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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

Sabertooth P67 Detailed Features

To remain competitive against Intel manufactured motherboards and P67 boards made by other manufacturers, ASUS really has to beef up the features they offer on their P67 line. The Sabertooth P67 motherboard does this in a lot ways. For one, while Intel does offer native SATA 6Gb/s support on their 6-series motherboards, they've left native SuperSpeed USB 3.0 support out of the mix. With a 5Gb/s signaling rate, USB 3.0 doesn't quite match up to SATA 6Gb/s. It does, however, far outpace older SATA 3Gb/s transfer rates. It seems like an easy choice for motherboard manufactures to add a controller for USB 3.0 support and ASUS does this on the Sabertooth P67 through the use of the NEC D720200F1 SuperSpeed USB-3.0 chip.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_NEC.jpg

ASUS integrates a new feature into their P67-Express platform motherboards called the DIP2 (Dual-Intelligent Processors). The two processors are a TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) and an EPU (Energy Processing Unit) and focus on performance and power management. The TPU takes some stress off the CPU to increase performance and the EPU decreases power drain from system components. The DIP2 can be controlled using the ASUS AI Suite II that comes with the Sabertooth P67 or through the uEFI.

Along with the DIP2 for power and performance management, ASUS has integrated a digital power voltage regulator module on the Sabertooth P67 motherboard (as well as the P8P67-series motherboards). They call it DIGI+ VRM and it consists of a programmable micro-processor that can match multiple PWM signals without power loss. This is an excellent feature for extra power management (something concerning just about everyone these days) because it makes the Sabertooth P67 motherboard moer energy efficient by reducing dissipation through the use of digital power regulation. In addition, being digitally controlled, it doesn't cause excess heat to be created by the components. Within the uEFI, the DIGI+ VRM on the Sabertooth P67 allows you to control the power management to choose an auto Spread Spectrum mode that varies the VRM frequency dynamically, reduces interference, and increases system stability.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Angle.jpg

You can also choose Fixed Frequency Mode that lets you pull more juice into overclocking by increasing the frequency in 10k Hz increments up towards 500k Hz. This is really outstanding in terms of overclocking, overvolting, and even under-volting. Rather than setting your voltage to 1.50V and getting only 1.45V of power, the digital controller offers the exact amount of power you designate. ASUS even includes a program called ASUS Probe II within the AI Suite II that increases your options as to setting power limits.

While the ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard doesn't have a power and reset switch on the board, it does include another button, the MemOK! button. This button is for a feature that helps you deal with using incompatible memory in the four DDR3 dual-channel DIMM slots. If the motherboard won't boot because of incompatible memory, you can hold down the MemOK! button until the DRAM_LED starts blinking. The ASUS MemOK! feature will automatically try to tune the memory to make it more likely for the system to boot successfully.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Overview.jpg

Picture courtesy of ASUS.com

On the ASUS Sabertooth P67, the TUF Thermal Armor and TUF Thermal Radar are not the only TUF components you will find. The TUF series Sabertooth P67 motherboard also boasts TUF alloy chokes, solid capacitors, and MOSFETs that are certified by a third-party through military grade testing. The components are said to extend durability, even under extreme conditions. The TUF chokes, in particular, are different from standard chokes for their use of various metals rather than iron. ASUS says this gives them a 25% higher current support; up to 40A.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Components.jpg

The components surrounding the CPU socket are covered on the ASUS Sabertooth P67 by aluminum heatsinks. Under the heatsinks, the hardware on the ASUS Sabertooth P67 differs slightly from many other ASUS P67 motherboards. The Sabertooth P67 settles for eight (vCore) DIGI+ VRM phases plus two (vDRAM/QPI). This is down from the 12+2 found on the P8P67 and the EVO and PRO versions of the same. It is also less than the 16+2 on the P8P67 Deluxe. It is, however, more than the 4+1 found on the P8P67 LE and which is standard on many motherboards. ASUS uses solid state capacitors with a solid organic polymer. These capacitors have a very long life, probably longer than you would be using the motherboard anyway.

While ASUS added a lot of functionality to the Sabertooth P67 motherboard through the use of third party controllers, they left the PCI lanes alone. The Intel PCI-Express controller on the Sandy Bridge CPUs has 16 shared PCI-Express 2.0 graphics lanes and the P67-Express chip throws in another 8 PCI-Express lanes to control the 3 PCIe x1 2.0 slots, the single PCI slot, the SATA ports, and the USB 2.0 ports. The graphics lanes can be used singly at x16 for either of the 2 PCIe 2.0 x16 slots or they can be split into x8/x8 mode for multiple GPU usage. The ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard supports both AMD CrossFireX and NVIDA SLI configurations. This is common on many boards, including other ASUS boards, but it isn't something you find everywhere.

ASUS_Sabertooth_P67_Side.jpg

Also native to the P67 chipset are two SATA 6Gb/s ports. They show up in brown on the motherboard. The controller for these ports is on the P67-Express chip rather than southbridge, which used to control SATA ports. ASUS ups the ante in this department as well by including the Marvel 88SE9120 controller to power an additional two SATA 6Gb/s ports (colored gray). Both the Marvel controller and the P67-Express chip's SATA 6Gb/s ports support RAID functionality, with the Marvel covering RAID-1/0 only and the Intel chip supporting RAID-0/1/5/10. The four black SATA 3Gb/s ports also run off the Intel P67-Express chip and support RAID-0/1/5/10.

The SATA ports on the Sabertooth P67 are positioned for transverse-mount connections, an increasingly common feature on motherboards. This allows the cables to extend outward rather than upward and makes things a lot easier, especially when using a longer video card. Another storage feature implemented by ASUS comes in the form of software called ASUS HyperDuo. This program allows you to create hybrid storage drives by combining an HDD and SSD.



 

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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