ASUS Sabertooth X99 Reviewccokeman -
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ASUS Sabertooth X99 Introduction:
The Ultimate Force (TUF) is ASUS branding for its line of boards that are put to the test so the end user is assured that the board they purchase will be around and viable for years to come. The first Sabertooth board I picked up is still running strong in my son's system, going on almost five years now, so ASUS practices what it preaches. Over that time frame, ASUS continues to evolve the brand with new enhanced hardware and software to drive that reliability aspect home. From a full line of Military Grade certified hardware to ASUS' own implementations, the end user benefits from this research and development.
The ASUS Sabertooth X99 is a socket 2011 v-3 X99 motherboard built for use with Haswell-E processors like the Intel Core i7 5960X. We get ASUS' special OC Socket, T-Topology for the DDR4 memory, ASUS TUF sound solution, USB 3.1 connectivity, TUF Fortifier, TUF Ice Controller, The Ultimate Cooling, Thermal Radar 2, and so very much more, including all the drive connectivity options you could ask for. Priced at just over $300, the Sabertooth X99 is not the least expensive board out there, but earns its price point with the feature set, Military themed looks, and a better than industry standard five-year warranty.
ASUS Sabertooth X99 Closer Look:
The box for the Sabertooth X99 has an industrial design that looks like it has a brushed steel and mesh backdrop to the main elements of the design. Across the front is the name of the board, but along the bottom left are the specifications that draw you into what the Sabertooth is all about. There is the five-year warranty, USB 3.1 support, NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossfireX support, and that the board is Windows 8.1 ready. The back side carries a lot more detail on specific features, including Thermal Armor, TUF Fortifier, Thermal Radar, and the 10Gb/s USB 3.1 speeds. The left side has a picture of the Sabertooth X99 out of the box, so you get a good look at what's hiding inside. Opening up the box, you see the board and a package of accessories that holds the included dust guards. Under the board is the balance of the accessory bundle.
With its top tier boards, ASUS tends to deliver an accessory bundle that meets and exceeds the end user's expectations. Each accessory bundle is designed to allow the user to enjoy just about all of the board's expansive feature set. In this bundle, we start with the documentation. You get the manual, driver and software disc, certificate of reliability, accessory installation guide, the five-year warranty booklet, and a pair of TUF themed stickers. Starting the hardware side of the bundle are the temperature sensors, dust guards, and 40mm assistant fan that mounts on the Thermal Armor over the I/O panel. ASUS includes dust guards to cover just about every port on the board, from the I/O connectivity to the SATA ports, and even the unused DIMM and PCIe sockets to minimize dust and contaminate intrusion. The Q-Shield is designed for use with this board and features an air exhaust that will be close to the assistant fan on the Thermal Armor. There are six SATA 6Gb/s cables, an SLI bridge connection, and theme specific Q-Connectors to make installing front panel connections a breeze.
ASUS' Sabertooth line has been a pillar of reliability that incorporates a unique feature set designed to run long term. Let's see what goes into a board such as this and see how it performs when put through some overclocking.