ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF Review: USB 3.1 Tested

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X99 TUF Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary While it may not have definitively raised the bar for X99 chipset-based motherboards, the Sabertooth X99 TUF is a solid offering. It's attractive, stable, easy to work with, and boasts USB 3.1 support. The bulky armor plating may not be for everyone, and it could get in the way in some chassis, but we like the look and additional reinforcement it provides. Some users, however, may prefer more outlandish and brightly colored setups, which are more common in the enthusiast motherboard segment.

Regardless, those rugged good looks will definitely turn heads. Moreover, the armored design, in the right setup, could reduce average operating temperatures and result in increased air flow. We found our test system to run about 5% cooler than our Extreme 11 X99 test system. We attribute this to the TUF Fortified armor shielding, because nothing else changed. Additionally, the board is surprisingly nice to work with considering it is not an EATX form factor. However, this regular ATX board is exceptionally well laid out with plenty of room to work unobstructed. Comparatively, the ASRock Extreme 11 is a larger EATX motherboard with a great deal of room to work freely. The dearth of fan connectors on the ASRock board, however, reduces configuration options and forces system builders to think very strategically about cable management. The Sabertooth X99 TUF on the other hand is rocking 11 fan connectors, intelligently peppered throughout. 

Default performance straight out of the box was quite strong. Overclocked performance was adequate and inline with other X99 offerings, though it typically finished a couple of percentage points behind the other boards we tested. The X99 TUF didn't burn up the benchmarks, but it held its own against the competition here.

ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF - Find It At Amazon

The board was also rock-solid and was pleasant to work with. We experienced no hiccups, BSODs, system freezing or crashes at stock settings. And it was well behaved while overclocking as well.

Pricing: For about $325, which is at the low-end of the X99 scale, the ASUS X99 TUF has a lot going for it. That's roughly half the cost of the burly Extreme 11 we recently reviewed. Sure, you only get a single M.2 SSD socket slot versus dual offerings on the ASRock board. There are fewer SATA ports, x16 slots, and there's no SAS support either, but unless these are requirements for you, you shouldn't be shelling out the cash. The features are what pad the cost for the Extreme 11, not the performance, which is within a few percentage points of all the other boards.

The ASUS Sabertooth X99 TUF will make a solid platform for hardcore gamers, serious DIY builders or those simply looking for a rock stable stock clocked system. The overwhelming amount of thermal control and management options are enticing to say the least. It's not a bleeding edge overclocker and its not meant to be. This board is solid and relatively affordable in light of other X99-based solutions with USB 3.1 support as an added bonus.

hothardware recommended

  • Good performance
  • OC Socket for increase overclocking stability
  • Onboard USB 3.1 support
  • TUF Detective Mobile App support
  • 3-Way SLI/CrossFire and Quad GPU support
  • Thermal Radar 2 fan control
  • Well laid-out
  • UEFI BIOS is clean and intuitive
  • 11 fan connectors
  • No WiFi adapter
  • No Bluetooth
  • Only 1x M.2 socket

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