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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Hank Tolman   
Monday, 02 May 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Motherboard
The Intel P67 Express Chipset
Closer Look: ASUS Sabertooth P67
Sabertooth P67 Detailed Features
ASUS UEFI (BIOS)
ASUS Sabertooth P67 Overclocking
Sabertooth P67 Specifications
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.1 Benchmark Tests
Passmark Performance Test
PCMark Vantage Benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
Video Transcoding Tests
Street Fighter IV Benchmark
ASUS Sabertooth P67 Conclusion

ASUS Sabertooth P67 Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Top.jpg

The ASUS Sabertooth P67 brings a lot of performance enhancing features to the table; most of which are shared with the other members of the ASUS P67 family of motherboards. The ASUS TurboV Processing Unit helps manage CPU usage by handing off some of the CPUs duties to let the CPU focus on more the more demanding ones. The ASUS uEFI makes managing many aspects of your computer a lot easier, including overclocking. ASUS AI Suite II makes that overclocking extremely simple, even from within Windows. Any would be enthusiast previously wary of overclocking can increase system performance with ease using the Sabertooth P67.

The appearance of the ASUS Sabertooth P67 is quite unique. The style has been utilized by ASUS in the past for other versions of Sabertooth motherboards. The idea behind the completely shrouded motherboard is that it will keep heat coming off the components from heating up the rest of the motherboard. Also, air flow can easily whisk away heat from the components from atop the shroud. It seems like it might have some actual value, but in reality, I think a lot of the design is actually just for looks. In my opinion, it looks awesome. I really like it, and since my cases are usually either open or have a clear side panel, I dig the look. A lot of people don't like it, and I have seen a lot of complaints about the look around the internet. To each his own I suppose. If you don't like the look, don't worry too much about it. After installing all of your components, you don't see much of it anyway. Besides, if looks aren't your thing, it's all about how it performs, right? At least the Sabertooth P67 doesn't go to the extent of the P8P67 motherboard and include a useless northbridge heatsink for purely aesthetic purposes.

The TUF Thermal Armor and Thermal Radar are only a small part of the constructional differences with the ASUS Sabertooth P67. While ASUS consistently uses high-grade materials for their components, the Sabertooth P67 utilizes their TUF components. These pieces are certified to be military-grade by third-party testing. The TUF components include alloy chokes, solid capacitors, and MOSFETs. With this type of material, you are looking at a motherboard that will far outlast any real usefulness it will have for you. Long after you have decided to upgrade, whether that be a few months or many years, the ASUS Sabertooth P67 will continue to run smoothly.

The TUF Armor may actually make a small difference in cooling performance, but I have to say, it's probably very minimal, if any with the P67-Express chipset. The Sandy Bridge CPUs run extremely cool as it is, so any heat generated there is minimal and can be mitigated even further with the use of an after-market CPU cooler. In my testing, I used the Scythe Yasya CPU Cooler. Idle temperatures for the CPU stood about 22 degrees Celsius with a 20C ambient room temperature. Load temps, even with all four cores overclocked and running in Turbo Mode at 4.7GHz were still only 62C. That's pretty lightweight. Additionally, newer GPUs are running a lot cooler now as well. The NVIDIA GTX 500 series runs a lot cooler than the 400 series did and exponentially cooler than the 200 series did. Of course, I used a MSI GTS 450 Cyclone in testing here, which is a very cool card. Anyway, what I am saying is, the TUF Armor probably made a lot more of a difference on an X58 platform running a Core i7-920 with an NVIDIA GTX 285.

In terms of functionality, the ASUS Sabertooth P67 gives users a lot of versatility in some areas while skimping a little in others. For any mainstream user, the Sabertooth P67 will offer everything you need. For extreme enthusiasts, however, you will find a few things lacking.

