Intel announced their Haswell-E platform along with the new X99 chipset a few days ago. As all other motherboard manufacturers, ASUS also released their X99 motherboards on the same day. Their launch day lineup included the ROG Rampage V Extreme, X99 Deluxe and X99-E WS. However, details of two more motherboards, X99-A and X99 Pro, emerged that day but they were not officially unveiled. In addition to those two, we’ve just spotted another ASUS motherboard which was not officially announced on the launch day. The ASUS X99-S has been seen on the European online stores for around £200 to £220.
Despite having a different name, we could not spot a difference between the X99-S and X99-Deluxe. They look exactly the same and have exactly the same set of features. Both have eight memory slots supporting DDR4, five PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, one PCIe x4 slot and an M.2 slot. There are eight SATA 6 GB/s and two SATA Express ports storage connectivity on both motherboards. They have exactly the same back I/O panel as well as same heatsink design.
The only difference we could spot between the X99-S and X99-Deluxe is that former is considerably cheaper. The X99-S is listed for £203 on Aria UK, £227 on Amazon UK and at Overclockers UK, it is part of a CPU+motherboard deal containing Core i7 5930K. This deal is for £609 so if we take out the cost of the CPU, the X99-S ends up being around £200. Whereas, the X99-Deluxe is around £300 at Overclocker UK and Amazon UK. Overclockers UK has mentioned the X99-S as an exclusive motherboards. We couldn’t find any official existence of X99-S on ASUS’ website so our best guess is that it is made in limited quantity and will be provided to a selected number of vendors in Europe. So if you are in Europe and you are planning to buy the X99-Deluxe, then you should definitely drop that and get the X99-S instead as it’s exactly the same motherboard for around £100 cheaper.
We’ve contacted our sources to seek more information about the X99-S and we’ll report back if we find anything new.
Update (11 PM, 07 September, 2014): We missed it in our first inspection but we’ve just noticed that the X99-S comes with only one gigabit Ethernet port and no WiFi whereas the X99-Deluxe comes with WiFi as well as dual gigabit Ethernet. So if you don’t need that much networking options, the X99-S provides great value for money as compared to X99-Deluxe.