ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction

ASUS have compiled a comprehensive Z170 motherboard range which caters to different sections of the consumer market. For example, the GAMING PRO line-up offers superb functionality and impeccable stability at an affordable price point. ROG products evoke a more premium feel and includes a stunning software suite for power users. The Sabertooth brand revolves around a stringent testing procedure to ensure each motherboard exhibits unprecedented reliability. The extreme thermal testing and deployment of TUF components prioritizes long-term durability. As a result, it’s a great option for consumers who demand a very high-end motherboard and have no intentions of upgrading in the near future.

Typically, motherboards opt for a red and black colour scheme because it’s the most popular option among the core gaming audience. Some time ago, ASUS unleashed the limited edition Z97 Sabertooth Mark S which utilizes an innovative white PCB and military camouflage. It’s quite rare to see motherboard sporting a white theme and while there is some competition from the MSI Krait series, ASUS is the only manufacturer to offer a pure white PCB.

The Sabertooth Z170 S is the spiritual successor to the Z97 Sabertooth Mark S and features a very unusual design philosophy. When adopting such a wacky colour scheme, it’s bound to have a polarizing reception and I’m fascinated to hear feedback on ASUS’ aesthetic choices. Looking beyond the visual aspects, I’m expecting to see some very impressive numbers given the premium electronics and DIGI+ Power Control.

Specifications

Packing and Accessories

The motherboard’s box is characterized by a white finish and contains camouflage highlights. This provides a great insight into the product’s unconventional styling and creates a web of intrigue. On the front, information regarding the 5 year warranty is displayed in a clear manner.

Moving onto the opposite side, there’s a detailed description of the product’s thermal radar monitoring made possible by the TUF ICe processor. On another note, the packaging outlines the rear I/O connectivity and basic motherboard layout.

Included in the package is a user’s guide, M.2 screws, driver’s disk, case badge, certificate of reliability, stickers and a gorgeous white I/O shield. As someone who loves the technical details of motherboards, it’s fantastic to read the reliability assessment document. Here, you can browse information regarding a huge array of tests such as moisture resistance, thermal shock, solder bath, salt spray and more!

There’s also four SATA cables, a Q Connector, CPU installation tool, back I/O dust cover and SLI bridge. The Q Connector is a really handy tool which eliminates the frustration factor when attaching front panel headers. Furthermore, the CPU installation tool is designed to minimize the contact time and pressure between your fingers and the CPU. While it’s not necessary for veteran builders, it could prevent beginners from causing damage during the build process.

ASUS TUF X99 Sabertooth (LGA 2011-3) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


X99, the chipset that has brought workstation power to the consumer level, has been around with us for a few months now. In this time, motherboard manufacturers have had time to tweak and release their top of the line motherboards with the best features and settings. A little out of the gates with the trademark TUF SABERTOOTH motherboard is ASUS.

That’s right, we have received our sample of the legendary TUF (The Ultimate Force) series motherboard, based on the X99 chipset. This particular model series allows ASUS to cram as much military grade inspired technology as possible into one motherboard. Covered from top to bottom in a checkered plate style cover and using only the finest capacitors in the world.

ASUS cherry pick and test all of the components to server specifications, giving them the confidence to grace this motherboard with a 5 Year warranty period. The attention to detail on the TUF series allows the users to take full control of the system in terms of cooling, allowing you to control 9 adjustable fan headers in tandem with 12 real-time temperature sensors to really choose the best fan placement. Along with the ultra durability and cooling features presented by the TUF range, ASUS along include the brand new USB 3.1 format, capable of 10Gp/s transfers.

Let’s take a look if all these features really make an ounce of difference.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, ASUS is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

  • USB 3.1 Boost
  • USB BIOS Flashback
  • USB Charger+
  • Remote Go!
  • ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ mode
  • Turbo LAN
  • Push Notice
  • AI-Suite 3
    • Q-connector
    • Q-Shield
    • Q-LED
    • Q-Slot
    • Q-DIMM
    • OC Profile
    • CrashFree BIOS 3
    • ASUS EZ-Update
    • Disk Unlocker
    • EZ Flash 2

Now because this is one of ASUS’ trump cards, they’ve crammed in a little more ‘TUF’ features:

  • Ultimate Cool
    • Thermal Armour
    • Thermal Radar 2 with Thermistors
    • ICe
  • We Got Your Back
    • Fortifier
  • TUF Engine
    • 8+2 Phase Power
    • TUF  Components (10K capacitors, Chose & MOSFET)
    • DIGI+ Power Control
  • SAFE & Stable
    • TUF Detective
    • TUF ESD Guards 2
    • Dust Defenders
    • MemOK!

