• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Intel Core Processor
  • LGA 1155 socket
  • Intel Z77 Chipset
  • Dual Channel Memory
  • Pros:
  • Cool temperatures
  • Great performance
  • ThunderboltEX Expansion
  • Cons:
  • Not as overclockable as
  • counterparts

The Sabertooth Returns

You would think that with the number of motherboards ASUS is releasing, they’d eventually have to stop making truly impresive stuff. That day is not today, as the company has just announced the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 motherboard, fresh of their TUF line.

If you’re unfamiliar with the motherboard line, the first thing you’ll begin to notice about the Sabertooth is how it is covered from top to bottom with a hard plastic coating that ASUS calls the Thermal Armor. What this does is it covers the board, forcing air from the outside via a special fan that helps cool down the entire board even more efficiently.

Equipped with four SODIMM slots capable of dual channel memory and two PCIe 3.0 ports, the Sabertooth supports both NVIDIA’s SLI and AMD’s CrossFireX multi-GPU setup for that hardcore gaming performance. The I/O ports at the back include four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two e-SATA ports, one DisplayPort, one HDMI port and a 7.1 audio output.

In terms of performance, the Sabertooth carries itself pretty well. We noted that it’s not as overclock-able like its counterparts, but the biggest gain to be had here with the motherboard is in terms of ambient and component temperature. Thanks to the Thermal Armor, the processor temperature can be reduced by six to seven degrees celcius, and the overall setup temperature by up to ten degrees celcius.

Another big plus to the Thermal Armor is that with the components on the motherboard shielded, it also helps prevent dust from settling in the nooks and crannies of the Sabertooth, hence keeping the device a lot more cleaner, and more efficient in the long run.

As an extra, you can also add a ThunderboltEX PCIe extension card, which gives you an extra DisplayPort which you can daisy-chain and also a Thunderbolt port which you can use to connect your Thunderbolt devices with to the computer.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Performance-wise, the ASUS TUF Sabertooth Z77 does not lose out compared to its contemporaries, but it is quite an excellent investment if it so happens that your room has dust issues or less than adequate air ventilation. The reduction in temperature is also a big deal as no one wants to use their computer in a sauna room.

(previously published in issue August 2012)