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Asus Z87 Sabertooth Motherboard Review (w/ Intel i7 4770k)

Rating: 9.0.

This weekend Intel launch their new Haswell range of processors and the major motherboard partners have a range of models for the enthusiast audience to choose from. We have several articles prepared for today, and this review focuses on the new Asus Sabertooth Motherboard paired up with the Intel Core i7 4770k.

ASUS have earned a reputation over the years for creating some of the world's finest motherboards, many of which we have reviewed on Kitguru. The Sabertooth range have been a firm favourite with the enthusiast audience thanks to high overclocking capabilities, a full feature set and killer stability under heavy load. We have high hopes for this board today.

We won't be testing the onboard Intel HD graphics in this review, we will cover that in our Gigabyte review – so head over to our front page to read more if you are interested.
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The new Asus Z87 Sabertooth supports the latest 4th generation Intel Core i7 / i5 and i3 processors. It should be priced around the competitive £200 price point in the United Kingdom.

The Z87 Express Chipset supports the LGA1150 socket. It utilises the serial point to point links which increase bandwidth and enhance system performance. It natively supports up to six USB 3.0 ports and enables the iGPU function for Intel integrated graphics performance. All of the SATA ports support 6GBps capability, so no hunting around to make sure you have the right ports for that shiny new Solid State Drive.

Additionally, for those people who want the ultimate gaming performance, the motherboard supports Quad SLI and CrossfireX configurations.

One of the biggest selling points of the Sabertooth has always been the ‘Thermal Armor' – a casing which covers the majority of the PCB. This ‘Armor' has a flow gate mechanism which allows you to open, or close the thermal armor via a button. When the gate is open, it provides an excellent thermal solution for the CPU. When the gate is closed it focuses air on heatpipes for better heat removal, useful when liquid cooling.

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  1. Terrible Terrance

    Is the tuf armor not restrictive though? seems to block a lot of the spots id like to get access too.

  2. THe previous generations of this board have been superb, ive owned a few. My last one failed when I spilt coke over the top of my case and a bit of it hit the pcb. my own fault.

    Not got the cash right now for an upgrade but will be later in the year. this is top of my list.

  3. Not really that exciting a board – but rock solid. I want to see the ROG versions.

  4. ITs a great board, what are you talking about Anusha. Its a more laid back colour scheme, hardly matters, most of it will be covered in a system build.

    I do want tsee the ultra high end asus boards though.

  5. 4770k is a bit of a let down unless I couldnt afford a graphics card.

    overall nice board, but im happy with my 5.0ghz 3770k

  6. 4770k is a flop. Intel are clearly focused on the mobile platform now and power reduction rather than moving forward in the high end and giving people a huge step up. anyone with a 3770k wont need to move,unless for some reason they need onboard graphics !

    disappointing CPU launch, but great motherboards from the guys. I like how they have ditched the old SATA standard now instead of 3 or 4 useless ports for SSD.

  7. 4770k isn’t that bad, but I agree, its not a huge step forward. it may help those peoplee who buy a lower end processor and cant afford a graphics card, but who the F*CK will want a 4770k for onboard graphics performance? its irrelevant really.

    Ive seen a lot of reviews today and there seems to be a huge variance on the overclocks, which would suggest the new manufacturing process isn’t quite at the level it should be. ill stay with my 3570k for a while longer as its working well with the 7950 I have.

  8. How can it support Quad-SLI with only three PCI slots?

  9. @ Billy. some nvidia cards have two GPU’s, so two of them in a pairing – quad SLI.

  10. Example…..:

    2x GTX 690 = 2×2 GPU = Quad-SLI
    4x GTX Titan = 4×1 GPU = 4Way-SLI

  11. I guess the motherboard manufacturers will be really pi55ed about the “huge” sales coming their way lol. If I were them I’d play a little with Intel for the next chipsets. Intel is going down as they follow their ambitions rather the market. They should let ARM alone and focus on the categories that made them what they are.

    It’s really scary reading about all that heat coming off and about that 100i that can hardly keep up at 4.5GHz+. What about the box cooler??!

    A board packed for OC is an useless piece of cr0p when OC is impossible. Now it’s AMD move, if they have a single ace up their sleeve they’d better be pulling it. It’s time…