ASUS 990FX R3.0 AM3+ Sabertooth Preview

ASUS 990FX R3.0 Sabertooth Preview


We have big love for AMD here at OC3D. For some of us the Thunderbird was our first CPU beyond 1GHz, and the Barton core range gets us moist with memories of blistering overclocks on DFI motherboards. So we’re always a little disappointed in how long it is taking AMD to match up to the Intel range of CPUs.

However, we know that many of you are running an AMD CPU and it seems annoying that sticking with an affordable foundation for a gaming PC robs you of some of the very latest features and technologies that have been appearing on the Intel offerings. ASUS must have felt similarly upset as the have just released the third revision of their 990FX Sabertooth motherboard, now equipped with all the high bandwidth goodness that you would expect to find on a new motherboard.

Let’s give you a quick overview of what you can expect to find.

Technical Specifications

Considering that the AM3 socket, and indeed the 990FX chipset, are long in the tooth now we’d resigned ourselves to the possibility that it would take a wholesale revision of the AMD range before many of the features that are included on the Sabertooth found their way to the AMD platform. Even a cursory glance through the specifications shows how hard ASUS have worked to bring it bang up to date though.

Okay so the Memory is still DDR3, and not exactly fast, but that’s a limitation of the chipset. Equally we’re only at PCI Express 2.0, again, 990FX limitations. Anywhere that ASUS could make a difference though, they have done.

So we have the AURA lighting. Not some cut-down version just good enough to make an appearance on the box without inciting lawsuits though. This is “ASUS Safeslot PCI slots with LED inserts” AURA lighting. That isn’t the only appearance of LEDs though as you can see from the top image, and we’ll look at in more detail on the next page, the vital LED indicators are also included in the TUF Armor, so you have an ‘at a glance’ idea of what’s going on with your boot stage.

Storage is catered to well also, with the Sabertooth supporting M.2 drives alongside four USB 3.1 sockets. Just because you’ve chosen to go with AMD doesn’t mean that you’re forced to put up with slow devices.

CPU AMD® Socket AM3+ for AMD® FX Series CPU up to 8-core  Compatible with AMD® Socket AM3 for AMD® Phenomâ„¢ II /Athlonâ„¢ II /Sempronâ„¢ 100 Series Processors AMD 220W CPU Support AMD Cool ‘n’ Quietâ„¢ Technology Chipset AMD® 990FX/SB950  System Bus Up to 5.2 GT/s; HyperTransportâ„¢ 3.1 Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz, ECC, Non-ECC, un-buffered Memory Dual Channel memory architecture *Refer to for the Memory QVL(Qualified Vendors Lists) **Due to OS limitation, when installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Hence, a total installed memory of less than 3GB is recommended. Expansion Slots 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (Dual at x16/x16, triple at x16/x8/x8 mode)* 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot ([email protected]) 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot *When running dual graphics cards, be sure to insert the card in the first and third PCIex16 slot to get the best performance Multi-GPU support Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLIâ„¢ Technology  Supports AMD® Quad-GPU CrossFireXâ„¢ Technology Storage AMD® SB950 Chipset:  – 5 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports with RAID 0,1,5 and 10 support  – 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode) LAN Intel® 211 Gigabit LAN controller Turbo LAN TUF LANGuard Audio Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC   – Audio shielding ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference  – Separate layer for left and right track, ensuring both sound deliver equal quality  – Top notch audio sensation delivers according to the audio configuration  – Audio Amplifier to enhance the highest quality sound for headphone and speakers  – Absolute Pitch 192khz/24bit True BD Lossless Sound  – BD Audio Layer Content Protection  – Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, and Front Panel Jack-Retasking  – Optical S/PDIF out port at back I/O USB 2 x ASMedia® USB 3.1 controllers- supports ASUS USB 3.1 Boost and 3A power output  – 1 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 port @back panel (Type C)  – 3 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 ports @back panel (teal blue, Type A) ASMedia® USB 3.0 Hub – supports ASUS USB 3.1 Boost   – 8 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 4 ports at back panel) AMD® SB950 Chipset  – 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 4 ports at back panel) Exclusive TUF Features “Ultimate COOL!” Thermal Solution  – Thermal Radar 2 “TUF ENGINE!” Digital Power Design  – 8+2 Digital Phase Power Design  – ASUS DIGI+ Power Control Utility  – TUF Components (Alloy choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard) “Safe & Stable!” Guardian Angel  – TUF ESD Guards 2  – TUF LANGuard  – MemOK! Other Special Features  – USB 3.1 Boost featuring speedy USB 3.1 transmission  – ASUS SafeSlot  – AURA RGB Lighting  – Ai Suite 3  – ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface  – USB BIOS Flashback with USB BIOS Flashback Wizard for EZ BIOS download scheduling  – DRCT header  – ASUS Q-Connector  – ASUS Q-Shield  – ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)  – ASUS Q-Slot  – ASUS Q-DIMM  – ASUS O.C. Profile  – ASUS EZ Flash 2  – Multi-language BIOS Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x Optical S/PDIF Output port 1 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 port (Type C) 3 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 port (teal blue, Type A) 1 x LAN (RJ45) port 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue) 4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports(one port can be used as USB BIOS Flashback port) 8-channel Audio I/O(5 x Audio jacks) Internal I/O Connectors 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 connector supports additional 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (19-pin) 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors support additional 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports 5 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors  1 x CPU Fan connector (4-pin) 1 x CPU Opt fan connectors (4-pin) 1 x Water Pump header (4-pin) 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (4-pin) 1 x TPM header Front panel audio connector 1 x COM port 1 x S/PDIF Out header 24-pin EATX Power connector 8-pin EATX 12V Power connector System Panel (Q-Connector) 1 x DRCT header 1 x Power on button 1 x MemOK! button 1 x USB BIOS Flashback button 1 x Clear CMOS header BIOS  64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI BIOS, PnP, SLP2.1, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS,
ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3, My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE Accessories 4 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s cables 1 x ASUS SLI bridge connector  1 x ASUS Q-Shield 1 x Q-connector 1 x TUF Certification card 1 x TUF 5 Year Warranty manual (by region) User’s manual Support DVD Drivers Anti-virus software (OEM version) ASUS Update ASUS Utilities  Form Factor ATX Form Factor, 12”x 9.6” (30.5cm x 24.4cm)