EVGA X99 Micro Motherboard Review: Haswell-E And MicroATX

A great many enthusiasts once believed that enormous performance required an enormous case full of drives and add-in cards mounted to an ATX or even EATX motherboard. Then Y2K gave them something else to talk about.

That’s right, motherboard manufacturers have been able to deliver full-sized performance in mid-sized machines for the entirety of this millennia. You’ll still see some dinosaurs claiming that enthusiast-oriented machines need to be huge, but compact system builders have known for a long time that the performance of a PC isn’t always proportional to its size. Most of us use no more than two graphics cards and fewer than six drives to build gaming monsters. Some even try to squeeze all of that performance into single-card mini-ITX systems. Yet, practicality points towards the middle option. Supporting up to four total slots or two double-slot graphics cards, and with the same CPU area as a full ATX motherboard, microATX is the answer to a question many of us forget to ask.

How much PC do you really need?

EVGA hasn’t forgotten anyone. Following a path of mid-sized gaming boards blazed by products such as Asus’ Gene-series, its X99 Micro provides two true 16-lane PCIe 3.0 via Intel’s latest six- and eight-core processors in a 9.625”-square package. Yes, microATX is old enough to be based on fractional inches.

EVGA X99 Micro (P/N 131-HE-E995-KR) Features
PCB Revision1.0Voltage RegulatorSix Phases
ChipsetIntel X99100.0 MHz BCLK100.19 (+0.19%)
I/O Panel Connectors
P/S 2NoneCLR_CMOS Button1
USB 3.04Digital Audio OutOptical
USB 2.06Digital Audio InNone
Network1Analog Audio5
eSATANoneOther DevicesNone
Internal Interfaces
PCIe 3.0 x16
(5960X, 5930K)
3 (x16/x16/x8)
SLI x3, CrossFireX x3
4-Pin Fan5
PCIe 3.0 x16
(Core i7-5820K)
3 (x16/x8/x4)
SLI x2, CrossFireX x3
3-Pin FanNone
PCIe 2.0 x16NoneFP-Audio1
PCIe 2.0 x1NoneS/PDIF I/OOutput Only
USB 3.01 (2-ports)Internal ButtonsPower, Reset, CLR_CMOS
USB 2.01 (2-ports)Internal SwitchNone
SATA 6Gb/s6Diagnostics PanelNumeric
SATA ExpressNone
Other ConnectorsEVGA Probe-IT, M.2 Wi-Fi
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA6x SATA 6Gb/s
Add-In SATANone
Chipset RAID Modes0, 1, 5, 10USB 3.0VL805 PCIe
ASM1042 PCIe
Networking
Primary LANWGI217V PHYWi-FiNone
Secondary LANNoneBluetoothNone
Audio
HD Audio CodecALC1150DDL/DTS ConnectNone
WarrantyThree Years  

The X99 Micro even supports three-way SLI if you can find single-slot cards and SLI bridges to support it, and comes with a three-year warranty…if the firm chooses to honor it. I still have a P55 SLI replacement board that the company refused to service after it quickly succumbed to Foxconn’s infamous 1156 pin death while installed in a non-overclocked office PC.

This thread is closed for comments
44 comments
    Your comment
  • ohim
    the price is insane
  • Crashman
    Quote:
    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"?
  • Samer1970
    we need miniITX X99 motherboard ...

    for 6-14 cores compact system.
  • ohim
    8708 said:
    Quote:
    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.
  • Lutfij
    Thanks for a good read, Thomas!
  • 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.
  • 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 :)
  • 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 :)
  • Amdlova
    no way to get an x99 product with this ddr4 insane price.
  • InvalidError
    1335368 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.
  • Lutfij
    SU11YBEAR,
    Ah the 350D, that is one awesome case! I had the fortune of building in one and the experience was worth writing home to. If you're watercooling as in proper watercooling loop, then you might consider yourself sold on the idea of a PWM splitter courtesy of Swiftech...? You can use the CPU's fan header and yet run 8 fans off of that one header.

    Amdlova,
    I remember when my Asus Rampage Extreme(X48) board cost that much paired with DDR3 ram... but at the time it was worth it :) Thus for those who'll need it, it isn't a case of insane pricing but rather if it caters to their needs. Compromises can be had and one of them can possibly be wallet implosion :lol:
  • Samer1970
    125865 said:
    1335368 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.


