ASUS X99-A Conclusion
ASUS likes to cover all the bases, so for any particular Intel chipset they’ll typically offer a range of motherboards ranging from a “value” motherboard to workstation-oriented and enthusiast designs. The X99-A is the “value” X99 motherboard.
But don’t think for an instant that “value” means “cheap”: compared to the much more expensive X99-DELUXE, you’re giving up only features that most of us don’t need, without any compromise whatsoever in performance.
ASUS appears to have cleaned up all of the minor BIOS glitches I observed in my early production X99-DELUXE motherboard, and all operations including the various auto-overclocking options worked perfectly. Amazingly, for the first time ever, a board’s automatic overclocking software achieved the same results I was able to get on my own with hours of manual tweaking and testing. Honestly, while I’m somewhat sad that my overclocking skills are rapidly being rendered obsolete, it’s nonetheless very impressive that they managed to pull this off.
I remain conflicted on the very concept of the Haswell-E CPU as a consumer part. Professional content producers would be better served with a Xeon-based system, because they can be expanded with additional CPUs for even more power, and for consumers, better overall performance is available for less money with an X97-based system. But if you’ve got to go X99, the ASUS X99-A is a very good choice for $246.99 (Amazon | B&H | Newegg).
+ Updated UEFI reaches feature parity with LGA1150 boards
+ Multiple (and reliable) overclocking options
+ Everything you need in a system, and nothing you don’t
+ Amazing auto overclock from AI Suite 3
— X99 still doesn’t make sense for most people
— No tri-SLI bridge? Really?
Final Score: 9.05 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: Who makes the best motherboards, in your opinion?