Beginning with the functionality the Sabertooth P67 brings to the table, we have to mention the UEFI. The new interpretation of on the BIOS is so much easier to use than a BIOS that it's not even really comparable. With the UEFI it is so easy to tune your hardware and profile settings and even to overclock. And, by the way, using a mouse reduces my stress level 100 fold from dealing with a traditional BIOS. The ASUS MemOK! button is another functional feature ASUS adds to the Sabertooth P67, helping to minimize the memory incompatibility boot problems. The TPU and EPU in the ASUS DIP2 are great for helping increase performance while decreasing power draw. The EPU is so effective that idle power draw on our setup was only 28W while load power draw was a mere 121W, even with four cores fully overclocked. The DIGI+ VRM made overvolting a charm by eliminating the +/- error factor and thereby increasing component lifespan. Also, the control given to the user within Windows through the AI Suite II software is nothing short of amazing. Basically, most of what you can tweak in the UEFI can also be handled from within Windows with this software package. With all of these features, the ASUS Sabertooth P67 has to be given high marks for functionality. However, there are some things I would have liked to see.

To begin with, many of the P8P67 motherboards got an onboard Bluetooth 2.1 receiver. Simple additions like power and reset buttons on the motherboard are absent as well. Getting picky here, it would have been nice to dual Gigabit Ethernet adapters as opposed to just a single one, although at least the Sabertooth P67 has eSATA ports. These were omitted from the P8P67 line. Additional PCI-Express lanes would have been awesome. Single video cards are getting to the point where they are enough for even hard-core gamers, but some people need, or want, more. Adding a second card for CrossfireX or SLI mode means splitting the available PCI lanes to 8+8. There are 8 more lanes available on the P67-Express chipset, but they are taken up by the USB 3.0 ports and the third-party controllers. Still, for the most part, this is just nit-picking, as the ASUS Sabertooth P67 offers a lot of functionality.

The ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard costs $219.99 at NewEgg.com. This sits squarely between the P8P67 EVO and the P8P67 Deluxe and offers most of the same features and few those boards don't, like the TUF Armor and components and eSATA ports. That price is a little high for mainstream, but a little low for enthusiast. I'd say it's a good price for the features and what it offers, but not an extreme value.

To finish off my review of the ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard, I just have to say that, in my opinion, ASUS did a lot right here and little wrong. Motherboard manufacturers have to add their own touches to their boards to make a splash in the market and to differentiate them from every other P67 motherboard out there. The Sabertooth P67 is a great example of adding features to make the motherboard stand out. From TUF Armor and components to two extra SATA controllers to a completely revamped method of hardware setting management through the UEFI, the Sabertooth P67 makes the standard P67 motherboards look watered-down and boring. Digital voltage regulation, efficient energy processing, TurboV processing, and a software suite to control it all from within Windows are things you won't find everywhere. Overall, I am very impressed and I highly recommend the ASUS Sabertooth P67 for anyone looking at upgrading to a Sandy Bridge desktop.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ UEFI Introduces Graphical User Interface BIOS replacement
+ DIGI+ VRM 8+2 Enable digital precision voltage control
+ MemOK! Increases memory compatibility for bootup
+ ASUS DIP2 with TPU and EPU
+ Four total SATA 6Gb/s storage channels
+ NEC-D720200F1 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller
+ Supports ATI CrossFireX dual and triple video card sets
+ TUF Thermal Armor, Radar, and Military Grade Components
+ CrossfireX OR SLI Configurations supported

Cons:

- High priced 'mainstream enthusiast' motherboard solution
- Does not support UEFI screen capture
- No dual Gigabit Lan
- Lacks hardware-based encryption features
- SATA6G/USB3 borrow from PCI-E link lanes
- No Bluetooth like P8P67 series

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.75
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 8.75
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 9.10 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award. (Eligible for final score of 9.0 and higher.)

