P1020167 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

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.

P1020165 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

Back of Board

P1020175 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

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.

P1020170 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

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

P1020174 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

Audio is serviced by Realtek ALC892, Firewire by VIA VT6315N and Gigabit Ethernet by Intel 82579V. 

P1010801 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

Not much going on here – The PCIe lanes are wired directly to the CPU without the use of any major switches. 

P1020172 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

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.

P1020168 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

CPU Socket Area – the TUF has a 8+2+2+2 Digital Phase Power Design

P1020176 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

A view of the chokes and capacitors in the socket area

P1020173 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

DIGI+ EPU as seen in all recent ASUS motherboards, allowing for precise power control and stability

P1010792 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF

 

Accessories and Certificate of Reliability. The TUF is also backed by an extensive 5-year warranty

P1020162 First Looks: ASUS TUF Sabertooth X79   Stay Cool, Be TUF