Intel X299 Motherboard Roundup

The X299 chipset is Intel's latest HEDT (High-End DeskTops) solution. It sports the new LGA 2066 socket, which supports Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors, with between four and 18 Hyper-Threaded cores. The X299 chipset features 24 PCIe 3.0 lanes and 10 USB 3.0 ports, which is a notable improvement over the outgoing X99 chipset's eight PCIe 2.0 lanes and six USB 3.0 ports. SATA III support is somewhat reduced on the X299 chipset when compared to X99, but this is offset by the more important inclusion of Intel Optane support. Intel also implemented a DMI 3.0 connection between the CPU and chipset, which provides twice as much bandwidth as the DMI 2.0 interface used on X99.

Intel's X299 trades blows with AMD's competing X399 chipset. AMD gains an advantage here by incorporating native support for two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, but it suffers from its more limited PCIe controller, with only two PCIe 3.0 and eight PCIe 2.0 lanes. Threadripper's plethora of 64 PCIe lanes helps to offset this, as the CPU itself far surpasses Skylake-X's and Kabylake-X's maximum of 44 PCIe lanes.

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Intel X299 Motherboards

11/29/2017 Update: added the ASRock X299E-ITX/ac (earned a 2017 Editors' Choice award).

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Selecting an X299 motherboard will likely take more thought than you'd put into a lower-end board. Because of their rich featureset, these boards are often more expensive. Plus, you'll likely have a specific need for all that horsepower. Perhaps you are interested in the system purely for gaming or compute purposes, in which case you'll want to pay close attention to the spacing of the PCIe x16 slots to ensure you can fit two, three, or even four GPUs in. Alternatively, if you need lots of fast storage, you'll want a board with plenty of M.2 Key M slots and SATA III ports. Most X299 motherboards will have ample amounts of both, but the point remains: you want to shop for your specific need above all others.

In general, there are only two factors that everyone should pay attention to on X299 motherboards. The first is that the PCIe layout matches the specific processor you've chosen, since Kaby Lake-X processors only have 16 integrated pathways while Skylake-X has either 28 or 44 (depending on the model). Some motherboards achieve greater drive bandwidth by using CPU rather than chipset lanes for M.2 slots, and combining the wrong processor with the wrong motherboard layout can result in some of your required interfaces being disabled. Another major feature of the X299 platform is its support for quad-channel memory, which allows Skylake-X processors to support a total of eight possible DIMMs. Meanwhile, Kaby Lake-X only supports four, so motherboards that have four slots leave Kaby Lake-X owners with only two functioning. Even if you won't use all slots now, an eight-slot motherboard opens the door for potential upgrades down the road.

The other key area you want to focus on is the power delivery system. This gets a bit tricky with high-end motherboards of this caliber, as the additional four DIMM slots typically invade the area traditionally reserved for power regulation hardware. Nonetheless, the last thing you want is your new PC to throttle due to an insufficient number of phases or inadequate cooling. Ensure the motherboard you pick has plenty of both.

EATX Intel X299 Motherboards

ATX Intel X299 Motherboards

Mini-ITX Intel X299 Motherboards

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  • bit_user
    Quote:
    ASRock X299 Taichi

