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ASUS ROG STRIX X299-E Gaming Review

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  • Author: MAC
  • Date: September 27, 2017

Hardware Installation

In the Hardware Installation section we examine how major components fit on the motherboard, and whether there are any serious issues that may affect installation and general functionality. Specifically, we are interested in determining whether there is adequate clearance in all critical areas.

 

 
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Since it has such an unobstructed CPU socket area, installing any type of cooling on this motherboard should be a breeze. No matter if we install it in the East-West or North-South orientation, our Prolimatech Mega Shadow cooler and its numerous bits of mounting hardware had no issues physically clearing the capacitors or the MOSFET heatsinks.

 

 
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With the heatsink installed in the traditional North-South orientation, we surprisingly did not have any show stopping clearance issues when it came to installing or removing the memory modules. Having said that, as on all quad-channel motherboards, our cooler’s fan clips did make slight contact with the nearest memory module, but simply installing the clips after the RAM prevented any problems. Those using a heatsink that is wider than 122mm (with fans) or memory modules that are taller than 44mm will want to be careful, assuming a similar fan clip setup.

 

 
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There is a decent amount of room between the back of the graphics card and the memory slots, and RAM installation is further aided by the clip-less Q-DIMM memory slots. The 24-pin ATX power connector and the 8-pin and 4-pin CPU power connectors are ideally placed in their common locations, so that helps make assembling and disassembling the system just a tad easier.

 

 
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The M.2 bracket for the vertical M.2 slot is easy to install with two metal screws, and it really doesn’t interfere with any other part of the installation process. It might look weird, but it is an ingenious solution for increasing the number of M.2 devices that can fit on a motherboard. You will want to install this bracket and the M.2 drive before placing the motherboard in a case, since otherwise installation could get a little tricky.

 

 
 
 
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This board will hold two or three dual-slot graphics cards without issue. The cards overhang the motherboard, but the edge-mounted SATA connectors and various headers are still easily accessible. As on all motherboard, if you install a dual-slot expansion card in the bottom PCI-E x16 slot it will block the headers at the very bottom of the motherboard and make access to the various buttons difficult if not impossible.

The eight 90-degree SATA ports are obviously accessible no matter how many graphics cards are installed.

 

 
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Installing an SSD in the bottom M.2 slot is relatively simple. You simply need to unscrew the top cover of the heatsink, plug in and screw down the drive, and remount the cover. You shouldn’t need to remove your CPU heatsink, but you will have to remove any expansion card installed in the second PCI-E x16 slot.

 


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Much like on previous LGA2011 motherboards, this new LGA2066 model comes with its own CPU backplate, so there is really nothing to worry about back there.

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