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ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Olin Coles & David Ramsey   
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard
The Intel X79 Express Chipset
Closer Look: ASUS Sabertooth X79
ASUS Sabertooth X79 Details
ASUS Thermal Radar
ASUS UEFI BIOS
ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79 Specifications
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79 Conclusion

ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79 Specifications

CPU LGA2011 socket for Intel 2nd Generation Core i7 Processor Extreme Edition
Supports 32nm CPU
Supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* The Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
** Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
Chipset Intel X79 Express Chipset
Memory 8 x DIMM, max. 64GB*, DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz, non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Quad channel memory architecture
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile 2.1 (XMP)
* Due to CPU behavior, DDR3 2200/2000/1800 MHz memory module will run at DDR 2133/1866/1600 MHz frequency as default
** Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. Some hyper DIMMs only support one DIMM per channel. Please refer to Memory QVL for details.
*** Refer to www.asus.com or this user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
Expansion Slots 2x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (dual at x16/x16 mode)
1x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIe x16_3 at x8 mode)
2x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
1x PCI Slot
* This motherboard is ready to support the PCIe 3.0 specification. Functions will be available when using PCIe 3.0-compliant devices. Please refer to www.asus.com for updated details.
Multi-GPU support Supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology
Storage Intel X79 Express Chipset
- 2x SATA 6Gb/s ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support (SATA6G_1-2)
- 4x SATA 3Gb/s ports (SATA3G_3-6)
Marvell PCIe 9128 controller:
- 2x SATA 6Gb/s ports (SATA6G_E1-E2)
ASMedia 1061 SATA controller
- 1x Power eSATA 6Gb/s port (green)
- 1x eSATA 6Gb/s port (red)
LAN Intel 82579V Gigabit LAN controller
IEEE 1394 VIA VT6315N controller supports 1x IEEE 1394a port at back panel
Audio Realtek ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Absolute Pitch 192khz/24bit True BD Lossless Sound
- BD Audio Layer Content Protection
- DTS UltraPC Surround Sensation
- Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-Retasking
- Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
USB 3x ASMedia USB 3.0 controllers
- 2x USB 3.0/2.0 ports at mid-board for front panel support
- 4x USB 3.0/2.0 ports at back panel (blue)
Intel X79 Express Chipset
- 14x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
ASUS Unique Features "Ultimate COOL!" Thermal Solutions
- TUF Thermal Armor
- TUF Thermal Radar
"TUF ENGINE!" Power Design
- 8+2+2+2 Digital Power Phase Design
- TUF Components (Choke, Capacitor, MOSFET - certified by military standard)
- ASUS DIGI+ Power Control Utility
"Safe & Stable!" Guardian Angel
- ESD Guards
- MemOK!
- Anti Surge
ASUS Exclusive Features
- ASUS EFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- ASUS SSD Caching
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
- AI Suite II
- USB BIOS Flashback
- ASUS OC Profile
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Precision Tweaker 2
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Connector
Back Panel I/O Ports 1x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse combo port
1x Optical S/PDIF Output
1x USB BIOS Flashback button
1x Power eSATA 6Gb/s port (green)
1x eSATA 6Gb/s port (red)
1x IEEE 1394a port
1x LAN (RJ-45) port
4x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue)
6x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
8-channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors 1x USB 3.0/2.0 connectors support additional 2 USB ports (19-pin)
4x USB 2.0/1/1 connectors support additional 8 USB ports
4x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
4x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1x CPU Fan connector (4-pin)
1x CPU OPT fan connector (4-pin)
4x Chassis Fan connectors (4-pin)
1x Assistant Fan connector (4-pin)
1x PCH Fan connector (4-pin)
1x Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
1x COM connector
1x S/PDIF Out Header
24-pin EATX Power connector
8-pin EATX 12V Power connector
System Panel (Q-Connector)
1x MemOK! Button
1x Clear CMOS button
BIOS 64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Accessories 4x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s cables
4x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s cables
1x ASUS 2-in-1 Q-connector
1x ASUS 3-Way SLI connector
1x ASUS SLI bridge connector
1x Bluetooth v3.0 + HS Module
1x Wi-Fi Ring Moving Antenna
I/O Shield
User's manual
Support DVD Drivers
ASUS Utilities
ASUS Update
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.4cm)

Details provided by ASUS. Specifications are subject to change without notice.



 

Comments 

 
# sata/raid supportscott macfarlane 2011-11-14 20:52
Wow, another awesome review by the Benchmark Folks!
Thorough, detailed, and on the cutting edge as usual.
Not to mention that it coincides with their timely reviews of the new CPU chips and the Intel "Extreme"(cough) motherboard - its put them all together in perspective so we know where to focus Mom's xMas gaming and upgrade cash!

I have a previous X58 Sabertooth motherboard that has the Intel Raid chip supporting 6x3gb sata drives plus the Marvel chip that adds another 2x6gb ports. I have my C: Drive SSD and another SSD for virtual machines on the Marvell and two raid 5 arrays on the six sata ports.

One question is: with the new configuration that has 2x6gb asus ports plus 2x6gb chipset ports plus 4x3gb ports, will I be able to support both of my raid 5 arrays?
i.e. are all six of the chipset ports on the same controller, or are they logically split so raid arrays must stay within each set of ports?

