Subsystem Testing

For all Subsystem Testing, an Intel Core i9 10980XE (3.0GHz / 4.6GHz Boost) and 4x 8GB (32GB total) Corsair Vengeance LPX (3866MHz DDR4 18-19-19-28, 1T@1.35v) memory modules running at DDR4 3200MHz speeds were used. For power, I used the an Enermax MaxTytan 800watt unit. Our discreet graphics card needs were handled by an MSI RTX 2080 Super Gaming X-Trio. The CPU was cooled with a Koolance Exos 2.5 system and a EK Velocity RGB water block. The internal flow channel was properly configured for Intel’s HEDT CPU’s.

Sound Hardware

The ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 utilizes what ASUS calls it’s Crystal Sound 3 audio solution. The composition of this implementation includes a Realtek S1220A HD audio codec. The implementation features audio shielding, premium Japanese audio capacitors, dedicated audio PCB layers, a de-pop circuit and a power pre-regulator. This CODEC features a 120dB signal to noise ratio for the stereo line-out and 113dB SNR for line-in. Like other ASUS solutions, the Prime X299 Edition 30 offers impedance sending capability. That is, when connecting headphones, the circuit will configure the output to the same impedance for optimal sound quality.

Audio Specifications

Realtek® S1220A 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

  • Power pre-regulator reduces power input noise to ensure consistent performance
  • Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
  • Internal audio Amplifier to enhance the highest quality sound for headphone and speakers
  • Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
    Audio Feature :
  • DTS X®:Ultra
  • Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
  • Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
  • Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
  • Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
  • Unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise to audio outputs

Audio – Subjective Listening

The quality of the audio solution is excellent. When playing music or playing games, the sound quality was rich, vibrant and clear. The test consisted of listening to music from Spotify as well as playing games such as Destiny 2 and the others used in our testing suite.

Audio – Subjective Recording / Playback

The audio solution had little distortion with the microphone boost disabled. Naturally, the audio levels were quite low. In some cases, distortion is present with the boost feature disabled, but that wasn’t the case here. When the microphone boost was enabled the recording sample was clear and free of distortion with much greater audio levels.

DPC Latency

For those who may not know what DPC is, I’ll explain. Deferred procedure calls are a function within Windows that allows higher priority tasks such as device drivers to defer lower priority tasks for execution at later times. It’s an interrupt and reassignment of sorts performed by the operating system.

DPC latency varies from board model to model and brand to brand. DPC issues show up in the form of audio dropouts and streaming video issues. Naturally, this is something that the enthusiast would want to avoid. I used LatencyMon and let it run for 10 minutes to graph the results. I have compiled a list of several systems I’ve tested over the last year and placed the results in a graph for easy reference. This way we can compare DPC results to other motherboards which should be more meaningful than the old format I used before.

In this test, we saw a DPC latency of 404.39. This is on the higher end of the spectrum than some other systems we’ve tested. However, its well below a threshold for concern. At no point were their issues with audio playback, be it music, videos or gaming.

Join the Conversation

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. No Power and Temp measurements? Nice review, and if I had the money and a nuclear reactor, would be something I’d like to build one of these days..
  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.

  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.
  6. 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!

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

Leave a comment