    I still can't help but picture old people in a park, whenever I see this name.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_chi
  • BugariaM
    You definitely have an error
    "Extremely basic RGB" - this definitely should be in the PROS section
    Is not it? =)
  • jasonelmore
    I don't know if I can give any credibility to this article without the author mentioning the Asus Rampage VI Extreme Motherboard, the best x299 board known to man. Asus intentionally delayed this board and waited for the 12c-18c CPU's to drop before they released it. Whats known as "Wave 2", The Rampage VI Extreme ditches Kabylake-X support in favor of full Skylake-X support, with upgraded mosfets and VRM's to handle everything from a 6c to the 18c with overclocking. Whats more, it has 10g networking at full 1 Gbps speeds and full Wi-GIG ad networking at the full 1 Gbps, yet its not mentioned anywhere. 3 M.2's as well.
  • JonDol
    @jasonelmore: I'm not sure you are aware that the new Asus MB was released like a week or two ago and was not yet reviewed in-house. Thus if you wish to blame someone I'd suggest you to direct your blames to Asus in order to send sooner a review sample to THW ;-)
  • jasonelmore
    I've had the motherboard for 2 months, i know when it was released. That's why i took offense to it not even being listed. The boards are selling out as soon as they are posted. You are probably gonna have to just buy one if you want to review it.
  • jasonelmore
    @Jondol the R6E has been out for 2 months.
  • bit_user
    Anonymous said:
    @Jondol the R6E has been out for 2 months.

    You might both be right - I think @JonDol is not US-based. Availability of that product might be somewhat region-dependent.

    In any case, while it's fair to complain about its absence, try not to be too offended. Most buyers of such high-end products will probably look at the highly-rated models on Newegg & Amazon, then search out reviews of them. That's what I do, at least. I would never assume a roundup would include everything, as some products are late to market or are subsequent revisions or refinements to existing ones.
  • jasonelmore
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    @Jondol the R6E has been out for 2 months.

    You might both be right - I think @JonDol is not US-based. Availability of that product might be somewhat region-dependent.

    In any case, while it's fair to complain about its absence, try not to be too offended. Most buyers of such high-end products will probably look at the highly-rated models on Newegg & Amazon, then search out reviews of them. That's what I do, at least. I would never assume a roundup would include everything, as some products are late to market or are subsequent revisions or refinements to existing ones.


    to be honest, i think tomshardware is just mad at Asus over something. Look at their x370 roundup. They didn't mention the Zenith Extreme either. Not only that, but they didn't list one single Asus board on the x370 article. They managed to include 1 x299 Asus board in this article but its at the very end of the slides.

    Considering Asus has something like 40% of the PC motherboard market, you'd think they'd have more boards featured. They have rog boards for all price ranges. I haven't bought a Biostar or Asrock for decades. They aren't exactly known for quality nor updating their bios's for 5 years like Asus does for almost all their boards. Read the x370 roundup and count how many asrock and biostar they got listed.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-amd-x370-motherboard-roundup,5219.html
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    You definitely have an error
    "Extremely basic RGB" - this definitely should be in the PROS section
    Is not it? =)
    Maybe, but not when it's a feature someone else is paying to have :)

    Anonymous said:
    I don't know if I can give any credibility to this article without the author mentioning the Asus Rampage VI Extreme Motherboard, the best x299 board known to man. Asus intentionally delayed this board and waited for the 12c-18c CPU's to drop before they released it. Whats known as "Wave 2", The Rampage VI Extreme ditches Kabylake-X support in favor of full Skylake-X support, with upgraded mosfets and VRM's to handle everything from a 6c to the 18c with overclocking. Whats more, it has 10g networking at full 1 Gbps speeds and full Wi-GIG ad networking at the full 1 Gbps, yet its not mentioned anywhere. 3 M.2's as well.
    I don't know if I can give that comment any credibility given that Asus wouldn't back up those claims with a review sample.

    Anonymous said:
    @jasonelmore: I'm not sure you are aware that the new Asus MB was released like a week or two ago and was not yet reviewed in-house. Thus if you wish to blame someone I'd suggest you to direct your blames to Asus in order to send sooner a review sample to THW ;-)
    Well yeh :)

    Anonymous said:
    I've had the motherboard for 2 months, i know when it was released. That's why i took offense to it not even being listed. The boards are selling out as soon as they are posted. You are probably gonna have to just buy one if you want to review it.
    So you're offended with Asus? We're a little more lenient. If they choose not to participate, it's their choice. As for purchasing samples, we could buy a Prime X299-A and a Strix X299-E Gaming for that price, thereby providing useful information to a far greater number of readers.

