I’ll try and keep this simple. The fact of the matter is, this is a niche board and that’s putting it mildly. That’s OK as there are lots of them out there. ASUS will probably sell 10x as many Prime X299 Edition 30s as they will Dominus Extremes. That said, as a commemorative product, I think this one delivers on most fronts. It has an awesome bundle with features that I frankly couldn’t explore fully and get this article done in a reasonable amount of time. It also definitely feels like a premium experience. People who have only bought used cars or Chevy’s may not have ever tried to buy a Porsche or other more upscale vehicle. While certain scum bag sales tactics are universal, the general feel and presentation of the products on the higher end definitely feels special when compared with more mundane options.
You can buy a basic and reliable X299 motherboard from any reputable vendor. The Prime X299 Edition 30 doesn’t really do that much more in a practical sense, but little things elevate it to another level and makes you feel like you bought a luxury car rather than some reasonably-priced used car that will be reliable, but otherwise mundane. Is that worth the price? Well, that depends on who you ask. How much money someone has or what value they place on a premium experience varies from one individual to the next.
Personally, I don’t think the Prime X299 Edition 30 is worth the price premium over a similar solution like the Prime X299 Deluxe II or the Rampage VI Extreme. It does offer some of the best VRM’s and construction I’ve ever seen from ASUS, but it doesn’t really do anything those other boards don’t and in some cases, it might even do less when you compare it to the ROG version. It lacks mesh settings or LN2 provisions. For the $750 you don’t get some hybrid water block solution or a monoblock or something else that would have commemorated the 30th anniversary of the company just as well but provided a better value add for the consumer.
With my own money, I wouldn’t spend more than $500 for this motherboard, but if it had a CPU / VRM monoblock, or something along those lines I’d jump on it as those are things I would be interested to buy anyway for a CPU like the 10980XE which requires a considerable amount of cooling to tame and to get the most out of it.
The ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 is every bit as good a motherboard as anything I’ve ever tested in my 14 years or more of writing motherboard reviews. It exudes quality and stability at every turn. The included bundle is not only very nice but generally useful. Accessories like the Fan Extension II card are solid value adds that increase the capabilities of the motherboard. Not only that, but the VRM’s, cooling, and aesthetics of the motherboard are top-notch. The X299 platform may be old, but even newer platforms don’t offer that much if anything over what X299 does today.
Frankly, this is a commemorative and special product. It’s a niche within a niche and you’ve got to have deep pockets to be able to buy and enjoy this motherboard. I’ve often thought of the idea of collecting motherboards to be almost absurd, but I do realize some people do it and perhaps this motherboard will have some appeal on that front. It’s a solid motherboard and if you want to build or upgrade to an X299 system, you won’t be unhappy with the Prime X299 Edition 30. The problem is, there are very few people that will either be able to afford this motherboard or be willing to make the necessary build choices to fully appreciate it. I think this is an outstanding piece of hardware and one of the best X299 motherboards on the market, it’s just such a shame that few people will ever experience it.
Let’s face it. There are very few reasons to buy or build an X299 based system today. It’s late in the life cycle of LGA 2066 and the X299 chipset. AMD’s Threadripper CPU’s are more powerful than Intel’s Core i9 10980XE. Lesser CPU’s in the Cascade Lake-X family are hard-pressed to compete against AMD’s mainstream offerings and the 10980XE is kind of marooned somewhere in the middle of all that. It has a place, sure and that’s where you’ll find a reason to consider the Prime X299 Edition 30. And if for some reason, an X299 motherboard is something you want to buy, I’d consider the Prime X299 Edition 30 as it will provide an experience to remember. However, that comes with a huge caveat and that caveat is the price.
I think the Prime X299 Edition 30 deserves our gold award for several reasons. I’ve tested many X299 motherboards and this is probably, if not the best of them despite its excessive price and weird market position. It also earns points for being a nice commemorative piece and something that’s going to be a limited edition whether that was intentional or not. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close as I’ve seen from any other motherboard model.