ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II Review
Published: 29th October 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Normally it is at this point that we'll go through the graphs and specifications with a fine tooth comb and talk about the various benefits and drawbacks, areas that shine and ones that aren't quite as lustrous. As we said in our introduction though the point of our time spent with the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II today isn't so much to see how it fares against the previous motherboards we've reviewed, but instead we're here to take a glimpse at what it offers and see the kind of thing we can expect when the full range of updated motherboards appear alongside the next generation Intel X series processors.
Certainly if we just compare the Strix II to the original you can see how quickly the PC hardware market has moved on in such a short space of time. It's about 30 months since the first X299 chipset motherboards arrived and we've seen an explosion of M.2 sockets as the standard storage option thanks to their insane throughput. If the difference between regular old mechanical drives and Solid State offerings was like night and day then the NVMe performance isn't perhaps as life changing but we've definitely reached a point at which your system is never waiting for the drive to sort itself out. 3GB/s never stops being delightful. With the reduction in price of even the beefy M.2 drives there has never been a better time to take the step up and with so many M.2 sockets on the Strix II they'll all fit in happily. You aren't compromised in the number of SATA ports either, so your old SSDs can come along for the ride without you needing to make a harsh decision and take some of them behind the woodshed.
It isn't only in the world of storage that things have moved on apace though. The Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 200 has enough wireless bandwidth to sate the needs of all but the most demanding users with cutting edge home networking setups. This is also true of the addition of a 2.5G LAN port alongside the more common GigaLAN that adorns the back of the Strix II. Memory bandwidth has seen a smaller step up but one nonetheless with the Strix II now sporting 4266MHz DDR4 by default. We're sure that overclockers will push that much further. Whilst the Strix X299-E II doesn't have PCI Express 4 there has been an improvement to the PCI Express 3.0 slots which are now capable of running at 16x on all three, instead of the 16/8/8 of the original Strix X299-E. Useful if you're one of those people with a multi-GPU setup, or perhaps a PCI Express based storage drive. Lastly there is movement in the USB department too as all the USB 3.1 ports have been replaced by USB 3.2 Gen2 options almost everywhere and USB 3.2 Gen1 in a couple of spots.
When the Intel CPU finally arrive we'll revisit the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II and give it a full run through our current benchmarking suite and be better able to see how it compares to its contemporaries and award it. For now its an interesting look at what will soon be forming the backbone of some high end systems.
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