Asus continues the TUF series with the Sabertooth Z77

sabertooth z77 Asus continues the TUF series with the Sabertooth Z77

As far as going after niche markets, Asus' TUF series is one of those peculiar products that isn't necessarily selling towards its intended target market, nor does the product range really fit in as it sits on its own as a side-line to many of Asus' other board ranges. The latest addition is the Sabertooth Z77 which builds on previous TUF boards and then adds a few features of its own.

As far as going after niche markets, Asus' TUF series is one of those peculiar products that isn't necessarily selling towards its intended target market, nor does the product range really fit in as it sits on its own as a side-line to many of Asus' other board ranges. The latest addition is the Sabertooth Z77 which builds on previous TUF boards and then adds a few features of its own.

sabertooth z77 Asus continues the TUF series with the Sabertooth Z77

As you can see, the Sabertooth Z77 features Asus' unique Thermal armor, a plastic shield that encases the entire board, although this time around Asus has made a few tweaks to the design. For one the company has added a pair of 50mm fans this time around, one just below the CPU socket and one as part of the rear I/O that draws in cool air from outside the chassis to help cool the MOSFETs. The other addition is dust protection covers for all of the PCI Express slots as well as for two memory slots and some of the pin headers. These are simple plastic covers that prevent buildup of dust in the slots over time.

sabertooth z77 3 Asus continues the TUF series with the Sabertooth Z77

The general board design is fairly conservative with two x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots in dual x8 mode, one x16 PCI Express 2.0 slot which is operating in x4 mode and three x1 PCI Express 2.0 slots. You also get the standard four SATA 3Gbps ports and two SATA 6Gbps from the Intel chipset as well as a pair of additional SATA 6Gbps ports. The board also has a USB 3.0 header for two ports and what should be headers for an additional six USB 3.0 ports.

sabertooth z77 2 Asus continues the TUF series with the Sabertooth Z77

Around the back we're looking at four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, a DisplayPort and HDMI connector and a CMOS reset button. The rear fan is recessed behind the CMOS reset button, but even so it prevents any additional rear ports to be fitted to the board. If you feel the extra cost for a five year warranty is worth it, then maybe this is the board you've been waiting for, but otherwise we'd say other models from Asus offer more in terms of features for what has at least in the past been a lower cost.

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