ASUS Z97 SaberTooth TUF Motherboard - is it TUF enough ?
Today we'll review the ASUS Z97 SaberTooth Motherboard. Join us in a review on a product that is bound to please the PC gamer. The Z97 TUF themed mainboard is intended for Intel's 22nm Haswell and Haswell refresh processors on that Socket LGA1150 platform. It is a mainstream to high-end segmented product amongst the ASUS Sabertooth series that comes with some nice features and very decent overclock potential.
Intel released their series 9 chipsets, among them will be low-end and high-end desktop solutions. For the consumers and readers of Guru3D, H97 and Z97 will be the two most interesting ones. For the HTPC end of things H97 is the most appealing as tweaking options are stripped away with a lower price-tag. For the more hardcore gamers and PC aficionados, the Z97 is the most interesting. Z97 by itself as a chipset is nothing special. HOWEVER, we have plenty to look at as the motherboard manufacturers went totally nuts and started redesigning their motherboards, added new features and made them extraordinarily cool. You'll spot new redesigns build on the DNA of Z87 yet improved massively.
TUF, short for The Ultimate Force - you know in the 2nd revision of the TUF motherboard series I figured, naah, that plastic shield is not going to work out. In the 3nd revision ASUS even left it out likely due to comments from the media. Just like the Z77/Z87 release, it's back though and in full effect as both the top and bottom side are now shielded. This is the Intel Z97 chipset based TUF (The Ultimate Force) motherboard from ASUS and yeah it's a handsome motherboard alright, if it's your taste of course. Z97 is the Intel chipset predominantly released for Haswell refresh based processors, generation 4 of the Core processors. The accompanying motherboards will have a slightly altered feature set. Next to processor support the changes for Z97 primarily can be found in more native USB 3.0 support and M.2. (albeit not present on the Sabertooth) as well as an upgrade towards PCIe gen 3 PCIe x16 slots and multiple SATA 6 Gbps ports. The result is a motherboard based on a black and green ceramic design whilst being armed some nice features. The Sabertooth Z97 now has a slightly altered designed set of Thermal Armor. If you wonder what that is, it is the heat plastic shield on top, meant to direct air flow and keep the motherboard's components protected and better cooled. Upgraded as well is a backplate that secures the board against bending and bowing when installing expansion.
This article is a full review of what you may expect from the TUF series Sabertooth Z97, a series designed for high durability and efficient cooling with Intel's 4th-generation processors. All-in-all this motherboard offers it all, so join me in an extensive review and overview of what ASUS has to offer with the Z97 TUF series SaberTooth motherboard, next page please.
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