Value & Conclusion
- The ASUS M5A99X EVO should hit store shelves soon, with a MRSP $164.99.
- Packed with added features not seen on some other products in the same price range
- Clean, color-themed and traditional layout
- EFI bios with support for 3TB+ drives
- Fully functional UEFI BIOS, including screen capture and mouse support
- VRM capable of 275W, near double AMD CPU TDPs.
- Fully functional software package offers everything available in BIOS for overclocking, and a bit more
- First AMD chipset to support SLI
- Lack of an included accessory to make use of the USB 3.0 front panel header, and only four SATA cables in the box.
- Crossfire limited to x8/x8 connectivity
- Under-performing USB 3.0 controller
After spending several days with the ASUS M5A99X EVO, we walked away feeling quite impressed. Although there is a significant jump in pricing from the M5A97 EVO to the M5A99X EVO, we found that cost is nearly justified, for several reasons, but we're not sure if there is $60 worth of extras. First of all, the extra PCIe expansion and SATA connectivity options stand out, and the lowered overall power consumption adds some as well. We noticed better performance in nearly every benchmark too, and we cannot forget one of the biggest added options: NVIDIA SLI support on the AMD chipset. You get a bit more in the box as well, but when it comes down to user experience, nothing is different, and that’s exactly what we want to see. There is no loss of functionality here to get those extras, and ASUS has done a fantastic job of creating an entire product line with the new 9-Series AMD chipsets, with each product really customized based on price segments and users' needs. We did deduct points for the lack of a USB 3.0 panel to make use of the front panel header, which without one being in the box, serves functionality that many users will not be able to capitalize on with their existing computer casings, and we also deducted a few points for software installation issues we encountered. As mentioned, we did notify ASUS of this problem, and we are sure it will be remedied in the near future. All in all, the ASUS M5A99X EVO truly is an evolution in product design; an evolution in the right direction, without a doubt. However, if you know without a doubt that you will use the board only for single-GPU use, then the AMD 970 based ASUS M5A97 EVO is probably good enough. It is roughly $40 cheaper, is missing the multi-GPU features and two SATA 3 Gbps ports, yet comes with essentially the same BIOS and software.