ASUS X99 Sabertooth USB 3.1 Review
ASUS X99 Sabertooth USB 3.1
Asus released another powerful TUF X99 motherboard compatible with all NVM Express storage options with built-in USB 3.1. It’s one of the TUF Series which are well known for their Thermal Armor. It is also one of the first to support all the next gen storage options. Let’s have a look inside the box.
The first think you notice after unboxing is its weight. You know immediately what you are paying for. Build quality is just excellent and the overall military-look and design will raise some eyebrows for sure. One of the main features of this standard ATX 12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm ) mainboard is its cooling and the backplate, which improves stability of PCB itself. As high-end mainboards are often used together with big heavy air coolers and heavy graphics cards, this backplate gives it additions support against bending of PCB.
Small fan over the I/O panel provides additional cooling of important heat-producing components around the socket. The so-called Thermal Armor is a plastic cover providing at least some protection from dust and heat generated by other components inside the system as graphics cards or other expansion cards.
Thermal armor covers almost the whole front side of PCB. The only exposed area is PCIe slots and some other small regions.
For installing M.2 drive, you have to remove the protection cover first, where you find 1x M.2 Socket 3 for type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only).
As we already mentioned, this is a next generation mainboard, which means it already supports SATA express drives. The SATA-Express connection does not share bandwidth with the M.2 slot.
Storage Intel® X99 chipset :
1 x SATA Express portcompatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Recovery Technology
There are 8 x DIMM slots, for max. 64GB, DDR4 2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory available. Asus states support for memory speeds of up to 2400MHz, quad channel, although higher frequencies can be achieved. 3-card SLI is supported on a 40-lane CPU only. With a 40-lane chip, lane allocation of the three full-length PCIe slots is x16/x16/x8. That third slot shares its bandwidth with the PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 connector, so only one of the choices can be used at a time.
- Ultra-fast 10Gb/s USB 3.1 built in to the board
- Patent Pending OC Socket – Drive CPU and DDR4 performance beyond all expectations!
- TUF Detective – system information at your fingertips
- Thermal Armor – Total airflow-boosting heat dissipation
- TUF Fortifier – Damage Protection and Improved Cooling
- Thermal Radar 2 – Customized Fan Tuning, Complete System Cooling
- TUF Components [TUF 10K Ti-Caps, TUF Chokes & MOSFETs; Certified by Military-standard]
ASUS OC Socket utilizes extra pins to connect a proprietary circuit to contacts found on Haswell-E’s land grid array (LGA). Combined with our customized UEFI, this exclusive feature enables higher DDR4 memory frequencies, lower latencies and enhanced stability while overclocking, extending all the way to extreme overclocking conditions, such as Liquid Nitrogen (LN2). OC Socket is 100% compatible with new Haswell-E LGA 2011-v3 CPUs, ensuring the ideal combination of overclocking performance and compatibility.
A free companion app puts detailed system information and a user-friendly interface on your smartphone or tablet . Just download the intuitive app and you’re able to monitor key parameters, detect and diagnose errors and control your PC’s power status with touchscreen ease.
Thermal radar 2:
now has up to 11 fan connectors to let you control fans as many as you want. Moreover, Multiple onboard sensors and the bundled thermistor cable let you monitor graphics card temperatures and other key components in real time, so you can adjust manually or optimize automatically with one click.
TUF protects back I/O ports, expansion and memory slots plus critical connectors from dust and particles that degrade system performance over time if left unchecked. With a filter to ensure the back I/O fan doesn’t draw dust into the board, Dust Defenders guards against dust build up, helping your PC perform in an optimal and stable state longer.
ASUS BIOS is clean and intuitive. The main screen is showing most important overview of CPU voltage, RAM status, connected drives and currently selected fan profile. User can define the boot drive priority here. Pressing F7 will get you to advanced mode for custom control over your mainboard. Where you find Ai Tweaker menu for overclocking CPU as well as Thermal radar and Voltage control.
Also useful is the “TOOL” option where you see more details about PCIE slot and how many graphics cards are installed. In “Boot” menu we found more less standard options.
Oveclocking enthusiast can save up to 8 overclocking profiles for fast access. Last but not least is the Q-Fan Control where you can easily adjust the any fan operating speed, save profiles or just move slider manually.
To ensure that the results from one review to another are comparable, the Testing Methodology will be the same throughout all reviews, otherwise we will make a note if somethings changed and keep it separately from other results.
All testing was done on test Bench-table with a room ambient temperature of 22- 23°C.
Software: OCCT 4.4.1, Easy Tune.
|SuperPi 1.5 XS - 1M||sec|
|ASUS X99 Sabertooth||11.259|
|SuperPi 1.5 XS - 32M||sec|
|ASUS X99 Sabertooth||580.588|
|less is better|
|ASUS X99 Sabertooth|
|Fire Strike Performance||10320|
|ASUS x99 Sabertooth||1065|
Asus x99 Sabertooth is just another rock solid mainboard with plenty connections and features. Its unique thermal armor design features couple updates from predecessors. And again this is something you either love or hate. We had no stability issues during tests. Also worth to mention is the audio quality which is at really good level. Features like USB3.1 a NVMe support are making this mainboard to be a good option for newest storage technologies and high speed data transfers. There are eight 6 Gbps SATA 3 ports and a SATA Express port as well. Bios is easy to work with and overclocking was not such a big deal. What we like to see is plenty of sensors spread all over the mainboard so you have a complete overview of temperatures and Voltages. Also usefull are plenty of fan ports positioned at many different areas on the mainboard for easier access with fan connectors. Also all different types of M.2 drives are supported. Some “nice to have” feature are the rubber antidust protection caps, you can cover almost all ports with. As this mainboard offers so many features, we have to ask ourselves why is the WiFi missing? The only reason is probably, that it would just add more costs to this actually nice mainboard. Speaking about costs, this mainboard is not really one of those cheaper, in fact it’s quite expensive for what you get. So, there is a room for ASUS to push the price little bit lower. But as it is with all new products, the price is high and will be lower with time. As the x99 platform will still be strong enough for next couple years, it’s just a matter of time when more users will be able to afford it.
USB 3.1 + M.2
Enough SATA ports
Plenty fan ports