For more information on these functions, please visit the ASUS TUF X99 SABERTOOH product page.

Packaging and Accessories

The box is feature covered, yet simple; very plain and neutral colour scheme. It’s a shame really, I was expecting a metal briefcase similar to the AMD R9 295×2, that would really drive home the “TUF” standard.

Inside the box is a huge amount of accessories; consisting of manuals, driver disk, 6x SATA cables, 1x SLi bridge connector, 1x Q-shield (backplate), 1x Q-Connector kit (easy front panel header connector), 1x 40mm fan, 4x DRAM slot dust covers,  assortment of PCi-e dust covers, 3x thermistor cables, assortment of addition I/O and internal header dust covers.

ASUS Showcase Enthusiast Tech @ CeBIT 2015

ASUS displayed a huge range of its technology here at CeBIT 2015. Nothing here today really stood out to use apart from the brand new X99 Sabertooth, full news article to be found here! I’m glad that the decision was made to finally produced this, it completes the range of the already extensive X99 series motherboards. We also saw the Z97-Deluxe and H97M-E, two of ASUSs’ biggest selling Z97 chipset motherboards.

ASUS kept the enthusiast section to a relatively small portion of the whole stand, which I found was a shame considering motherboards are what built it up, its forte so to speak. The most interesting stand out piece of tech on show was the show bench with a Matrix Platinum AMD R9 290X; powering the nearby computer for users to have a quick play on. Maybe we’ll see a little more of the enthusiast segment when we go to i-series in the near future.

We look forward to seeing what else ASUS has up its sleeve, maybe the finishing touches are being put on the Intel Z170 chipset motherboards and R9 300 series graphics cards. Any news or updates from ASUS, we will keep you updated.

ASUS Announce TUF Sabertooth X99 at CeBIT

ASUS’ TuF team has taken the Intel X99 motherboard and created an awesome looking and feature rich motherboard with the Sabertooth X99. The new motherboard looks great and comes with great features such as the second generation Thermal Radar, Thermal Armor, and fortified backplate.

USB 3.1 ports have obviously been added, but ASUS also added protective covers for all ports to protecting them while not being used. Also added is an exclusive and all-new technology that displays live system information on your smartphones and tablets, without even switching on the PC. Plug in your Android smartphone via the dedicated USB port on the rear IO. It can remotely turn on, restart, clear CMOS, view voltages and live system clock speeds.

All ports are protected from overvoltage, including USB sockets and audio connectors. Like the previous Sabertooth boards, this one is also built with the best of the best components such as Alloy Chokes with greater surface area, low RDSon MOSFETs, and TUF 10K Ti Caps.

USB 3.1 isn’t the only highlight on this motherboard, it also comes with support for all NVM Express options, including new 2.5-inch SSDs. There’s also plenty of storage options with 2 SATA Express and lots of SATA connections on this motherboard that’s backed by a 5-year warranty.

The X99 chipset has plenty of PCI lanes at disposal, so SLI and crossfire options should run great on this board. It also features M.2 sockets, Intel Gigabit LAN, Realtek ALC1150 8-channel audio and much more.

Thanks to ASUS for providing us with this information

ASUS TUF Sabertooth Z97 and Gryphon Z97 Motherboards Revealed

ASUS has revealed the latest editions to their range, the new TUF Z97 Series motherboards. These new boards are designed around the new Z97 chipset which launches alongside the upcoming Haswell refresh. The TUF Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1, Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2, Gryphon Z97 and Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition motherboards all support Intels 5th-generation Core processors and most importantly of all, Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 has exclusive support of the new 10 Gbit/s SATA Express interface for high-speed external storage. Each is available in both ATX and mATX form factors.

“TUF motherboards are world-renowned for their toughness, long-term stability, durability and bold styling, and the new models continue this proud tradition with a powerful new military-inspired design and the use of premium components throughout.” Said ASUS in a recent press release.

