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Asus Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ Motherboard Review



/ 6 years ago

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We’ve had quite a large focus on Intel lately with the shakeup of B3 revision boards and the recent launch of the Z68 chipset. Now gives a time where we can take a look at something new from AMD. Yes you heard right, AMD have launched something new; the 990FX chipset.

AMD have been to long without a refresh and now that the 990FX has arrived, it opens the doorway to the upcoming processors codenamed Bulldozer. Sadly Bulldozer has now been delayed till apparently August, but how true this is, only AMD know. Until then the 990FX does give some other features aside from the full AM3+ support.

990FX opens up improved DDR3 memory support, the ability to have a UEFI GUI based BIOS, and support for SLI. AMD have hogged the limelight for quite some time forcing users to buy AMD all the way with the motherboard and GPU combination if wanting multiple graphics cards. though AMD weren’t completely to blame as it was a battle between them being too proud to ask and nVidia flat out refusing to share a license with them, the 990FX chipset now sees an improvement in this area, allowing for Quad SLI on some boards.

Whilst the 990FX does sound good in terms of small benefits, it really depends on the board that will be implementing it. Today we are looking at the Sabertooth 990FX from Asus which provides military grade components and stability at an affordable price. The Sabertooth includes all of the features above but also has stability in mind by implementing some unique features in terms of keeping your system cool by using an new improved material called CeraM!x and including various sensors across the board to intelligently monitor the boards temperature and adjust the cooling to suit.

It sounds like a board that’s suitable for military operations but will it survive the bombardment of tests and benchmarks we’ll be shooting at it? Let’s find out.

Forward March!

Specifications

[TABLE=class: grid, width: 100%]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Model[/TD]
[TD=align: center]SABERTOOTH 990FX[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]CPU[/TD]
[TD=align: center]AMD Socket AM3+ for AMD FX Series CPU up to 8-core, Compatible with AMD Socket AM3 for AMD Phenom™ II /Athlon™ II /Sempron™ 100 Series Processors[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Chipset[/TD]
[TD=align: center]AMD 990FX/SB950[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Memory[/TD]
[TD=align: center]DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Support[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Power Phase Design[/TD]
[TD=align: center]DIGI+ VRM 8+2 phase[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]PCIe x16 Slots[/TD]
[TD=align: center]3 (Single@x16 speed; Dual@x16/x16 speed; Triple@x16/x8/x8 speed)
1 (Black@x4 speed)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Multi-GPU support[/TD]
[TD=align: center]CrossFireX / SLI[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Storage[/TD]
[TD=align: center]6 x SATA 6Gb/s
2 x SATA 3Gb/s
1 x Power eSATA
1 x eSATA[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]LAN[/TD]
[TD=align: center]Realtek® Gigabit LAN[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Audio[/TD]
[TD=align: center]8-ch HD[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]IEEE 1394[/TD]
[TD=align: center]2 (1 at mid-board; 1 at back panel)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]USB[/TD]
[TD=align: center]4 x USB 3.0 (2 at mid-board at front panel, 2 at back)
14 x USB 2.0 (4 at mid-board, 10 at back)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD=align: center]Exclusive Features[/TD]
[TD]“Ultimate COOL!” Thermal Solution
– TUF CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech.
– TUF Thermal Radar
“TUF ENGINE!” Power Design
– 8+2 Digital Phase Power Design
– TUF Components (Alloy choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
– ASUS DIGI+ VRM Utility
– E.S.P. : Efficient Switching Power Design
“Safe & Stable!” Guardian Angel
– ESD Guards
– MemOK!
– Anti Surge
“Other Special Features
– ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
– Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
– AI Suite II
“5 Year Warranty[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


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  • lucas4

    its getting late now, so i cant wait to read this tomorrow.good job mate :)! 1st 990 board review i have seen anywhere on the web 😎

  • aruffell

    There's a few, who got them out before NDA, naughty naughty.Feel free to share the link anywhere you deem fit 😀 Should attract in some people 😀

  • lucas4

    Aruffell;18258 wrote: There's a few, who got them out before NDA, naughty naughty.Feel free to share the link anywhere you deem fit 😀 Should attract in some people 😀

    already re-posted it here and on Aria lol!TPU next me thinks :D!

  • aruffell

    Good man, just saw your thread at Aria. I got banned from there as i have a Scan banner floating around lol

  • Eternalchaos

    Seem that newer isn't always better :rolleyes:

  • omegadoom13

    Great review Andy! Plenty of pics with descriptions was greatly appreciated as well as your opinion about when to upgrade. Thanks!

  • Si KeVin

    Aruffell;18261 wrote: Good man, just saw your thread at Aria. I got banned from there as i have a Scan banner floating around lol

    LoL 😀

  • lucas4

    Aruffell;18261 wrote: Good man, just saw your thread at Aria. I got banned from there as i have a Scan banner floating around lol

    lol!i for one am glad they left the thermal armour off this board. i just didnt like the look of it and it made temps worse

  • Eternalchaos

    lucas4;18307 wrote: lol!i for one am glad they left the thermal armour off this board. i just didnt like the look of it and it made temps worse

    I seen some builds that make it look good <img src="http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/3240/l1050729.jpg&quot; alt="" />

  • lucas4

    that does look very, very nice, but id still rather a sweet black PCB like the GB boards have and ditch the thermal armour :/!

  • Grim_Reaper

    Awesome review, awesome MB. But Sabetooth is still ordinary MB with extra quality components. When Crosshair is more overclocker's one.

  • omegadoom13

    Eternalchaos;18311 wrote: I seen some builds that make it look good <img src="http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/3240/l1050729.jpg&quot; alt="" />

    Nice looking building. Like the contrast with white fans.

  • lucas4

    the cable management could be a bit better tho! especially in that case :p!maybe im just jealous tho :p!

  • omegadoom13

    lucas4;18381 wrote: the cable management could be a bit better tho! especially in that case :p!maybe im just jealous tho :p!

    With the black and white contrasting colors, it could be in a Star Wars movie

  • Eternalchaos

    omegadoom13;18384 wrote: With the black and white contrasting colors, it could be in a Star Wars movie

    no that what the Corsair 600T white is for 😀 <img src="http://img.techpowerup.org/110531/DSC_0726.jpg&quot; alt="" /><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2648/3761399051_c8a312ea5e.jpg&quot; alt="" />

  • lucas4

    haha! they r stupidly similar lol :p!

  • omegadoom13

    lol.. that's a pretty cool looking storm trooper case

  • Archangel

    i like this board i would buy it

  • Eternalchaos

    Archangel;19308 wrote: i like this board i would buy it

    For £10 more you can get the new Crosshair V 😀

  • Archangel

    Eternalchaos;19323 wrote: For £10 more you can get the new Crosshair V 😀

    hmm must admit i like asus crosshair v formula 990fx to lol<span style="font-family: arial;"></span>

  • dav532000

    Nice review Aruffell the only thing I don't like is having the Sata connecters facing out and not up.I have an Asus board with the the Satas facing the same way and I had to take the HHD Caddy out cut the lip off with tin snips so that I could fit more than a couple of Sata drives. Mind you if I was ever lucky enough to get my hands on this board, then it would have to be a new case.