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Introduction

The ASUS X99-PRO is a top mid-range motherboard for the new Intel high-end “Haswell-E” processors, based on the new LGA2011-v3 socket. It includes three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, ten SATA-600 ports (with one SATA Express connector), ten USB 3.0 ports, a high-end audio controller, and an integrated Wi-Fi 802.11ac interface. Let’s take a good look at this board.

The new Intel X99 platform supports the new socket LGA2011-v3 processors. However, it is not compatible with former socket LGA2011 CPUs, which require motherboards based on the Intel X79 chipset. The main difference between the two platforms is that LGA2011 processors are compatible with DDR3 memories, while LGA2011-v3 CPUs can use the new DDR4 standard.

The main differences between the X99 and the X79 chipsets, besides the CPU support as mentioned above, are the number of USB 3.0 and SATA-600 ports: the X99 offers ten SATA-600 and six USB 3.0 ports, while the X79 supports only two SATA-600 ports and has no native support for USB 3.0 ports.

In Figure 1, you see the ASUS X99-PRO motherboard. What immediately catches the eye is its white plastic frame that covers the audio section and the rear panel connectors. There are details in white on the heatsinks too, which gives the motherboard an unique and clean look. It uses the ATX form factor (12 x 9.6 inches or 305 x 244 mm).

ASUS X99-PROFigure 1: ASUS X99-PRO motherboard

ASUS X99-PROFigure 2: ASUS X99-PRO motherboard with its frame and heatsinks removed

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Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.