ASUS TUF Sabertooth X58 review
Final Words & Conclusion
Believe it or not but when you look purely at the specs, this is a motherboard targeted at the more 'budget' targeted X58 end-user and it's not that much different compared to lower segmented X58 motherboards from ASUS. It is obvious that ASUS tried to fully utilize the Intel chipset as much as it can aside from the primary features (to cut cost). The design, USB 3.0 and SATA 6G are the primary factors combined create a very decent and nice motherboard without adding many other ICs. The Sabertooth is not intended for the uber-extreme crowd, the pro-users and overclockers. Now that said, it didn't stop us from bringing our Core i7 980X processor towards 4.5 Ghz on air-cooling. And at 199 USD ... how can you not like that ?
The TUF Sabertooth offers nearly everything you can wish for on a X58 motherboard for an enthusiast end user. We can moan about smaller features like a lacking 2nd Ethernet jack and some more back-panel connectivity but at 199 USD we just can not complain.
The aesthetic design of the Sabertooth is just mouth-watering whilst offering good (not perfect) baseline performance. And though the BIOS is a little less catered for it, it does offer plenty of decent overclockability as our OC session proofs. When you start to overclock, that's where you start to make money. With the Noctua NH-D14 heatpipe based cooler cooler on the processor this motherboard allowed us to drive the processor very nicely, at 4.5 GHz give or take and that was using a six-core Core i7 980X processor. Reaching even higher performance would require us to use liquid-cooling, phase-change cooling, dry ice or liquid nitrogen. But we are happy @ a 100% stable 4.5 GHz with a heatpipe based cooling solution.
We notice that there is plenty of bandwidth for the USB 3.0 and SATA3 6G controllers as their respective performance is really good. The overall motherboard design is marvelous in all ways as well, the really nice design, the option to use the liquid cooling block on the chipset, the exceptional arrangement of all apparatus used, the high class components. ASUS is now also utilizing a 'military' design strategy on the TUF series. It literally boils down to a higher class of component selection that can endure much more than say your average motherboard in terms of heat, lifespan ... and in the end stability and overclockability. Though that's 50% marketing right there, the truth is also that better components will in the end help you out.
Then the integrated passive ceramic-coating technology offers splendid of cooling performance as well. So while we can discuss and lift every theory and thesis on this motherboard, we like to keep it plain and simple. The ASUS TUF Sabertooth X58 is a good motherboard with decent feature set, nice performance, good tweakability and a stunning design, it's the Rambo amongst motherboards. If a 199 USD budget is your limit, then we can recommend this rugged looking sturdy piece of hardware very much.
Oh and ASUS tops it off with a 5 year limited warranty, that doesn't suck either. At the time of writing the motherboard is available only in Northern America, we hope it'll travel with a military Chinook helicopter at the European and Asian bases real soon as this motherboard series definitely deserves a chance.