Asus X58 Sabertooth Review
Motherboards are the heart of any machine. As we so often prove here at OC3D Towers, the benefit of a great motherboard to your system, or indeed the problems caused by a poor one, cannot be overstated.
Because of the rather fiddly nature of switching them around, when compared to processors, graphics cards and the like, most people tend to upgrade only if they are changing chipset or socket, rather than when a better model arrives.
This makes it doubly important to not only buy a good motherboard in the first place, because it will be with you for such a long time, but also to buy one that will last the journey.
Finding one "built to last" isn't as easy as it sounds. Most manufacturers will happily tell you about the overclocking prowess of their latest creation, very few will mention the longevity.
This neatly brings us to the Asus X58 Sabertooth. This has been designed, and is marketed, almost solely for its long-lasting properties, over and above any overclocking abilities or trumpeting about the latest technologies.
That isn't to say it's not bursting with them anyway, as we'll find out soon enough. Firstly, let's see what we have our hands on.
For those of you who enjoy reading through specification tables as much as we do, you'll see that the Sabertooth doesn't really want for anything.
We have SATA 6Gbps, USB 3.0 and a couple of full speed PCIe x16 lanes.
|CPU||Intel® Socket 1366 Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition/Core™ i7 Processor |
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
|Chipset||Intel® X58 /ICH10R|
|System Bus||Up to 6400 MT/s ; Intel® QuickPath Interconnect|
|Memory||6 x DIMM, Max. 24 GB, DDR3 1866/1800/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory|
Triple channel memory architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
*Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. Some hyper DIMMs only support one DIMM per channel. Refer to Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists) for details.
|Expansion Slots||2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual at x16/x16 mode) |
1 x PCIe x16 (at x4 mode)
2 x PCIe x1
1 x PCI
|Multi-GPU Support||Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology |
Supports ATI® Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
|Storage||Intel ICH10R controller |
6 xSATA 3.0 Gb/s ports (black)
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10
Marvell® 9128 PCIe SATA6Gb/s controller
2 xSATA 6Gb/s ports (gray)
Supports EZ Backup and SuperSpeed functions
JMicron® JMB362 SATA controller:
1 xPower eSATA 3Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
1 xeSATA 3Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
|LAN||Realtek® 8110SC Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2|
|Audio||Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC |
ASUS Noise Filter
Supports 192khz/24bit BD Lossless Sound
Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-Streaming, Front Panel Jack-Retasking
Optical S/PDIF Out port at back I/O
|IEEE 1394||VIA® VT6308P controller supports 2 x 1394a port(s) (one at midboard; one at back panel)|
|USB||NEC® USB 3.0 controller|
- 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue, at back panel)
Intel® ICH10R Southbridge
- 12 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 ports at midboard, 6 ports at back panel)
|ASUS Unique Features||"TUF ENGINE!" Power Design |
- 8-phase CPU Power
- 2-phase Memory Power
- 2-phase VTT_CPU Power
- E.S.P. : Efficient Switching Power Design
- TUF Components (Alloy Choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
"Ultimate COOL!" Thermal Solutions
- CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech.
- ASUS Fan Xpert
"Safe & Stable!" Guardian Angel
|Special Features||Multi-language BIOS|
ASUS MyLogo 2
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
ASUS O.C. Profile
ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
True USB 3.0 support
True SATA 6Gb/s RAID support
|Back Panel I/O Ports||1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Combo port |
1 x S/PDIF Out (Optical)
1 x IEEE 1394a
1 x LAN(RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
8 -Channel Audio I/O
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue)
1 x Power eSATA 3Gb/s port (green)
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port (red)
|Internal I/O Connectors||3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports |
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x Power Fan connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
Front panel audio connector
System Panel (Q-Connector)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (gray)
6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (black)
1 x CPU Fan connector (4-pin)
1 x NB Fan connector
3 x Chassis Fan connectors (1 x 4-pin, 2 x 3-pin)
24-pin ATX Power connector
8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x MemOK! button
|BIOS||16 Mb Flash ROM , AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI 2.0a, |
2 in 1 Q-connector
2 x SATA 6Gb/s cables
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cables
|Form Factor||ATX Form Factor |
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )
So all in all on paper it looks to be everything you could desire. Time to see it in the flesh.