In the top 2 X99 MATX boards8/11/2016 6:57:00 AM

Pros: This board has most of everything I need, including Bluetooth. Bios Flashback is one great deal from Asus, i.e. flash with no CPU or RAM. Handles 64GB RAM in 4 slots. 2 LAN ports. Runs Windows 10 without a hitch. Runs XMP great and no issues overclocking even with memory at 1.35v. Sound quality decent for onboard, Numerous USB 3 ports along with a couple of USB 2's on the back. Nicely understated looks that work great for a desktop with a window. Fan control is second to none, even better than my Maximus VIII Gene

Cons: M.2 slot is only X2, so you do not get advantage of X4 speeds Fan headers in funky places, none along the bottom edge of the board and the CPU fan header is towards the middle of the board by the CPU socket - I usually see those on the top edge of the board I'd love to have the PCIE X1 slot on the bottom edge of the board instead of by the PCIE X16-1 slot because if you use a double slot card like most people do, it renders the X1 slot unusable. I'm old school and use an X-FI sound card, which would work nicely in an X1 slot placed on the bottom edge of the board. Dual 8 pin CPU connectors is kind of weird, especially on a MATX board Board spins up the fans to full throttle before it posts, so it can be loud for 5-8 seconds before the board posts

Overall Review: I have a lot of cons listed that are nit-picky, but overall, I believe this to be in the top 2 MATX X99 boards. I have tried them all and settled on this one for my desktop system. I'm running the latest Broadwell-E processor after a very easy USB BIOS Flashback Procedure. I was worried I would have to find a CPU to do the flash, but WELL DONE ASUS! Although the Samsung 950 runs fine in the X2 M.2 slot, I really wish it was X4. I could live with most of the nit-picky stuff, but I'd really like to have the X4 M.2. 64GB of Vengeance DDR4 2800 jumped into XMP mode without issue. You certainly cannot go wrong with Asus build quality and reliability. Just to be clear for those who are wondering, I followed the instructions from Asus for a 3003 bios flash, stuck the big Broadwell-E in, and it booted without hesitation - no RAM, no CPU, just the 24 pin and 8 pin CPU connectors and the USB stick for the flash.

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