    Not really , Ivy-Bridge E motherboards and memory are not that expansive. there is nothing new about the new Generation , just DDR4 which will make no difference in Quad channel anyways ...
  • InvalidError
    1793606 said:
    Not really , Ivy-Bridge E motherboards and memory are not that expansive. there is nothing new about the new Generation , just DDR4 which will make no difference in Quad channel anyways ...

    The cheapest IB-E CPUs were still ~$100 more than the most expensive LGA1155 models and most motherboards were also $100-200 more than typical LGA1155 motherboards. That's a $200-300 premium for almost no extra performance over an i7-3770k. I would say that qualifies as an insane entry cost.

    With Haswell-E, you get two extra cores even in the lowest-end model. Those used to cost yet another $200 extra on IB-E. This kind of offsets the $100-200 added cost of 16-32GB DDR4.

    Basically, in either case, you end up paying about $500 extra to make LGA2011(-3) worth the trouble.
  • red77star
    This motherboard should not cost more than $150, in fact it should have label with the price of $149.99
  • InvalidError
    1449487 said:
    This motherboard should not cost more than $150, in fact it should have label with the price of $149.99

    Those things are relatively low production volume and to fit all the traces needed for the extra memory channels, the board likely need 2-4 extra layers compared to mainstream boards. This combination of higher manufacturing cost and low volume to amortize R&D effort on makes them inherently more expensive. The MSRP is pretty far on the extreme side though.
  • g-unit1111
    I'm really interested in high performance, small footprint mATX and mITX builds, and it's great to see motherboard manufacturers like EVGA embracing the concept, and this is one area where Intel wins hands down and AMD lacks in. Before AMD fanboys jump on this comment, name me one mITX motherboard that supports socket AM3+ with 990FX chipset, you can't do it, can you?

    My next build will definitely be a high performance, low profile mATX rig. I'm hoping to use the Aerocool Cube 3 DS case and this motherboard.
  • g-unit1111
    216536 said:
    the price is insane


    It's $249 at Amazon according to PC Part Picker, I don't know why it's listing the base price so high.
  • Avus
    I will never use LGA 2011 platform for gaming. It is too expensive. Especially when GPU is the most important part in a gaming system... not CPU.

    If I want a system for professional audio/video production or to run some engineering application, then it is a different story.
  • truerock
    OMG... how could I function without a VGA port and a floppy disk drive! Thank God it has lots and lots of obsolete USB 2.0 ports. It's important to cram as much obsolete technology as possible into any new PC!
  • LePhuronn
    1793606 said:
    we need miniITX X99 motherboard ...


    Best of luck getting 4 DIMM slots on 17cm square motherboard!
  • ohim
    537231 said:
    216536 said:
    the price is insane
    It's $249 at Amazon according to PC Part Picker, I don't know why it's listing the base price so high.


    take time to read the second or third post also sometimes.. it showed for me at a price of 400+$ then it came back with the real pricing of 249.
  • RedJaron
    73886 said:
    OMG... how could I function without a VGA port and a floppy disk drive! Thank God it has lots and lots of obsolete USB 2.0 ports. It's important to cram as much obsolete technology as possible into any new PC!

    The X99 platform is limited to six total USB 3.0 ports, all of which are exposed on this board. To have more than six 3.0 ports right now, you'd have to load down the board with extra 3.0 controllers, and that just drives the price up. Doing so is a waste in any case because the only devices that take any advantage of 3.0 over 2.0 are data storage based. Input/ouput peripherals like keyboards, mice, and printers are just fine on 2.0.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Nice looking board.
  • InvalidError
    570460 said:
    Input/ouput peripherals like keyboards, mice, and printers are just fine on 2.0.

    Tons of keyboards, mice and other low-speed input peripherals are still USB 1.0/1.1 and I doubt this will change any time soon since USB 1.x is already overkill for those.

    I agree it is funny to see people ranting about not all ports being USB3 when the majority of devices people will connect to their PC might not even be USB2 so they would just end up wasting USB3 ports on USB1/2 devices anyway.