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MSI X299 SLI Plus vs Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming

motherboards They are the main component of any computer, laptop or even mobile phone. It is the basis on which all other devices will be implementedTherefore, it is necessary for it to be a solid support, both in construction materials and performance. Here we will introduce you to two very powerful motherboards. MSI X299 SLI Plus and Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming

When choosing one, you are going to encounter a big problem and that is that there are hundreds of models from dozens of different manufacturers. Which motherboard to choose among so many models? Which one is correct to build the computer I want?

MSI X299 SLI Plus

There is currently no “cheap” Intel X299 motherboard, but the MSI X299 SLI Plus It’s probably the closest thing. It is cheaper than the Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, which was already a relatively cheap way to get up and running with Intel’s latest enthusiast platform, which includes families of Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs.

There are signs of the money-saving nature of X299 SLI Plus as soon as you open the box. Instead of the treasure trove of accessories we’re used to seeing included with X99 and X299 platesonly there are a pair of SATA cables, I/O shielding and an SLI bridge (Despite the name, both Nvidia’s SLI and AMD’s CrossFire systems are supported.)

Meanwhile he ROG Strix X299-E Gaming bet on PCI-E x4, MSI opted for four PCI-E x16 slots and two slots PCI-E x1 smaller, along with the trademarked X299 eight RAM slots, allowing Quad-channel DDR4 memory running at up to 4,133MHz. Do it with dual channel, and this increases to 4,500MHz.

Heat sink

A single U.2 port accompanies dual M.2 ports, which can run two NVMe SSDs in RAID mode. One of the latter is covered with a small removable heatsink, and carrying it out is less painful than with the larger equivalent of the ROG Strix X299-E. Speaking of cooling, the six fan headers on the X299 SLI Plus They are almost enough for a respectable water cooling setup, or if you want to fill your case with fans.

Connectivity

Regarding external connectivity, the X299 SLI Plus also surpasses the plate asus in the ports, although he trusts a little more in the platform USB2 slower, and It lacks any built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth functionality. It is the big number that allows you to be successful: four USB2 ports, four USB3 ports, one USB3.1 port and one USB Type-C port, with Flashback added and CMOS reset buttons for easier control over the BIOS. That’s not to mention the full set of audio outputs, including optical S/PDIF and C/SUB, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Performance

To test performance, a Intel Core i7-7740X CPU and 8 GB of RAM. This configuration scored 144 in the 4K benchmark image test, 149 in the video test, 163 in the multitasking test, and 155 overall. This final score is four points behind that of the ROG Strix X299-E Gamingbut you’ll struggle to see a difference in daily use.

It is also as stable as the Asus for overclocking, as the highest stable clock obtained from the Core i7-7740X with the board M: YES it was of 5.2GHzthe same as that of ROG Strix X299-E Gaming. Rerunning our benchmark software, the overall score of 173 was, once again, just four points behind, so the price difference won’t buy you much in terms of additional horsepower.

Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming

There is eight DIMM slotsfor example Support up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM four channels operating at speeds up to 4,133 MHz. There’s also four-way SLI and CrossFire support for multiple graphics cards; only There are three PCI-E slots (in addition to two PCI-E x4 slots and one PCI-E x1 slot), but you can use a card Dual GPU like the GeForce GTX 690 in one slot and fill the other two with standard single GPU cards for four total.

Of course, you’ll need enough PCI-E lanes to run each slot at the highest possible speed, so the performance of various GPUs depends largely on the CPU you choose. High-end Core i9-7900X offers 44 PCI-E lanesallowing the motherboard’s top two PCI-E x16 slots to operate at full x16 speeds, with only the third speed limited to x8. The remaining Skylake-X chips offer 24 lanes, for a x16/x8/x1 configurationwhile the family Kaby Lake-X has 16 lanes, just enough for x8/x8/x1. This may not be a luxury motherboard by LGA 2066/X299 standards, but it does scale reasonably well for luxury components.

Heat sink

Regarding cooling, one of the tricks of ROG Strix X299-E Gaming is a specialized M.2 heatsink, which is connected to the main PCH heat sink. This is a smart idea, it’s not uncommon for NVMe SSDs to be hot to the point of having to throttle, although the execution could have been better. Accessing the M.2 drive is now a bit complex, as you need to unscrew the entire PCH heatsink, which also partially hides the CMOS battery for some reason. This can also be annoying: there is no dedicated CMOS clear buttonor even a reset button, so physically removing the battery can become an integral part of troubleshooting.

Fortunately, there is a second unobstructed M.2 slot. Both slots support Intel Optane drives (as long as the BIOS is updated), and there are other internal goodies too, such as the useful two-digit LCD display and a touch of metal reinforcement around the PCI-E x16 slots.

Connectivity

On the external I/O panel, Asus BIOS flashback button (useful for updating from a USB drive) It is joined by two USB2 ports, five USB3.1 ports, a USB Type-C port, and a Gigabit Ethernet connector. There are plenty of audio connectors in the form of S/PDIF, C/SUB, rear speaker and line out outputs, as well as the usual microphone in and out, but there are no screen outputs because of Skylake-X and Kaby Lake. -X chips that lack integrated graphics.

The range of ports USB, In particular, it’s fine for everyday use, but a bit small for an enthusiast motherboard. At least most of The ports of the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming are USB3.1, which is faster than USB3, and also wins points for its wireless connectivity. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi are built in, and the I/O panel also includes a pair of connectors for the wired antenna.

Performance

There are no problems with the performance. The processor Intel Core i7-7740X showed high potential of overclocking when used with the Strix X299-E Gaming, remaining stable at 5.2GHz as it did at a speed of 4.3GHz.

BIOS

As for the BIOS, we prefer MSI’s grid-style layout to the slightly opaque series of tabs and lists used by the utility UEFI from Asus. However, the latter is still easy enough to navigate and, more importantly, offers incredibly fine control over your hardware. From individual frequency relations, frequency BCLK and voltage controls in general up to DRAM and rotation speeds, there’s more than enough to play with.

In conclusion…

The ROG Strix X299-E Gaming It’s a motherboard X299 versatile and reasonably priced, although you’re better off with Skylake-X. Although the least expensive parts of Kaby Lake-X might not be far ahead of their mainstream counterparts, you can get a decent set of premium features on a relatively affordable LGA 2066 motherboard.

Theasus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it’s not like its price is monstrous either, and it still offers almost everything you need to build a truly powerful computer.

The X299 SLI Plus met and exceeded expectations as a motherboard Cheap and wonderful X299. Even leaving aside its competitive performance and the wealth of physical connections, it has been organized in such a way that it seems more expensive; from the steel reinforcement around the PCI-E x16 slots to the useful LED readout for error codes, there’s certainly no shortage of desirable features. Only Make sure you give it the Skylake-X chip it deserves.

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