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

NewEgg.com


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Comments 

 
# Plastic plateChrisH 2011-05-06 17:30
Thanks for another strong review. As the board has a distinctive plastic compound plate dividing transistor and other components from the rest of the board and case, I was looking for not just a board review but also to see what this TUF divider did to heating / cooling. Just by looking at it many will think it works opposite to what is stated. That shielding may be one thing aye, GPU & CPU are main heat sources but is that only half the equation? The second half of the equation is transistor / component heat generation and what about facilitating airflow under the plate, how is this dissipated? Thirdly, is the 25% in rating really required because under the plastic it is hotter there? I like 25% better "quality" components and am dissapointed this standard isn't on their top boards anyhow. Fourthly, dependng on your case fans what effect do case fans have have this plastic plate. I guess because there hasn't been any substantial comment you think that it is no bigge what goes on below plate but if so why isn't it recommended for all boards then?
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# Plastic plateChrisH 2011-05-06 17:34
Sorry * Fourthly, dependng on your case fans what effect do case fans have have this plastic plate. Should be Fourthly, dependng on your case fans what effect do case fans have below this plastic plate.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF MotherboardMACK 2011-05-07 02:18
Thanks for the review. Yea, I am not sure why they make such a big deal about the Thermal effect of the TUF armor.
It seems like they could have easily saved a good bit of money not adding it to the motherboard. Additionally, I agree with ChrisH, that the "plastic divider" will act more as a thermal insulator, and drive component temps up. Luckily Sandy Bridge has a low thermal load.
The one thing that I do like about TUF armor, is that it might serve to protect the motherboard against small objects that could accidentally fall on it.

The in-depth review was greatly appreciated.
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# Under the TUF ArmorHank Tolman 2011-05-07 10:16
The heat from the components under the TUF armor will be extremely limited. Those components produce such a low amount of heat that any heat concern for them would actually be coming from the GPU or add-in components on regular boards without the shroud. So, in essence, the shroud also protects those components from the heat generated from add-in cards. Any components that do generate a significant enough amount of heat to be considered are covered by heatsinks; i.e. the MOSFETs.

As far as the Military Grade components, the reason they are limited to a few boards, I believe, is due to the cost inherent in using those components. ASUS still has to offer low-end motherboards and even higher-end motherboards at competitive prices. If they maintained all the features of those boards and used the higher grade components, the costs would be quite a bit higher.

Besides, even with the 25% better quality and longer life-span, nearly any motherboard made by the major manufacturers will long outlast it's usefulness to you.

-Hank
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF MotherboardTARIKK 2011-05-07 13:13
I really suspecting that Asus is asking from everyone to not to test the Thermal Armour, as I have read couple of reviws of this board and no one has tested the temps to see if it works or not.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Motherboardmoshpit 2011-05-07 20:35
I love the thermal shield. I have the older B2 revision since I'm only using the SATA3 ports, but I would really like to see the X79 version of this board come with the shield again.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Motherboardmoshpit 2011-05-07 20:37
Oh, by the way, I've seen SEVERAL tests using the shield, it slightly reduces temps on it's own. Add the 50mm in the slot provided and it temps drop WAY below other boards without the shield. I have a higher speed 50mm in mine and Asus Thermal Radar shows incredibly low temps across the board.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF MotherboardOliver 2011-05-09 00:02
Great review! Thank you, Hank. I've bookmarked it for future overclock and benchmark reference.

However, before I can go playing with all the latest & greatest features, I am stuck with my Sabertooth's waking up from sleep problem. Which is a common problem among many users and there is an extensive discussion on the matter at vip asus forum. Even inconclusive, the current Sabertooth board has compatibility issue with many models of power supply. Thus after into sleep mode, the system can no longer wake up.

I just wonder that if you have the time and resources to try Sabertooth + i7-2600k with different PSUs to see if the bug exists on your board. FYI, I have 10 fans in total, 5 case fans, 2 cpu fans, 2 vga fans, and 1 assistant fan. If I move the power source of all five case fans and one cpu fan to a seperate power supply, the wakeup works, but not stable. If pc sleeps too long (few hours), it won't wakeup.
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# RE: RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF MotherboardServando SIlva 2011-05-14 19:11
Are you Overclocking your CPU adding voltage or enabling LLC?
I've heard those options prevent system from recovering after sleep.
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# Sleep issueHank Tolman 2011-05-12 12:53
Oliver,

Unfortunately, I don't have the time or PSUs to try the different combinations. Also, I don't use the sleep function. Ever. So I haven't experienced this problem. That being said, I will certainly look into the issue and even try it out. If I find out anything that helps I will post back here.

Thanks!

