ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF Review: USB 3.1 Tested

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Introducing The ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF

We are back with another high-end X99-based motherboard on the test bed. This time around we've got the latest from ASUS, the Sabertooth X99 TUF motherboard, which supports USB 3.1 and sports ASUS' "OC Socket".

The first wave of motherboards based on Intel’s X99 chipset launched with attractive features and eye-catching designs. But as time has passed, most motherboard manufacturers have continued to update and optimize their X99-based offerings.  ASUS had already offered some stand-out features in its first salvo of boards. This was largely thanks to the company’s OC Socket used on its X99-based boards. With the OC Socket, ASUS has added 6 extra pins to the 2011 pins found on Intel's aptly named Socket 2011. The additional pins offer additional points of contact for power and ground to augment voltage feeds to the CPU and memory. The intent is to ensure more stability when overclocking.

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ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF Motherboard
Specifications & Features
CPU:

Chipset:

Multi GPU:


Memory:


Audio:

Connectivity:

Slots:


Storage:


USB 3.0:

USB 2.0:

Form Factor:

Price:
Intel Core i7 processors - LGA2011-3

Intel X99 Express Chipset

Supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology, NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Technology, AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology

8 x DDR4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory
4 channel memory architecture

Realtek ALC1150 codec, High Definition Audio, 8 channel, audio codec

Intel I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller, Realtek® 8111GR, 1 x Gigabit LAN

5 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (running at x16, x8)
Support for up to 3-Way SLI or CrossFire (x16, x16/x16, x16/x16/x8)

1 x M.2 Socket 3, gray with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only), 10 SATA 6gb/s ports (2 ports from SATA Express port)

8 x USB 3.0 (4 x rear, 4 x front via internal header)

8 x USB 2.0 (4 x ports on back panel, 4 ports internal USB headers)

ATX Form Factor 12 in x 9.6 in ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

$310 currently

The ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF builds upon ASUS' initial offerings, but adds USB 3.1 support, some board-level optimizations, active cooling, and ASUS' TUF Fortifier. We have seen formidable performance from the ASRock Extreme 11 compared to the older ASUS X99-Deluxe, which is also equipped with the OC Socket. How does the company’s newest weigh in and have they taken their proven OC Socket even further? We will know soon enough.

One of the main areas of focus on just about any current motherboard is storage flexibility. The ASRock Extreme 11 takes that to dizzying heights with a plethora of ports and connectors. Still the Sabertooth TUF has a few trick ups its sleeve as well. It features 10GB/s USB 3.1 built right into the motherboard and support for NVMe PCIe Solid State Drives.

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The Sabertooth X99 TUF is a menacing looking board thanks to the reinforced back and armored-clad appearance, which has been dubbed the “TUF Fortifier.” This should help prevent dust build-up and provide added support against bowing or bending while simultaneously routing heat away from vital components. Speaking of which, the board uses high-quality components all-around, including 10K Ti-Caps, Chokes and MOSFETs.

Beyond this, the new board comes with dual USB 3.1 ports and USB boost to enhance speeds for all your USB storage devices. You can also download the TUF Detective mobile app and with the dedicated USB port, you can use your phone to monitor system temps and control system fans, restart, shutdown, standby and more.

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The ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF is a ominous looking motherboard, that is about half the cost of the ASRock Extreme 11. While it may lack some of the pricier storage features and quad SLI of the Extreme 11 and features no WiFi or Bluetooth radios for remote connectivity options (ie. ASUS X99-Deluxe), let’s see if raw performance and USB 3.1 can level the playing field.


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