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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

Closer Look: ASUS Sabertooth P67

One look at the ASUS Sabertooth P67 and you can tell it's a different monster than you are used to. The familiar ASUS colors and styles are replaced with browns and grays. And, of course, there is the black shroud that covers most of the familiar, black PCB. When I first saw the Sabertooth P67 I thought it looked awesome, and I still do. Of course it's an aesthetic appeal and a lot of consumers won't like it, but I do. It reminds me of something I might have built out of legos when I was young. Additionally, if the shroud can accomplish what ASUS says it's there to do, it will actually be of more than simply aesthetic value. ASUS consistently produces extremely high quality products. They are at the top when it comes to motherboard manufacturing and their solid products with reliable and durable components rarely disappoint. We don't expect anything different with the Sabertooth P67 B3/TUF Motherboard.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Accessories.jpg

ASUS calls the Sabertooth P67 a TUF motherboard, which stands for The Ultimate Force. The shroud that covers the entire board is called TUF Thermal Armor and claims to offer "Total Airflow-Boosting Heat Dissipation". Basically, the TUF Armor is supposed to keep the heat from the onboard components and the add-in components from heating each other up. The shroud also offers superior performance in utilizing system and case fans to whisk heat away over the aerodynamic, flat surface rather than running it through the gauntlet of onboard features. As I have already mentioned, I like the look, and the boast of increased airflow and heat dissipation is certainly a plus. That being said, I'm not sure the actual value of the shroud justifies the look if you don't like it.

Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture further extends Moore's Law by packing more transistors into a smaller space. This allows for improvements to the micro-operations cache that enables better efficiency and greater power savings. In benchmarks this adds up to a significant increase over previous architectures, but in terms of real-world performance the average user won't see a dramatic difference in their daily computing experience. Intel's 'K' series processors will offer a completely-unlocked product for overclocking enthusiasts, while the others can still manipulate the maximum Turbo Boost delivered to one CPU core.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Top.jpg

The release of the Intel H55 platform was highly anticipated, but manufacturers still had to come up with new and innovative ways to market a platform that provided relatively little changes outside of the CPU. After the SATA 3Gb/s port issues and subsequent recall, the market lost sight of this new platform and B3 revisions will have to work even harder to get noticed. ASUS hasn't made any changes to their B3 revision Sabertooth P67 board, but there are plenty of enhancements over the Intel P67 reference designs.

Intel made a smart move by implementing two native SATA 6Gb/s onto the P67-Express platform. Unfortunately, that was about the extent of non-CPU related changes made. ASUS has provided other enhancements to the Sabertooth P67 to make it a little more interesting.

The Sabertooth P67 Motherboard supports up to 32GB of non-ECC unbuffered DDR3 motherboard through four DIMM slots. Supported DIMM speeds on the Sabertooth P67 include DDR3 1866/1800/1600/1333/1066. Speaking of the DIMM slots, you might notice that the color scheme on the ASUS Sabertooth P67 is slightly different than what we are used to from ASUS. For some time now, ASUS, especially with Intel chipsets, has stuck to the black and blue theme. You can see this on the other P67 motherboards. The Sabertooth P67 moves to a black, brown, and tan theme.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Setup.jpg

The Sabertooth P67 fits only the new Sandy Bridge CPUs in the LGA1155 socket. You can't upgrade to a P67 motherboard and keep your old LGA1156 CPU. This is normal for Intel upgrades while AMD, up through the 890 chipset, allows for backwards compatibility with older socket AM2 CPUs. What Intel didn't change in the P67 motherboards was the heatsink layout so you won't have to go out and find another heatsink; the LGA1156 heatsinks will fit just fine. At the same time, the necessity of an aftermarket heatsink is somewhat diminished with the new Sandy Bridge processors because they run much cooler than their predecessor. That being said, extreme enthusiast overclockers will still want to use an aftermarket CPU cooler.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Angle_Setup.jpg

As we take a look at the rear I/O panel on the Sabertooth P67 motherboard, we find some interesting deviation from other ASUS P67 motherboards. First, there is only a single, shared PS/2 port for a legacy mouse or keyboard. I appreciate the move away from legacy hardware, as I'm not really sure how many people upgrading to the P67 platform will still be using their ancient keyboard and mouse. Both the P8P67 and the P8P67-Evo kept two PS/2 ports. With one PS/2 port out of the way, there is room for an additional two USB ports under it.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_IO.jpg

Next to the PS/2 port are three red ports. The two on top are USB 2.0 ports and the bottom one is the eSATA port powered by the JMicron JMB362 SATA Controller. This is a major difference from the ASUS P8P67 motherboards, that don't have any eSATA ports on the back I/O panel. The Sabertooth actually has two. The green port under the 1394a firewire is a powered eSATA port that also runs off the JMicron controller. The 1394a port is actually one of a pair of IEEE-1394a ports (this other is at the edge of the motherboard) that are powered by the VIA Technologies VT6308P controller. Those two firewire ports are the same on the ASUS P8P67 motherboards, as is the single RJ-45 Ethernet jack and the two SuperSpeed, NEC-D720200F1 (µPD720200) driven, USB-3.0 ports in blue under the RJ-45 jack. Another difference is that the Ethernet port on the Sabertooth P67 is driven by the Intel Chipset. It's a gigabit port, but since we know ASUS uses the Realtek 8111E Gigabit LAN controller on its other boards, why not give us two here? The only other difference between the Sabertooth P67 and the P8P67 boards is that the Sabertooth doesn't have the ASUS BT GO! Bluetooth receiver. Looks like a trade-off for the eSATA ports.

The audio support on the ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard is the same throughout the other ASUS P67 boards and runs off the Realtek ALC892 chip. The ALC892 offers 7.1 channel High-Definition audio. This Realtek audio chip has proven to be quite competitive. It features a 106 dB Signal-to Noise ratio over eight digital channels and includes the S/PDIF port for those that want to take advantage of all of them. It also offers DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC support and Blu-Ray Disc audio layer Contect Protection as well as audio-jack detection, multi-streaming, and front panel jack-retasking.



 

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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