As our reference article has already shown, the Sandy Bridge-E platform is a power-house and it is bound to set some new records.
The SBE processor combined with the right motherboard has all the ingredients of a truly hardcore PC that allows flexible overclocking and performance levels that are near silly when overclocked.
The Sabertooth is an absolutely adorable motherboard that holds ground really well. We had a bit of a heat issue with the liquid cooling setup, but otherwise an overclock at 5 GHz would not have been an issue. We settled at 4.8 GHz none the less.
Aesthetics wise admittedly I have to state that I do not find the TUF Sabertooth X79 a fantastic looking motherboard, I also have to say that that is an incredible personal thing to say, as taste differs. The plastic hood on top of the rear IO looks and feels a little flimsy, then again the ceramic enhanced heatsink I do like very much. Again, taste differs though, and I'm sure that some of you are wiping some drool off your faces while just having read this article.
Where the Sabertooth will shine is pricing though, the TUF series never have been expensive. Then again, the X79 chipset itself already nears 80 EUR so they won't be cheap either. Realistically we expect to see this motherboard retail just above the 275 EUR marker.
As stated in the reference Sandy Bridge-E article, the Intel X79 chipset by all means is sufficient, but just that. We expected a little more SATA3 ports and native USB 3.0 amongst others. Manufacturers like ASUS adapt and react to that by adding ICs and compensate for the chipset, the more components used drives prices upwards and it's what is making X79 motherboards more expensive.
Being a somewhat 'affordable' X79 motherboard you do see features stripped away. No little buttons, extra LEDs, or Diagnostic POST displays. However, everything desired is supplied, the three USB 3.0 controllers allow up-to 6 USB 3 devices, you'll get plenty of SATA ports of which four are SATA3. We love the Intel based Ethernet jack and the onboard cooling solution, as let's not forget that ASUS did a lot to design an optimal thermal solution.
Not mentioned in the article, but definitely worth a mention is that the motherboard also allows for Hybrid (Intel SRT) caching, meaning you can use an SSD to cache your HDD to speed up your PC storage experience.
The baseline performance will be as good as any X79 motherboard, however we don't see you purchasing a 900 EUR processor without overclocking it. With the help of the sublime EZ uEFI BIOS you get all the features and options you could wish for in that GUI BIOS. The end result is a motherboard that brings everything needed to the table, at what we hope is a fair price (within its category).
Definitely recommend, if it's your cup of tea and within your price range.
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ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79 review ASUS initially had a mild success with the Sabertooth series, they carefully launched just in the USA as a tryout, yet once the concept picked up, they noticed demand worldwide. Head on over to the next page where we'll discuss the X79 chipset, the respective ASUS models. Then we'll throw a decent photo-shoot and a benchmark suite at the products and get an indication what performance is like with the Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) and X79 Platform.
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