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ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 Motherboard Review

Introduction

ASUS is one of the most well known and influential technology companies on the planet in the realm of personal computing. The company has been around since the late 1980s and has been offering a wide range of motherboards and other products since that time. ASUS’s product portfolio includes motherboards, graphics cards, monitors, peripherals and even smartphones.

To celebrate ASUS’ 30th anniversary, ASUS has built a special motherboard called the ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30. It might seem odd to many that the only motherboard that ASUS produced for this occasion would be an Intel processor compatible motherboard, much less one for Intel’s HEDT platform. However, there is something special about this as ASUS’s initial rise to prominence is tied with Intel. When the company was new, ASUS’ engineers managed to create an Intel processor compatible motherboard before Intel themselves had done so and beat Intel and others to market with their design. Intel took notice of this and a relationship began between the two companies.

Therefore, it’s only fitting that the 30th anniversary of the company should be commemorated with an Intel CPU compatible motherboard like the ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30. I’ll be the first to say, this isn’t a motherboard for everyone. First off, it’s a $750 motherboard and it is for Intel’s LGA 2066 HEDT platform. I think that says plenty right there.

The ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30

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The ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 represents ASUS’s pinnacle offering for Intel’s high-end desktop / LGA 2066 platform. This motherboard is packed with ASUS’ latest technologies, highest build quality and the necessary options for pushing these power-hungry CPU’s to their absolute limits. It is based on Intel’s X299 Express chipset and thus, is LGA 2066 compatible. It is compatible with most all LGA 2066 CPU’s, save for the Core i7 7740X which was EOL at the time this motherboard was released anyway.

The packaging of the ASUS X299 Prime Edition 30 is a bit different than what we normally get with even a Republic of Gamers motherboard. It’s a white commemorative package with 30th-anniversary logos on it and exquisite foam packaging and presentation. Naturally, the cost of this motherboard justifies ASUS going the extra mile to provide an ultra-premium experience to anyone who ponies up this kind of cash.

Inside the box, you’ll find a ton of accessories. You’ll see a quick install guide, user’s manual, fan extension card install guide, driver disc, Cable Mod coupon, WiFi antenna, Thunderbolt cable, vertical M.2 bracket, SATA cables, an RGB extensions for both RGB and addressable RGB headers, fan extension card II power cable, node cable, screws, Q-connector pack, DisplayPort cable, M.2 screw package, 3x thermistor cables, smart control console, and 2x micro-USB cables for the smart control console.

The Fan Extension cards are something I have criticized in the past for not having a mounting solution. I’m pleased to report that the Fan Extension II cards are sized like a 2.5″ SSD and have standoffs to accept the same type of screws. If you have a 2.5″ drive mount, you now have a way to mount the Fan Extension Card. The Node in and Node out headers on the card also allows you to daisy chain more of these together should you need to for some ridiculously over the top build. The Fan Extension II card also has an additional three RGB headers on it in addition to six more fan headers. Each of these can be controlled in the UEFI or in ASUS Fan Xpert software to the same level as any onboard header.

The card also has two additional thermal sensors marked EXt_TS1 and EXT_TS2. Because the Fan Extension Card II does more than just handle fans, it is not compatible with the old Fan Extension port on older ASUS motherboards and has to use the Node connector.

9 COMMENTS

  1. For a 750 dollar board I am also surprised by the BIOS. Space isn’t cheap in that arena and they could have designed a nice color pallet in the Bios to resemble the motherboard.

    It’s especially damning when my 170 dollar motherboard has twice the size bios storage.

  2. I’d love a HEDT board with excellent VRM’s (and cooling), but forgo all RGB and built-in NIC(s), Audio, Video, etc… a basic quality (8+ layers) board with PS2 and USB plus M.2 port or two – even memory slots limited to 4 slots and surface mounted – nothing else other than direct cpu connected slots for add-in cards. Asus was almost there with Apex x299 – That’s a board I’d pay extra for.
  3. We’ve never actually had power measurements in our motherboard reviews. That even goes back to the HardOCP days. Largely, it’s dependent on the CPU and figuring out exactly what the motherboard does is a bit tricky. That said, power is the same as it was in the 10980XE review. 617w when overclocked.

    As for temperatures, I normally cover what the VRM heat sink reads at. An oversight on my part. These reviews are getting more complex and its easy to miss something like that. However, I did note it and the VRM heat sink was a mere 102F.

  4. We’ve never actually had power measurements in our motherboard reviews. That even goes back to the HardOCP days. Largely, it’s dependent on the CPU and figuring out exactly what the motherboard does is a bit tricky. That said, power is the same as it was in the 10980XE review. 617w when overclocked.

    As for temperatures, I normally cover what the VRM heat sink reads at. An oversight on my part. These reviews are getting more complex and its easy to miss something like that. However, I did note it and the VRM heat sink was a mere 102F.

    Thank you Dan!

  5. It’s one of the nicest motherboards I’ve ever reviewed. That’s saying something given that I’ve been doing this for over 14 years.

    For the price I would be surprised if it were anything other than top notch.

    I can understand the history with Intel. Still odd that they chose this route, given that X299 is due to be overhauled… Then again, when all that’s on the horizon is Skylake ++++ and you aren’t jumping to PCI 4.0, I guess there is no real ~need~ to overhaul it (not that that has ever stopped Intel in the past).

  6. For the price I would be surprised if it were anything other than top notch.

    I can understand the history with Intel. Still odd that they chose this route, given that X299 is due to be overhauled… Then again, when all that’s on the horizon is Skylake ++++ and you aren’t jumping to PCI 4.0, I guess there is no real ~need~ to overhaul it (not that that has ever stopped Intel in the past).

    For that price, you do expect a great board. However, GIGABYTE’s X58-UD9 was $700 back in the day and I hated it. It was one of the quirkiest boards I’d worked with at the time. As for Intel, they cycle through the mainstream chipsets too quickly and not fast enough on the HEDT side.

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