ASUS X99 TUF Sabertooth Review
Allow us a small diversion to peek behind the curtain of OZ. Or in this case OC3D. One of the big benefits we have is that we get time with the hardware. We're not just pretending, or reading someone else's thoughts. This means that we get a feel for something which might not come across in the purity of a results table. When it came to the Sabertooth we felt that it was great, if not quite at the same level of the cream of the crop. In X99 terms that's the Rampage V Extreme, although we have a handful of motherboards we put in that elite bracket. Anyway, we spent our time with it, thought what we thought. But results sometimes tell a different story. Whilst we were tabulating the benchmarks we obtained from the Sabertooth it seemed, at a glance, that the results bore this conclusion out. The Sabertooth was great, just not shockingly so.
You can imagine our surprise once we'd sorted the massive spreadsheets we have of all our data to find that the Sabertooth not only was great, it was regularly graph-toppingly so. In everything. This isn't some show pony that is only great at producing big scores in headline benchmarks like 3D Mark or wPrime95. No matter what we threw at it, it just shrugged its shoulders and demolished it to the point it was the first real competition the Rampage 5 Extreme has ever really been given from any manufacturer both in the performance stakes but also easy of use and stability.
There is a slight caveat that you definitely need to overclock to really get the best out of it, but when it's this easy why wouldn't you? It goes like a train if you even mildly poke it. At stock it's like a Ferrari cruising on the motorway, but give it a little more - something very easy to do thanks to the quality components and the always powerful ASUS BIOS - and it positively flies. It's no slouch at stock either, just it is happier with a little extra voltage.
We've got this far and we haven't mentioned the inclusion of two near-future technologies. The Hyper Kit we can say no more about, but the USB 3.1 promises the benefits of the 10Gb/s SATA Express speeds but via the USB connection. Who doesn't want double the bandwidth of the already fast USB 3.0? In fact the only element of the Sabertooth that could remotely count as a mark against it is the looks. Which are fine, but we're not completely sold on them in the same way we've been from other Sabertooth motherboards, however a sublte black and silver or even an all out stealthy black themed rig would probably suit most if the flashes of red we used in our test kit are the exact things you are trying to stay away from.
The world of Haswell-E might be one for the very power-hungry or well heeled, but the ASUS X99 TUF Sabertooth brings that world a little closer to those of us of more meagre means, and does it without compromise. If you want the power of the Rampage 5 without the red this could be the board you have been looking for, it's positively spectacular.
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