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EVGA X99 Micro Motherboard Review: Haswell-E And MicroATX

How We Tested EVGA's X99 Micro

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-5960X (Haswell-E): 3.0-3.5GHz, 20MB L3 Cache, LGA 2011-v3
CPU CoolerSwiftech Apogee GTX, MCP 655b, Triple-Fan Radiator Kit
RAMG.Skill F4-3000C15Q-16GRR (16GB) DDR4-3000 Quad-Channel Kit
GraphicsPowerColor LCS AXR9 290X 4GBD5-PPDHE: 1060MHz GPU, 4GB GDDR5-5400
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ-5PA256, 256GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerAntec HCP-1200: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 14.4
ChipsetIntel INF 9.4.2.1019

Swiftech’s ancient Apogee GTX keeps appearing in my flagship processor reviews, and for good reasons: it has monster capacity and it’s built into my test bench.

This Prescott-era workhorse was updated six years ago with an LGA 1366 bracket, and today uses that same bracket with newer spring-loaded screws to fit both LGA 2011 and LGA 2011-v3 support mechanisms.

Rumored power-on troubles with C7 power state-enabled motherboards and certain power supplies finally hit home when I tried to pair our earlier SS-760KM unit with one of the boards in today’s test. Since my newer AX860i was already being used to test other parts, I hauled Antec’s HCP-1200 out of storage. Success!

PowerColor’s LCS AXR9 290X runs quietly on a second cooling loop.

This is a new platform, so memory and the CPU couldn’t be pulled from spare parts. G.Skill’s quad-channel F4-3000C15Q-16GRR DDR4-3000 kit was added with Intel’s Core i7-5960X to today’s parts list.

Benchmark Settings
3D Games
Battlefield 4Version 1.0.0.1, DirectX 11, 100-sec. Fraps "Tashgar" Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No AA, 4x AF, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset,  4x MSAA, 16x AF, HBAO
Grid 2Version 1.0.85.8679, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x MSAA
Arma 3Version 1.08.113494, 30-Sec. Fraps "Infantry Showcase" Test Set 1: Standard Preset, No AA, Standard AF Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x FSAA, Ultra AF
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC, SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 4x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CCVersion 12.0.0.404: Create Video which includes 3 Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CCVersion 14.0 x64: Filter 15.7MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premiere Pro CCVersion 7.0.0 (342), 6.61GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion 11.0.4.4 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.99: Video from Canon EOS 7D (1920x1080, 25FPS) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000Hz, 2-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1kHz, 2-Channel, 16-Bit, 224Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Adobe Acrobat 11Version 11.0.0.379: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Autodesk 3ds Max 2013Version 15.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion: 2.68A, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Visual Studio 2010Version 10.0, Compile Google Chrome, Scripted
File Compression
WinZipVersion 18.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 5.0: THG-Workload (1.3GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.30 alpha (64-bit): THG-Workload (1.3GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.5.0, Benchmark Only
3DMark ProfessionalVersion: 1.2.250.0 (64-bit), Fire Strike Benchmark
PCMark 8Version: 1.0.0 x64, Full Test
SiSoftware SandraVersion 2014.02.20.10, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Multimedia / Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks
  • ohim
    the price is insane
    Reply
  • Crashman
    the price is insane
    It's X99, I don't think they could have shaved it by more than 20% even if it were produced by the tens of thousands in China. The question is, what do you think would be "sane"?
    Reply
  • Samer1970
    we need miniITX X99 motherboard ...

    for 6-14 cores compact system.
    Reply
  • ohim
    14433708 said:
    the price is insane
    It's X99, I don't think they could have shaved it by more than 20% even if it were produced by the tens of thousands in China. The question is, what do you think would be "sane"?

    Sorry .. for i don`t know what reason i saw a 485$ price tag initially ...that was an insane price.
    Reply
  • Lutfij
    Thanks for a good read, Thomas!
    Reply
  • Xivilain
    EVGA makes good motherboards. I love my X79 I purchased. But X99 for $485 is truly insane for any motherboard manufacturer. They're riding the Intel inflation wave.

    Also, Amazon is selling this board for $250 USD. (http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Socket-2666Mhz-Motherboard-131-HE-E995-KR/dp/B00MY3SKEY) Lucky us.
    Reply
  • Lutfij
    http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=131-HE-E995-KR - $250

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188161&cm_re=X99_micro-_-13-188-161-_-Product $250

    List pricing is, on most occasions, marked up. As demand come into factor the prices drop gradually. Most often the consumers reaction causes manufacturers to convey a price drop in the hopes of retaining their client base/loyalty.

    Nevertheless, prices are within sanity now :)
    Reply
  • SU11YBEAR
    Got this board last month for a LAN build and am loving it so far (paired with an Evga 980 SC and 5930k, dual 240 rad and CPU/GPU waterblocks) board offers all the features I was looking for except the option for M2 storage which was slightly annoying but bearable, I consider the 4 slots of RAM a bonus, only going to use 4 anyways and frees up space for the smaller factor,
    Only real complaints I have with the board are 1) the IO backplate it came with was a plain silver and just looked cheap (painted it matte black to match the build) and 2) 2 of the fan headers are only settable via the bios and do not change (have used speedfan and bios for the PWM headers) so had to do some quick mods to make the rad fans run off two headers but not a huge deal,
    The IO shield is a cool little option unfortunately since I was doing liquid in a tight case (Corsair 350D) had to remove it to make the tubes reach the top rad, haven't OC it fully yet (just got 4GHz on the chip for now) but looking forward to opening it up :)
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    no way to get an x99 product with this ddr4 insane price.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    14435806 said:
    no way to get an x99 product with this ddr4 insane price.
    Just about everything about LGA2011(-3) comes with insane prices anyway when compared against mainstream sockets. At least some 4x4GB DDR4 kits have already gone down by about $100 since Haswell-E's introduction.
    Reply