ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

by - 4 years ago

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Final Thoughts


Pricing 

At the time of writing, the ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S is available from Overclockers UK for £164.99 plus shipping. This teeters towards the higher end market although it’s significantly cheaper than flagship motherboards like the MSI Z170A GAMING M9 ACK. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to compare the motherboard to other options because of the unique styling. The retail price is cheaper than its predecessor but this is probably down to the removal of the rear heatsink and smaller thermal armour.

Overview

Motherboard manufacturers tend to adopt fairly safe aesthetic designs to maximize sales and cater towards the core gaming demographic. This is the reason why you see so many red and black products. As a result, any company which breaks the mould and takes a risk deserves recognition. The ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S is undeniably special and even if you dislike the theme, it’s something which really catches people’s attention. Personally, I absolutely adore the white PCB and camouflage highlights. Saying that, I’m a little disappointed to see the thermal armour being targeted around the rear I/O. Although, it makes sense to find a more enticing price point for enthusiasts. ASUS decided to focus more on the military aspect than the Z97 Saberooth Mark S. I would have preferred a simplistic white colour scheme but the camouflage areas grow on you rather quickly. Overall, ASUS has done a splendid job and I hope this inspires more companies to produce motherboards sporting a white PCB.

As a TUF product, the motherboard incorporates the finest quality of components to prolong its lifespan and last well beyond the five-year warranty. This includes the premium 8+4 power design, TUF alloy chokes, TUF 10K capacitors, low RDS TUF MOSFETs and more! Additionally, ASUS’ DIGI+ VRM, PRO Clock and TurboV Processing Units give you complete control and provides every inconceivable tool to maximize performance. On another note, the motherboard features a good audio solution with an integrated amplifier to drive high impedance headphones. There’s also support for extreme 3-way Crossfire setups or users who want to pair two NVIDIA GPUs in an SLI rig. Another highlight is the excellent fan arrangement which makes it ridiculously easy to route cables in a clean manner.

The BIOS is almost perfect and caters towards users with varying technical abilities. For example, the EZ mode obscures complex functionality which may confuse novice builders and lists key settings in a simple and slick user-interface. Switching the advanced mode opens up a huge array of options to adjust CPU power saving measures and system behaviour. Overclocking on any Z170 motherboard is such a simple process and involves increasing the CPU core ratio and accompanying voltage. The ASUS BIOS makes this so easy because of the excellent layout.

In terms of performance, the motherboard attains superb stock numbers and does really well once overclocked. The CPU scores in Cinebench and WPrime really impressed me and remained near the top position. Granted, the figures in SiSoft Sandra weren’t ideal but the overall picture is very positive.  On another note, the average M.2 read speed surpassed many alternatives and the motherboard did really well during USB storage tests. The memory performance wasn’t the greatest on record but it’s still within a very reasonable margin of the best results. Whether you’re overclocking a Skylake CPU or using the base frequency, the motherboard will churn out exceptional performance figures across a number of leading benchmarks. In particular, the 3D scores are sublime and emphasizes the product’s credentials as a gaming-centric product.

Pros

  • Daring colour scheme
  • Excellent performance
  • Great audio
  • Fantastic BIOS
  • Five Year Warranty
  • Huge connectivity options
  • Impressive temperature monitoring
  • Magnificent motherboard layout
  • Premium components

Cons

  • Q-LEDs can easily be obscured by a long graphics card

“The ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S’ gorgeous white PCB and camouflage detailing combines to make a truly unique design which offers something different to every other product on the market. Not only that, the motherboard’s five-year warranty and TUF components ensures your investment will perform beautifully for many years to come.”

innovation-award2

ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

Thank you ASUS for providing us with this sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS and Overclocking
  5. Software Overview
  6. CPU Performance
  7. Memory Performance
  8. Storage Performance
  9. Networking Performance
  10. Audio Performance
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Final Thoughts
  13. View All

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