    Anonymous said:
    to be honest, i think tomshardware is just mad at Asus over something. Look at their x370 roundup. They didn't mention the Zenith Extreme either. Not only that, but they didn't list one single Asus board on the x370 article. They managed to include 1 x299 Asus board in this article but its at the very end of the slides.
    Who's mad at whom? Have you such strong feelings for the company that you'd find everyone else at fault for its decisions?
  • jasonelmore
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    You definitely have an error
    "Extremely basic RGB" - this definitely should be in the PROS section
    Is not it? =)
    Maybe, but not when it's a feature someone else is paying to have :)

    Anonymous said:
    I don't know if I can give any credibility to this article without the author mentioning the Asus Rampage VI Extreme Motherboard, the best x299 board known to man. Asus intentionally delayed this board and waited for the 12c-18c CPU's to drop before they released it. Whats known as "Wave 2", The Rampage VI Extreme ditches Kabylake-X support in favor of full Skylake-X support, with upgraded mosfets and VRM's to handle everything from a 6c to the 18c with overclocking. Whats more, it has 10g networking at full 1 Gbps speeds and full Wi-GIG ad networking at the full 1 Gbps, yet its not mentioned anywhere. 3 M.2's as well.
    I don't know if I can give that comment any credibility given that Asus wouldn't back up those claims with a review sample.

    Anonymous said:
    @jasonelmore: I'm not sure you are aware that the new Asus MB was released like a week or two ago and was not yet reviewed in-house. Thus if you wish to blame someone I'd suggest you to direct your blames to Asus in order to send sooner a review sample to THW ;-)
    Well yeh :)

    Anonymous said:
    I've had the motherboard for 2 months, i know when it was released. That's why i took offense to it not even being listed. The boards are selling out as soon as they are posted. You are probably gonna have to just buy one if you want to review it.
    So you're offended with Asus? We're a little more lenient. If they choose not to participate, it's their choice. As for purchasing samples, we could buy a Prime X299-A and a Strix X299-E Gaming for that price, thereby providing useful information to a far greater number of readers.

    Anonymous said:
    to be honest, i think tomshardware is just mad at Asus over something. Look at their x370 roundup. They didn't mention the Zenith Extreme either. Not only that, but they didn't list one single Asus board on the x370 article. They managed to include 1 x299 Asus board in this article but its at the very end of the slides.
    Who's mad at whom? Have you such strong feelings for the company that you'd find everyone else at fault for its decisions?



    So if they don't give you a free sample you won't review it? It seems I was partially right about Tom's and Asus having a falling out. You just confirmed to me that your one of the only review sites that did not get a sample. (gamersnex, guru, bit-tech,tweaktwn, pcper etc.. all got one)

    At the very least I would think Purch would be interested in having this board as a test bed for all HEDT reviews on toms or anandtech. You could also buy the board and sell it once you've reviewed it like all of us reviewers in the trenches do. This is not just any board, it's the Rampage, the line that put asus on the map. It's like not reviewing a Cosmos case from Coolermaster or a iPhone X from Apple. These are flagship products that are highly sought after and despite not being able to afford it, many people will be interested in reading about Asus's latest and greatest.

    The only strong feelings I have for asus are customer support and product support related. As i said, they will keep updating the bios's for all of their boards for 5-7 years.

    PS: the board has been out for almost 2 months: Came out on 09/03/2017 | Review samples were sent out in the middle of August.
  • bit_user
    Anonymous said:
    You could also buy the board and sell it once you've reviewed it like all of us reviewers in the trenches do.

    If you're a reviewer for a competing publication (or even your own blog, if you get any revenue from it), it seems like you should disclose that as a footnote to any critiques made in a public forum.
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    to be honest, i think tomshardware is just mad at Asus over something. Look at their x370 roundup. They didn't mention the Zenith Extreme either. Not only that, but they didn't list one single Asus board on the x370 article. They managed to include 1 x299 Asus board in this article but its at the very end of the slides.
    Who's mad at whom? Have you such strong feelings for the company that you'd find everyone else at fault for its decisions?