The TUF series of motherboards have thermal management, ICe cooling for precise fan control, Dust Diverter reversible fan technology and VGA fan. TUF Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 and Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition feature TUF Fortifier, a system turns the entire backplate of the motherboard into a huge heat-sink, helping keep the heat away from components such as the VRM, all of which will help the high-end components of your system stay in tip-top condition while also helping with system stability thanks to the lower temperatures these features can provide.

Packed full of cooling and stability features these boards do sounds great, but their build quality is also some of the best in the business thanks to the military-certified TUF components and strict testing procedures.  No words on price just yet, but you can expect to pay a premium for one of the most popular brands in the business, especially on a range that supports a new chip, chipset and high end features such as 10 Gbit/s SATA Express ports.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

ASUS Z87 Sabertooth (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review

Introduction


The ASUS Sabertooth/TUF series of motherboards is well known throughout the computer hardware industry as being one of the most rugged motherboard designs available. ASUS put the Z87 Sabertooth that we have here today through hell and back before the motherboard is delivered to end users. Of course the motherboard has to survive this endurance test before it makes it to consumers and the fact we’ve received this one here today with its certificate of reliability tells us it has passed the strict testing procedures. The ASUS Sabertooth Z87 is a feature packed motherboard but it isn’t your average enthusiast class motherboard. Unlike most motherboards which are often targeted at budget users, gamers and overclockers the ASUS Sabertooth Z87 is aimed at at different niche – those concerned with stability, reliability and durability.

The biggest selling points and features about the ASUS Sabertooth Z87 are to do with stability, reliability and durability. They include ASUS’ newly designed TUF Thermal Armor, the TUF Thermal Radar, TUF Fortifier, Dust Defenender and TUF Engine Power Design using military-spec components. Of course it also has other ASUS mainstay features such as their UEFI BIOS, OC Tuner, USB 3.0 Boost, TurboV Core and so on. Being an Intel Z87 motherboard you’ve also got the full benefits of the Z87 chipset including native SATA III support, native USB 3.0 support and the LGA 1150 socket which includes Haswell CPU support and PCI Express Generation 3.0 support. The Z87 Sabertooth balances a combination of abundant features and high performance with the Sabertooth/TUF philosophy of stability reliability and durability. Before we proceed don’t forget to check the full specifications below for a recap of what the Sabertooth Z87 from ASUS has to offer:

Computex: ASUS Display Sabertooth and Gryphon Haswell Z87 TUF Motherboards

ASUS hasn’t launched the Republic of Gamers series motherboards yet for Haswell Z87 so the TUF (The Ultimate Force) series motherboards are the best that they had on display at Computex 2013. The TUF series currently features the Sabertooth ATX Z87 motherboard and the Gryphon Z87 micro-ATX motherboard while ASUS have already hinted that we can expect more models to be added to the TUF series soon.

The main feature of the Z87 TUF series is the new thermal armor design with temperature sensors scattered underneath the thermal armor, ASUS call this Thermal Radar 2. ASUS has tweaked and tuned these motherboards for maximum stability and durability and they have things such as 10K rated black metallic capacitors which provide up to 5 times longer life span compared to rival motherboards.

Interestingly ASUS has also added a reinforced backplate to prevent motherboard flex and this gives a level of structural rigidity to the TUF series motherboards that I have seen on very few motherboards in the past.

These motherboards launched just 4 days ago and are currently available for $259.99 for the Sabertooth and $169.99 for the Gryphon. You can get more details on the ASUS Z87 TUF series here.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Asus announce Sabertooth 990FX Gen 3 R2.0 – First AMD PCI-Express 3.0 capable board

Today we see Asus unveiling the world’s first AMD-based motherboard with PCI-Express 3.0 functionality. Usually this feature would be reserved for Intel-based boards, but Asus have paved the way for boards with AMD chipsets to offer the same.

The Sabertooth 990Fx/Gen3 R2.0 board features the ability to use up to three next generation high performance DirectX 11 graphics cards through use of Nvidia’s SLI or AMD’s CrossFireX technology. This could be the start of AMD getting back in the game, by offering features that Intel counterparts have already done for quite some time.

The board still features the much loved TUF features that the Sabertooth brands lives up to with dual-heatpipe heatsinks and CeraM!X coating for improved heat dissipation but now includes this new technology to take on the opposition with.

Availability will see the boards appearing in retail stores from today and no word on exact pricing yet