Overall and Final Verdict
When you have a lot of the other motherboard manufacturers following and copying each other it is nice sometimes to have someone that does things their own way. EVGA has been doing their own thing for a while now and they seem to be happy to continue doing it. It's funny back in the day their boards seemed extra flashy because they blacked everything out but now everyone else is going crazy with RGB lighting and EVGA now looks like the subtle option. The X299 Micro is all blacked out and is going to look good in just about any build. The new styling they went with on the I/O shield and one of the heatsinks is sharp as well and it matches their new cooler design. Speaking of the rear I/O heatsink, talk about a small feature that makes a huge difference in how good the board looks, covering up the metal I/O components helps a lot with the blacked out look. Performance was solid in my testing, even when I found out I was only running on three sticks of ram lol.
Speaking of the ram, EVGA likes to keep things simple and only have the four DIMMs and it does help with overclocking. But it is nice to have a little room for expandability in the future without having to toss all of your current memory, having just four slots is fine on a dual channel board but with X299 (mostly) supporting quad channel it would have been nice to have the 8 DIMMs though even MSI’s mATX board only has four so I’m sure it is a space issue more than anything else. I would also love to see them include an internal USB 3.1 header as well, I think those are going to be very popular with cases here very soon. Beyond that my other issues were related to the wireless adapter. I’m not a big fan of having to install it myself, mostly because installing the two antenna cables is a pain and you later have to attach them to the I/O shield and remember to detached them if you pull your board out. But also the wireless performance was on the low side. I’m not sure if it is the antenna design or my wireless adapter installation.
The board itself is solid and the fact is there aren’t actually very many options for x299 in the mATX form factor. As of writing this, you can’t even find the X299 Micro yet and MSI is the only other company with an mATX board listed. As it sits the MSI board does have one more M.2 slot than the EVGA but the X299 Micro is also cheaper. I say cheaper because at $269.99 you can’t really call that cheap. But that is more related to x299 as a whole. Even the cheapest x299 boards are still up over $200. So if you are planning an mATX x299 build the X299 Micro is the cheapest option and you are getting a great looking blacked out motherboard with all of the features that you should need. In fact, x299 in a mATX build is sounding like a lot of fun assuming you can deal with the heat.
Live Pricing: HERE