ASUS X99 TUF Sabertooth Review
The Sabertooth range have always been about the power and no frills. That isn't to say they have none, but like a good meal it's all steak with little in the way of pointless sizzle. This "here it is" ethos is echoed in the packaging.
Within the confines we find an array of accessories, including this Hyper Kit, which sits in the M.2 input and brings support for Non-Volatile Memory Express, or NVMe drives. All we can say more is that this is going to be a, and we're quoting here, "Future Intel device". Otherwise our lips are legally sealed.
The X99 Sabertooth itself looks like many Thermal Armor motherboards but with an extra feature hiding beneath the X99 plate. Namely a 40mm fan which supplies cool air to the power phases and is claimed to reduce their temperatures by 10°C. We have to confess we'd hoped to have left the days of the 40mm fans consigned to history, but there we are.
If you've ever felt that your ports were unduly susceptible to dust then ASUS have got you, quite literally, covered. Both the internal SATA ports and the ports that form the IO section at the rear of the X99 Sabertooth have got dust caps. If you're anything like us we'd wager that within a week or two you'd have lost them.
Normally we really like the Thermal Armor covering, but the segmented nature of the X99 Sabertooth just isn't quite doing it for us. It's not as instantly jaw-dropping as the Sabranco was, or even the sleek Z77. If there were any more cut-outs it would just be a slightly busy regular motherboard, rather than the smooth affair we're used to seeing.
Round the back we have all the usual inputs and outputs, USB 3.0, Gigabit LAN, audio etc. What stands out - apart from the heatsink upon which the fan sits - are the two teal-coloured USB 3.1 ports, supporting a whopping 10Gb/s. We can't wait for compatible devices to appear.