The Asus Sabertooth 990FX motherboard is based around a truly excellent UEFI driven interface which works in a similar fashion to the latest Intel Sandybridge designs we have tested many times on Kitguru in the past.
Initially the user is presented with the basic overview of the hardware, including three presets which are ideal for inexperienced users to implement. The Boot priority section is particularly useful as it makes troubleshooting a boot problem much more intuitive. Power users will want to head straight into the advanced section, which is accessible from a button top right of this panel.
The main panel gives a quick overview of the system, the UEFI revision, processor name, system language and time.
Many of our readers will spend a lot of time in the AI Tweaker panel. Here you can control the speed of the processor, voltages and many system related frequencies and timings. The memory speed configurations are very thorough, with settings up to 2400mhz available. The XMP memory profile options are also highlighted here for a pain free configuration.
The advanced panel gives access to many of the motherboard settings, such as SATA, USB and Northbridge. CPU functionality can be adjusted in here also.
The monitoring tab is pretty self explanatory, allowing the user to check system temperatures. Especially useful when overclocking, changing voltage settings or after installing a new CPU cooler.
The boot menu gives fine adjustment over all the boot related options, and is a much more advanced mode when compared to the initial greeting screen. You can disable the startup logo, change the drives and configure the priorities. If the need arises this UEFI allows the user to replace the boot screen with custom, animated designs.
The last menu in the list gives access to a handful of the main configuration options, such as storing and loading current settings to the O.C. Profile section. The ASUS EZ Flash 2 utility lets the user upgrade the system bios from a flash drive.
Overclocking via this motherboard was painless, and we managed to hit a prime stable 4.3ghz from the AMD Phenom II X6 1100T, similar to the levels we achieved in our overclocking article from late last year. This processor will hold stable at 1.6 volts @ 4.4ghz, but it is a little risky long term without moving to hardcore cooling solutions. 4.3ghz is set via a 19x multiplier and is usable 24/7 without a problem @ 1.57 volts. This is impressive considering we are using a mainstream ‘all in one’ liquid cooler.