ASUS’s Sabertooth and “TUF” series motherboards have been around for awhile now and ASUS could have gone the easy and cheap route of just slapping the thermal armor on a motherboard and calling it a Sabertooth motherboard. But since the introduction of the “TUF” series ASUS has always made improvements upon the previous generation and the Z87 Sabertooth is just the same. They have added things like the TUF Fortifier backplate, Thermal Radar 2, Flow Valve and Dust Defender.
Now this board is missing some things that other ASUS boards offer. Republic of Gamers boards have things like voltage check points, POST code displays and power and reset buttons. The Deluxe line has mSATA ports, WiFi cards and Bluetooth. While those things are nice to have this board is made for one reason, reliability. ASUS has built this board with quality components like We like to call those board the work-horse of the Z87 line. ASUS uses quality components like 10K TUF Ti-Capacitors and all of the capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs on the board have gone through many different reliability tests as outlined in the Certificate of Reliability that comes with the motherboard. If you are planning on building a new system that is going to be on constantly this is the board for you and it will last, that is why ASUS backs it with a 5 year warranty!
Everyone knows the Sabertooth boards for their Thermal Armor which is on this board, but ASUS has also added the TUF Fortifier backplate. This makes the board itself extremely rigid, much like many higher-end video cards that have backplates. Since this is such a solid motherboard you will have no issues installing multiple large video cards. The TUF Fortifier acts as a heatsink on the board to keep temperatures down. They have actually installed thermal interface material below the VRM section of the board. The thermal armor also allows you to easily pick up the board without having to worry about cutting your fingers or anything like that.
ASUS’s included software package, Ai Suite II includes the Thermal Radar 2 application that will allow you to track all of the temperatures of the probes that are under the thermal armor. This way you know exactly how hot each component of your system is. On top of that the Z87 Sabertooth comes with three temperature sensor leads that you can attach to other devices like hard drives or certain parts of your case. The software will perform a benchmark and let you know how you can optimize the airflow that is in your system. One thing that we did miss in the Ai Suite III software was any type of overclocking utility. Many people do not want to go into the BIOS and mess around with things and would rather overclock right in Windows.
When it came to overclocking this board was a beast to say the least! Using our Core i7-4770K we were able to boot all the way up to 4.9 GHz! While that was an impressive speed our processor got very hot during load. This has nothing to do with the motherboard itself, just Intel’s Haswell chips do run pretty hot. We settled with a stable overclock of 4.6 GHz, which is a 1.1 GHz overclock over the stock 3.5 GHz of the Core i7-4770K.
When it comes down to it if you want an extremely reliable motherboard with quality components that you know is going to last a long time the ASUS Z87 Motherboard is the definite choice. Right now you can pick up this motherboard for $249 at my favorite online retailer. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASUS Z87 Sabertooth Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award!
- Built with quality components
- Components go through many reliability tests
- TUF Armor and TUF Fortifier
- 5 year warranty
- Thermal Radar 2 and 3 extra thermal probes
- No overclocking software built into Ai Suite III
- Not as many features as other ASUS boards