ASUS X299 Rampage VI Extreme, Prime-A, TUF Mark2 Motherboards

By Published June 04, 2017 at 6:30 am
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Out of all the Computex coverage we’ve posted thus far, X299 has proven to be the least successful in view count. Interest is low in X299, it seems, though X399 is doing a slight bit better. Regardless, it’s still important to go over everything: We’ve looked at the MSI X299 lineup (including XPOWER) and the Gigabyte Gaming 9, 7, and 3 lineup, with X399 between. Today’s focus is on the ASUS X299 boards, primarily the Rampage VI Extreme, with some additional details on the ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe, the Prime X299-A, and the TUF X299 Mark2. This all follows our X399 ASUS coverage, where we looked at the Zenith Extreme flagship.

 

ASUS X299 Rampage VI Extreme

The ASUS X299 Rampage VI Extreme is the company’s flagship board for this platform, with TBD pricing at this time. The motherboard hosts four full-length PCI-e slots at x16/x8/x16/x8, permitting quad-SLI on the 44-lane CPUs. An additional 4-pin MOLEX connector is present, like on the Zenith board, for ancillary PCIe power. We’d like to see ASUS stop using MOLEX connectors, really, given that this is probably one of the only reasons you’d install one in a modular PSU.

Other PCIe lane assignment goes to the M.2 devices, with one hidden beneath the semi-translucent ‘armor’ (illuminated with mock circuitboard trace LEDs) and support for more through a DIMM slot. The DIMM slot is something ASUS started doing somewhat recently: It looks like an extra RAM slot, but houses an ASUS DIMM card that can host 2x M.2 SSDs. Sort of clever, for this one.

asus x299 rampage extreme 2

For other IO, the board will come with 10GbE, which seems to be somewhat common on new ASUS motherboards (X399 will ship with a 10GbE PCIe card). The Rampage VI Extreme further expands internet connectivity with an 802.11ad wireless card, as we understand it.

Power design is an 8+2 setup, but we do not yet know the FETs used. They are likely not going to be International Rectifier, from what we understand.

ASUS X299 Prime-A & Prime Deluxe

asus x299 prime a 1

Historically, the ASUS naming scheme once dictated that “-A” signified USB3.0 support – though that would be on every board on the market today. The Prime-A X299 motherboard opts for a black/white (and some silver) design, its primary notable point, with an otherwise less densely packed surface of IO and heatsinks than the Deluxe. The audio cover, for instance, is removed on the Prime-A.

The Deluxe motherboard could end up using the same VRM design as the previous board, looking like another 8+2 setup, though is otherwise unspecified. As with all the other 4+4DIMM boards, each side possesses two phases for memory.

This board is crammed with debug and OC features, all lining the bottom edge, with plenty of buttons and toggles to play with. We might look at this more in the future.

ASUS X299 TUF Mark 2

asus x299 tuf 1

asus x299 tuf 2

The final board we were shown was the ASUS TUF Mark 2 motherboard, carrying a simpler PCB layout – though still cluttered – with some gray stylization near the socket. The board sheds ASUS’ extra DIMM slot for M.2s, sheds PCIe slots, and simplifies the lower edge hardware to just the necessary pin-outs. The TUF Mark 2 will run the cheapest of the boards on this list, but we’re still not sure the price.

Editorial: Steve Burke
Video: Keegan Gallick 

Last modified on June 04, 2017 at 6:30 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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