ASUS Sabertooth X79
ASUS continues to offer a wide range of motherboard products to suit just about any preference or budget here in the X79 product lineup. Some prefer uber-premium products, and for those there is the Republic of Gamer lineup, and we saw the Rampage IV Extreme was a top pick. For those that want the serious quality and durability, but a few less bells and whistles, not to mention better affordability, there is the Sabertooh X79.
There are no real compromises here, though, it’s simply a question of degree. The Sabertooth as all the ASUS hallmarks we’ve come to expect, just not so over-the-top as the Rampage board.
Intel’s last platform, the Z68 (LGA 1155) did not offer the Sabertooth-branded series so we’re happy to see the return on X79. Manufacturers offer various styling but we’ve seen several boards migrating to black/red colors that were originated by ASUS’ ROG series. ASUS wrote the book on this and we’re seeing more companies follow suit. The TUF series is unlike any other out there, and again ASUS is leading the way. Many will love the “Military” theme the Sabertooth brings to the table, but it definitely separates itself from the rest of the rat pack. Go ahead and custom mod a military-themed case, and friends will covet your rig with the Sabertooth.
The layout of the Sabertooth X79 is very good. We did not encounter any hardware installation issues out of the norm. The memory slots are now placed on each side of the processor and support up to 32GB. SATA 6G, USB 3.0 and PCIE 3.0 are all supported on Sabertooth, so the latest and greatest hardware can only add to the performance of the platform. Overclocking was very good, though just off the pace from the best we’ve achieved. Our 3930K chip limited the final clocks to 4.9GHz stable as we were pushing the temperatures slightly, but this is hardly the Sabertooth’s doing. Boost this board to 4.9GHz with three Radeon 7000 series or three Nvidia 600 series graphics cards and you’ll have a multi-screen gaming monster on your hands with these Sandy Bridge Extreme processors.
The ASUS UEFI BIOS was terrific as always and gives a multitude of options to suit just about everyone from the average user to the enthusiast for overclocking and tweaking the system. Add ASUS’ AI Suite II which is the best tool we’ve seen amongst motherboard manufacturers, and you have not only a well-built powerhouse but also a well-mannered and very polished setup with the Sabertooth X79.
The Sabertooth lives up to its reputation as an tough upper-tier motherboard within the X79 platform. Coming in at a price of about $330, it is a bit higher than we’d prefer to see, but we can’t truly complain. You do get what you pay for, and all X79 boards are more expensive than previous generation lineups.
If you’re in the market for moving to an X79 system, then the extensive features, solid design and construction, lengthy warranty, unique “Military” theme, and overall excellent performance of the Sabertooth X79 will form a solid core to a new setup.