio, the ROG Strix X99 Gaming uses dual amplifier chips to improve sound output for speakers and headphones, rather than the Crystal Sound 3 chip featured on ASUS Signature series boards. This is done with an integrated ASUS ROG SupremeFX eight-channel audio codec that features premium Japanese capacitors and deliver a 115dB signal-to-noise ratio includes an optical port on the back panel.
ASUS Exclusives: RAMCache, ROG Aura, SupremeFX Audio, GameFirst IV
More specific ASUS technologies available with this board include ROG RAMCache, AI Suite 3, USB 3.0 Boost, USB 3.1 Boost, ASUS Fan Xpert 4, ASUS Q-LED, SupremeFX, Sonic Radar II and GameFirst IV. The board also includes full support for ASUS ROG skins and utilities in the Overwolf app store.
ASUS GameFirst IV is the company's fourth iteration of its network management software that allows functionality very similar to Killer Network’s Manager Suite on its own NICs. Just like the Maximus VIII Impact Z170 and other boards, the company has opted to use an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller rather than a dedicated NIC option. This time, however, the Intel controller can be optimized in GameFirst IV for network traffic priority to improve online gaming experience without the need for a Killer NIC or similar add-on card.
Image credit: KitGuru
Image credit: KitGuru
The ROG Strix X99 Gaming also has 5-Way Optimization for one-click auto performance tuning (CPU, memory, voltages). This includes Fan Xpert 4 for cooling adjustments, along with “OC Socket” for finding maximum-adjustable stable DDR4 and processor frequencies.
The ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming features an ROG RAMCache utility that allocates an adjustable portion of system memory to caching most frequently user-accessed data. With the speeds and low-latency of DDR4 memory and quad-channel IMC bandwidth, this allows for rapid storage access even faster than many high-performance M.2 NVMe drives. The ASUS RAMCache can support up to 128GB of memory, or basically the maximum amount supported by the board.
Supports new ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 40Gbps add-in card
All of the company’s new and refreshed X99 boards, including the ROG Strix X99 Gaming and the Signature series X99-Deluxe II, X99-A II and X99-E motherboards, support the company’s new ThunderboltEX 3 add-in card. This is based on Intel’s Alpine Ridge controller and enables bi-directional speeds up to 40Gbps — four times faster than USB 3.1. Thunderbolt 3 also supports daisy-chaining up to six devices (including up to two 4K 60Hz panels or a single 5K 60Hz display), and has a reversible USB Type-C connector for compatibility with USB 3.1 Type-C devices. It also supports the USB Power Delivery specification to deliver power to fast-charging USB devices up to 36W.
Pricing and availability
The ASUS ROG Strix X99 Gaming motherboard fits right between the X99-Deluxe II and X99-A and is priced at a $339 MSRP. The company claims that its gaming-centric and customizable cosmetic features should make it a modder's choice and a LAN event favorite among enthusiast PC crowds.
We could not find any retail listings from channel partners on launch date and expect the boards to be available shortly.