Hank
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF MotherboardOliver 2011-05-15 11:40
Thank you anyway, Hank. I probably asked the question at the wrong place. Only because the problem is so intriguing that I have been addicted to it. Whoever is interested in the thread "Problems waking up from sleep mode" at #vip.asus.com/forum/topic.aspx?board_id=1&model=Sabertooth P67&SLanguage=en-us, is welcome to share your thoughts there.
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# The thermal armor is a good ideaArbie 2011-05-17 09:01
The thermal armor is actually a good idea - but it obviously should be used with an exhaust fan, not an intake fan! Then the shroud would channel relatively cool air from the board edges in over the low-power components, and dump that into the hotter air around the CPU and graphics board. That's probably how moshpit is using it (see earlier post here). Unfortunately, few people ever address this point so we see lots of remarks about how "the armor just makes things worse". C'mon guys... a little thought here would help.

It's too bad that Asus doesn't provide the needed fan and instructions. In another forum they indicated that they don't include the fan since they they can't warrant electromechanical stuff for as long as the mobo itself. But without the fan exhausting air, the armor makes no sense.

I also fault Asus support for not knowing or explaining how the armor is designed to be used. Blowing hot air down into it would clearly be ridiculous. I'm sure that whoever championed the armor idea back in the design groups is chagrined at how it has worked out when finally named, logo'd, stickered, sold, and supported.
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# nevervolker pittlik 2011-07-31 04:51
the biggest peace of # i've ever bought in my life,throw it away or try to find someone who's dump enough to buy it!!6 month without a driver who support a sli for gtx460 !!!!since last week !!!newest nvidia driver and surprise SLI is detected wooooh!!!try to enable it... APPCRASH!!!so for me there is no longer asus!!!!! i'll buy me a board who's working any board is better then ASUS SABERTOOTH P 67 for sure
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# RE: neverDavid Ramsey 2011-07-31 07:02
Or you could, you know, actually do a little research before you buy. Not all P67 motherboards support SLI...for example, the ASUS P8P67 and Sabertooth don't, but the P8P67 Pro does. Admittedly most manufacturers don't make this distinction as clearly as they should, but there's never going to be SLI support for your board.
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# RE: RE: neverBo 2011-09-26 04:17
Maybe I got this wrong but it looks to me as sabertooth supports SLI:
Multi-GPU Support: Supports NVIDIAŽ Quad-GPU SLI? Technology

##asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/SABERTOOTH_P67/#specifications
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# RE: RE: neverGrep 2011-10-20 17:03
I got this board and I am running dual Evga 570GTx hd video cards in SLi and it works just fine, using bios revision 1606, its a P8P67 Sabertooth Rev 3.1
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF MotherboardGrep 2011-10-20 16:55
Running p867 rev 3.1 sabertooth and also running dual evga 570gtxhd video boards in sli mode and it works just fine.
on the Assist fan, its location is poor, it tends to block the top pci-e slot. Asus recomends a 50mmx50mmx10mm fan for this assist slot, a fan of that size is nearly useless, and is very noisy, if you get a 15mm thick fan or a 20mm thick fan it will be much better and quieter. the problem is this, the screws are two short for the 20mm fan, so you will need longer screws, Asus does not identify the thread pitch so you don't know what size screws to buy, The ability to control the assist fan speed is limited, and not mentioned in the manual at all.
The manual sucks big time, the pictures and line drawings are so small you can not even read it without a powerful magnafier. It leaves out critical info.The fan connector picture identify the pins with different anacronyms and does not explain what those mean. The 3 pin fan is id as gnd, 12v, and rotation, (define rotation), the 4 pin fan headers are id as gnd, cpu fan pwr, cpu fan in, cpu fan pwm, (define, fan pwr, and cpu fan in) well as I said the manual sucks.
There is a Green 20 pin connector thats supposed to provided for the front usb 3.0 ports, this cable is not provided, and I have no Idea where to get it, Asus doesn't seem to know. The Asus user forum is not monitored relying on mystified users to supply all help to users. Scan this forum to see a real review of this product. Severe Bios issues, Severe temp issues, Wake on lan issues, RMA issues. BBB has given Asus an F rating for failure to respond to complaints. I own one, I would not recommend this company or product. When the forum is filled with questions about overclocking, things are good, when its filled by complaints of RMA and feature that don't work, things are bad, don't accept my word for it, read the forums for yourself
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