• Slot: Intel Z170
  • CPU: Intel LGA 1151
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • RAM Type: DDR4
  • Ports: USB 2.0 x5, USB 3.0 x2, USB 3.1 x2
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Cons:
  • Price
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark 8 (Home): 4,540 points
  • PCMark 8 (Creative): 5,474 points
  • PCMark 8 (Work): 3,782 points

TUF As Nails

ASUS continues its aggressive push to flood the market with a variety of Intel Skylake motherboards with the latest addition to its TUF line, the ASUS Z170 Sabertooth Mark 1 motherboard. Meant for PCs that are supposed to stand the toughest conditions, this motherboard is meant for PCs that are located in the harshest of conditions, or just overclockers who don’t know when to call it quits.

The Sabertooth sports four DDR4 DIMMs, capable of supporting up to 64GBs of DDR4 RAM that run up to 2,400MHz. The board features six SATA III ports, two SATA Express ports and one M.2 SATA port, which also has support for RAID, including 0, 1, 5 and 10. The board also has two PCIe 3.0 ports, which supports both AMD and NVIDIA’s CrossFireX and SLI multi-GPU configurations.

At the back, ASUS is quite generous with the I/O ports as the Sabertooth comes with five USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and a pair of USB 3.1 ports, one of which is a reversible Type-C port. Besides that, the board also sports two LAN ports, and a set of surround-sound audio ports.

The hallmark of the TUF line of motherboards has always been its excellent cooling system, helped by ASUS’ own Thermal Armor system. This thermal armour helps users keep their systems cool and dust-free, not to mention reducing the likelihood of the motherboard bending and warping due to heat and excessive stress due to heavy components.

Not only that, the Sabertooth now also comes with a new feature called the QLED Indicator, which indicates to you the activity of a variety of components, including CPU, power, boot and DRAM. The TUF Fortifier also has been improved, as the reinforced backplate now is capable of resisting pressure of up to 10KGs, which is way beyond that of any GPU or watercooling setup available right now. ASUS also claims that TUF Fortier even reduces internal temperatures by up to 13 degrees Celcius.

Performance-wise, the Sabertooth does as well as can be expected. Throughout our tests, the CPU temperature averaged around the 50-60 degrees mark before overclocking, and around 70 degrees after tweaking the clockspeed. All in all, the numbers look good, and we had no problems running all the tests that we did.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If you’re looking for a motherboard that is tough as nails, the ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 is definitely a good motherboard for you to consider.

(previously published in issue January 2016)

ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1