Yesterday, we previewed the resplendent ASUS ROG Rampage IV Extreme, which is targeted at the hardcore overclocking enthusiast segment. In the second of a three part ASUS X79 motherboard series, we turn our voyuering periscope to a mainstream offering – the desert camouflage themed TUF Sabertooth X79!
Front View – The ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79 was built with longevity and "military-standard" durability in mind, thus a huge emphasis on heat monitoring and dissipation through the use of large heatsinks and active coolers.
Back of Board
I/O Panel – 4 USB 3.0 ports (ASMedia), 6 USB 2.0 ports, Intel Gigabit, 1 Power eSATA 6Gbps and 1 regular eSATA 6Gbps serviced by an ASMedia 1061 controller.
For faster heat dissipation near the CPU Socket area, ASUS uses stacked fins and heatpipes and has included an mounting area for the installation of a optional (included) 40mm fan
Audio is serviced by Realtek ALC892, Firewire by VIA VT6315N and Gigabit Ethernet by Intel 82579V.
Not much going on here – The PCIe lanes are wired directly to the CPU without the use of any major switches.
A Marvell 9128 provides 2 additional 6Gbps ports (grey). It also supports pairing a mechanical harddrive with a solid state drive for SSD caching which is useful as the X79 chipset does not have Intel SRT as seen on Z68 motherboards.
CPU Socket Area – the TUF has a 8+2+2+2 Digital Phase Power Design
A view of the chokes and capacitors in the socket area
DIGI+ EPU as seen in all recent ASUS motherboards, allowing for precise power control and stability
Accessories and Certificate of Reliability. The TUF is also backed by an extensive 5-year warranty