    So if they don't give you a free sample you won't review it? It seems I was partially right about Tom's and Asus having a falling out. You just confirmed to me that your one of the only review sites that did not get a sample. (gamersnex, guru, bit-tech,tweaktwn, pcper etc.. all got one)

    At the very least I would think Purch would be interested in having this board as a test bed for all HEDT reviews on toms or anandtech. You could also buy the board and sell it once you've reviewed it like all of us reviewers in the trenches do.

    The only strong feelings I have for asus are customer support and product support related. As i said, they will keep updating the bios's for all of their boards for 5-7 years.

    PS: the board has been out for almost 2 months: Came out on 09/03/2017 | Review samples were sent out late july early august.
    As I alluded above, we'll occasionally buy the boards that will help us reach the most readers per dollar spent. Those are usually priced around $300 for the X299.
  • jasonelmore
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    You could also buy the board and sell it once you've reviewed it like all of us reviewers in the trenches do.

    If you're a reviewer for a competing publication (or even your own blog, if you get any revenue from it), it seems like you should disclose that as a footnote to any critiques made in a public forum.


    That would be self promotion and advertising on a competing platform as well. It goes both ways.

    @Crashman I would disagree that x299 users are primarily looking at $300 boards. this is HEDT afterall.

    Thanks for your reply
  • bit_user
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    You could also buy the board and sell it once you've reviewed it like all of us reviewers in the trenches do.

    If you're a reviewer for a competing publication (or even your own blog, if you get any revenue from it), it seems like you should disclose that as a footnote to any critiques made in a public forum.


    That would be self promotion and advertising on a competing platform as well.

    That's weak.

    You can do it without specifying exactly where, if you're that concerned about avoiding any self-promotion. Plus, I didn't say it should be in all your posts - just routine full disclosure as part of any public criticism.

    The main point is that it's a conflict of interests that should be disclosed.
  • jasonelmore
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    You could also buy the board and sell it once you've reviewed it like all of us reviewers in the trenches do.

    If you're a reviewer for a competing publication (or even your own blog, if you get any revenue from it), it seems like you should disclose that as a footnote to any critiques made in a public forum.


    That would be self promotion and advertising on a competing platform as well.

    That's weak.

    You can do it without specifying exactly where, if you're that concerned about avoiding any self-promotion. Plus, I didn't say it should be in all your posts - just routine full disclosure as part of any public criticism.

    The main point is that it's a conflict of interests that should be disclosed.


    If I was a pc component reviewer I might agree, but I review electronics in general. Drones, phones, tablets, etc.. My point still applies. Many times i've bought things because I lacked internal channels and then sold them once I was done. That way I got the content I wanted to write about -- all at minimal costs. It was just a suggestion.
  • bit_user
    Anonymous said:

    If I was a pc component reviewer I might agree, but I review electronics in general. Drones, phones, tablets, etc..

    Thanks for clarifying that.
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    @Crashman I would disagree that x299 users are primarily looking at $300 boards. this is HEDT afterall.

    Thanks for your reply
    Yes, but the choice wouldn't be to review a $660 or a $330 board, it would be a $660 or TWO $330 boards.

    But if my boss asked me right now I'd probably pick a $300 X299, a $180 X370, and a $180 Z370
  • FritzEiv
    As it happens, @Crashman's boss did ask him, and @Crashman gave his boss a list of Asus boards to purchase. We first try to get samples directly from the companies. In this case, we'll be buying some for review. For the record, we do not have any bias against Asus. In fact, you'll see @Crashman's preference for them for use in his memory reviews for overclocking purposes. We'd like more Asus boards to review and to include in these roundups. We continue to discuss this with Asus on a regular basis, and we continue to buy select boards when the budget allows.