EVGA X99 Micro Motherboard Review: Haswell-E And MicroATX

Right-Sizing For X99 Express

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.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
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 x34-Pin Fan5
PCIe 3.0 x16 (Core i7-5820K)3 (x16/x8/x4) SLI x2, CrossFireX x33-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 ExpressNoneOther ConnectorsEVGA Probe-IT, M.2 Wi-Fi
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA6x SATA 6Gb/sAdd-In SATANone
Chipset RAID Modes0, 1, 5, 10USB 3.0VL805 PCIe ASM1042 PCIe
Primary LANWGI217V PHYWi-FiNone
Secondary LANNoneBluetoothNone
HD Audio CodecALC1150DDL/DTS ConnectNone
WarrantyThree YearsRow 25 - Cell 2 Row 25 - Cell 3

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.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • ohim
    the price is insane
  • 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"?
  • Samer1970
    we need miniITX X99 motherboard ...

    for 6-14 cores compact system.
  • 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.
  • 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 :)
    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
    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.