Thanks BMR!
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# RE: sata/raid supportOlin Coles 2011-11-14 20:59
Once you set ports to RAID within the UEFI (formerly called BIOS), it will boot right into your old drives because they use the same Intel RAID driver.
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# sata/raid supportscott macfarlane 2011-11-14 20:59
O, and one more thingy: I see this baby has two fans integrated right into the motherboard to cool the components. Are these standard sized fans that can easily be replaced with aftermarket ones after they blow up or will we have to fly to Asia and wait in the cattle line to get a $99 cent proprietary fan replaced for one-k large?
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# RE: sata/raid supportOlin Coles 2011-11-14 21:01
Sadly, it's the latter. The back panel fan is fairly common if you order online, but that 'Southbridge' fan (which is really the X79 chip fan) is much harder to come by.
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# Wow, that's really too badMergatroid 2011-11-14 21:37
This looks like an excellent board. It's really too bad to hear they went with proprietary fans. Do they give any type of MTBF on those fans? I'm hate to be at their mercy.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF MotherboardAthlonite 2011-11-15 08:29
The south bridge/x79 chipset fan looks like something out of a laptop maybe you'd be able to get one from a laptop repair shop or from an old dead single slot ATI cooler like an old HD2600/HD2400
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# LINUXThe Techno Alien 2011-11-15 12:33
Too bad I can't use all those nice features for overclocking and BIOS and stuff, I can always Dual Boot, but *sigh*... Why not? Windows is for gaming.
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# Memory supportratnev 2011-11-16 00:04
Does this board support 2133 MHz memory without overclocking? I mean if the memory module of 2133 MHz with xmp profile on is activated through the bios, will the motherboard recognize it? I'm asking because sabertooth x79 manual guide says it supports only 1866 memory max.
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# RE: Memory supportDavid Ramsey 2011-11-16 06:48
We didn't test 2133Mhz memory in this board, but I recall seeing that frequency as an option in the popup menu where you select memory frequency in the BIOS, so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work...
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# RE: RE: Memory supportratnev 2011-11-16 07:41
Thank you for your reply. It was very helpful for me and gave the last step in choosing the board. )))
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# RE: Memory supportOlin Coles 2011-11-16 07:56
My answer is that 1866MHz is suppported, as that's what the manual claims is the maximum speed. However, UEFI firmware revisions may change this.
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# RE: RE: Memory supportratnev 2011-11-16 08:15
I saw another review of that motherboard where the g.skill ripjaws Z 2133Mhz were used. They claim no problems at all. I just wanted to be insured that this will work.
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# RE: RE: RE: Memory supportDavid Ramsey 2011-11-16 13:29
Right now, this is my favorite X79 motherboard. I'm sure you'll like it.
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# RE: RE: RE: Memory supportDavid Ramsey 2011-11-30 13:58
Just in case anyone was still wondering: according to the specs on the box, the board handles up to DDR3-1866 memory. However, in the BIOS, you can set up to DDR3-2666.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboardanonymous 2011-11-25 22:35
Here you say: "And it's really odd that only two of the SATA ports are SATA 6G"

But in the comparo-graph on this web page:
#benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=833&Itemid=69&limit=1&limitstart=2

for SATA this for this motherboard it says:

4xSATA 3G, 4xSATA 6G

Please clarify, am I reading one of these pages wrong?

Also, not really an issue, but on this page it says:

"there are 14 USB 2.0 ports and 6 SATA ports"
and
"touted as a reason for not supporting SuperSpeed USB 3.0"
which doesn't explicitly say that there are no USB 3.0 ports, but it sort of reads that way to the casual reader. On the other page listed above it says for USB for this motherboard:

"6xUSB 3.0, 14xUSB 2.0"


Thanks for the wonderful reviews of this cutting edge stuff! Its great to get all of this info so quickly after they are released.
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# ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboardcmjohncheng 2011-11-25 22:55
another 2 SATA 6G is [ESATA]
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboardanonymous 2011-11-25 22:36
Oh, there - you do say it: "no USB 3.0"
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-11-26 08:15
Anon, you're confused. The section where I say there are only 2 SATA 6G ports and no USB 3.0 is the section on Intel's X79 chipset. The clue is the heading "Intel's X79 Express Chipset" in large type at the start of that section.

ASUS adds extra SATA 6G ports and USB 3.0 via third party controller chips, which is part of the "added value" they bring to this board.
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# RE: RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboardanonymous 2011-11-28 16:46
Awesome. I am indeed going to build a computer based on this board. Thanks for the clarification!
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# Software EngineerVan Anast 2011-12-07 17:31
The most complete review of a product this type i've ever seen and since i recently ordered the exact pair of mobo-processor i have to thank you very much for this article.
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# RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF MotherboardArt Ford 2011-12-22 11:48
I wanted to use G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9Q-16GBXL with the mobo but have been unable to find out if this RAM is compatible.
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# RE: RE: ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-12-22 15:22
That memory will work fine...
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# tpurichard alexander 2012-01-30 19:42
Where exactly is the tpu switch located?
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# PCI-E:16/16/8 = okay for Revo?Bruce 2012-05-13 22:21
Hi.
Love the review... nice and thorough.
Question (as I have been looking for a suitable upgrade & replacement for my P67 Sabertooth board...

Will this board allow me to run my two GTX580's in SLI @ 16x, and allow the Revodrive3 x2 to run in the bottom PCI-E okay?

In my present rig, I have to drop a GPU.

Thanks
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# RE: PCI-E:16/16/8 = okay for Revo?David Ramsey 2012-05-14 07:55
Yes. In fact, I'm running two GTX 580s in exactly the configuration you mentioned. In the bottom slot, I'm running an Asus Xonar sound card, but your Revodrive will work just fine.
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# terrific review siteGord 2013-02-11 21:49
Thanks for the very comprehensive review. Off to buy one tomorrow for my graphics workstation build along with the i7 3930K and a Corsair Graphite Series case and various other goodies.
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