ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF Review: USB 3.1 Tested

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Test Setup, PCMark 8 and USB 3.1

Test System Configuration Notes: When configuring our test system for this article, we first updated the BIOS, set the board to its default settings, and made EZ Tune was set to normal. We have found that the "optimized" mode on ASUS' boards overclocks the processor, so it could give this particular chip and setup an unfair advantage over the other X99 board we tested. Once we had set the board to "normal" we saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and ensured the memory speed was set to DDR4-2133 (its maximum, officially supported speed). 

Our test rig is made up of an Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E octa-core CPU, Corsair H100 AIO water cooler, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 2666Mhz, a 1300W CoolerMaster PSU, an Nvidia GTX 980 GPU and a Corsair Neutron XT 240GB SSD.

When the Windows installation was complete (Windows 8.1), we fully updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, performed a disk clean-up, cleared any prefetch and temp data, and ran the tests.

PCMark 8 
Trace-based apoplication

Futuremark's PCMark 8 is the latest version of the PCMark whole-system benchmarking suite. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 8 environment and uses newer metrics to gauge relative performance. Below is what Futuremark says is incorporated into the base PCMark suite and the Home, Creativity, and Work suites--the three modules we have benchmark scores for you here. 

The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system The PCMark test is a collection of workloads that measure system performance during typical desktop usage. This is the most important test since it returns the official PCMark score for the system.

The Home test includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system.

The Creativity test includes workloads typical of enthusiasts and professionals who work with media and entertainment content. With more demanding requirements than the Home benchmark, this benchmark is suitable for mid-range computer systems. PCMark 8 Creative includes web browsing, photo editing, video editing, group video chat, media transcoding, and gaming workloads.

The Work test measures your system's ability to perform basic office work tasks, such as writing documents, browsing websites, creating spreadsheets and using video chat. The Work benchmark is suitable for measuring the performance of typical office PC systems that lack media capabilities. The results from each workload are combined to give an overall PCMark 8 Work score for your system.


At stock speeds, the X99 TUF board was actually ahead of the pack. While overclocked, however, the board trailed our reference systems slightly.

ASUS 3.1 USB Enclosure 
usb3 1 atto
As we mentioned earlier, this motherboard supports USB 3.1, which offers improved performance over USB 3.0.  There are only a few devices currently on the market that support USB 3.1, but in our limited testing we found it to be pretty impressive. Testing with ATTO Bench produced both read and write speeds well above the 700MB/s mark using an ASUS / Lian Li USB 3.1 Enclosure--a cool piece of tech which is made up of dual Sandisk Ultra II mSATA SSD drives running in a RAID array and sealed within a jet black brushed metal external enclosure from Lian Li.

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