ASUS X99-DELUXE Motherboard Performance Review


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Overclocking the X99-DELUXE

As has been their practice for some time now, ASUS provides many different overclocking and performance enhancing features, whose operation covers the gamut from rank beginner to experienced overclocker. Frankly it’s gotten a little confusing, as it’s not always obvious how the various systems interact. Here’s what you have to work with– and decide upon:

Hardware Switches

  • EZ XMP
  • EPU
  • TPU I / TPU II


  • EZ System Tuning
  • EZ Tuning Wizard
  • AI Tweaker

Windows utility

  • AI Suite 3 / DIP 5
  • Manual control of TPU and EPU

That’s eight different overclocking mechanisms, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I missed a couple. In general the hardware switches have the highest priority: any settings the switch changes will be reset to what the board thinks they should be every time you turn the computer on. For example, if the EZ XMP switch is on, and you go into the BIOS and disable XMP, it will be on the next time you boot the system. This makes sense but it gets more complex when it’s not obvious exactly which settings a switch changes. For example, the TPU I settings doesn’t change BCLK, but the TPU II setting does.

What surprised me this time was the amount of trouble I had with the various auto-overclocking options, especially from within the BIOS. Selecting EZ System Tuning or going through the EZ Tuning Wizard options generally resulted in a system that wouldn’t POST, with the POST LED sticking with a mysterious “bd” display:


I say “mysterious” because according to the manual, codes from B8 through BF are “reserved for future AMI codes”, whatever those are. In some cases resetting the system would let it boot, albeit into a BIOS warning that “Overclocking failed! Press F1 to continue”, but in a few cases I had to press the CLR_CMOS button to get the system to boot.

Upgrading to the latest 0801 BIOS reduced the frequency of this problem but it still occurred at least half the time I tried any of these overclocks; but I’m sure ASUS will fix this with a future BIOS release. I’ve seen a similar problem with the EZ Tuning Wizard feature in the BIOS of ASUS’ Sabertooth Z79 Mark 1 motherboard, which also produced unbootable overclocks.

With the Intel-supplied Core i7-5960X Haswell-E CPU, I settled on four overclocking profiles: stock (none), TPU II, the settings achieved with the 5-way optimization sequence from AI Suite 3, and the best manual overclock I was able to achieve. Here are the settings for each profile:

Stock 100 35 No 3.5 1.1
TPU II 125 31 Yes 3.875 1.1
DIP 5 100 44 (1-4 cores), 43 (4-8 cores) No 4.4/4.3 1.25
Manual OC 100 44 No 4.4 1.3

Follow me to the next section for the results!


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1 comment

  1. Chris

    At the moment, this board has some issues. It looks like the early BIOS as your review notes is not entirely stable.

    Check this out:

    Could be defects with the early revisions.

    Best to wait it out and see if there’s a revision 2.0 and/or BIOS updates to correct these issues.

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