If you’re looking for an absolute tough Best Z87 Motherboard with lots of overclocking potential, the ASUS Sabertooth Z87 is the only one that can deliver these kinds of quality. It belongs to the TUF series motherboard which means The Ultimate Force, built for maximum toughness that brings excellent performance for longer period of time even under heavy loads.
The Asus Sabertooth Z87 Review aims to discuss about its compatibility, features and performance. It support the Intel’s 4th generation core processor. Commonly known as the Haswell that comes in a 22nm die architecture same as the Ivy Bridge, however, consumer should be aware the fact that they doesn’t share the same socket and completely not compatible.
Haswell processors are presented in Socket 1150 which is entirely different from Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge rival that uses the Socket 1155 platform.
The Asus Sabertooth Z87 is considered as the upper mainstream motherboard with high-end quality. The street pricing is slightly above $200 mark which is hard to beat for a rock solidly built motherboard and promises superb performance.
Click Here to check the price and discover what people are saying about this amazing board.
What Makes The Asus Sabertooth Z87 Tough?
The Asus Sabertooth Z87 features an all black metallic capacitors, alloy chokes and MOSFETs which are all passes the seven scrupulous military-grade tests to maximize its lifespan. If you think that previous versions of Sabertooth fail to deliver the goodies, Asus assured that it will never happen this time. The armor shield from top to bottom with maximum air coolness has a bad intention to bring its full effectiveness.
Starting with the TUF Fortifier, this is new feature from Asus Sabertooth Z87 the first time they include a solid back plate on the bottom of the board that prevents it from bending during under heavy weight so that it will never damage the circuitry. This also includes the thermal pad that rejects the heat coming from the VRM circuitry and its major components.
Another great cooling feature from Asus Sabertooth Z87 is the thermal Armor with flow valve, by having two fans position strategically on critical parts that will immediately drive away the heat thus maintaining the entire system stability.
Multiple Sensors are scattered on the board to monitor the real time temperature of major components so that you can adjust the fan speed for maximum cooling effect in just a click away, this makes it possible with the new Thermal Radar 2 features from Asus.
The I/O ports and slots are fully protected from dust through its Dust Defender feature. This will prevent the dust buildup on connectors that may cause loose connections and eventually system malfunction if left open.
Looking at the Asus Z87 Sabertooth Motherboard
We can expect a good looking motherboard from Asus Sabertooth Z87 as always since its first introduction years back then. If that would be a requirement for you, the board will never disappoint you. Asus follows the same color scheme in black with brown and beige trim from top of the board.
The Thermal Armor vest nearly covered the entire board, a bit crowded but it provides enough space for an oversized CPU cooler if you wish to upgrade it to push it harder on its full overclock potential.
Beside the CPU socket is the four DIMM slots in brown and beige color, it is a nicely present in color coded manner so that you can properly identify the correct pairing of a Dual Channel memory architecture. It supports up to 32GB of DDR3 in 1866, 1600 and 1333MHz speed.
Power supply connectors are on the edge of the board with the 24-pin header, located nearby the DIMM slots while the 8-pin can be seen next to the voltage regulator circuitry.
A full blown eight SATA port are available in 6GB/s speed with the elimination of SATA 3GB/s that provides you the fastest data interfaces. Six of them in brown color came from the Z87 controller chip and the remaining two in beige are coming from the ASMedia ASM1061 controller.
Looking at the expansion slot, there are three PCIe x16 3.0/2.0 slots, the first two will run in a single x16 or dual x8/x8 while the third one in x4 mode, you also have the three PCIe x1. These 2-way PCIe 3.0 slots support both NVidia SLI and AMD’s CrossFireX multi GPU configuration.
Finally, turning on the back I/O panel, you got a total of eight USB ports, four of them are USB 2.0 in black and the remaining four are USB 3.0 with Boost feature. You also have two eSATA 6GB/s, one RJ45 LAN port, an Optical S/PDIF out, six audio ports and a USB BIOS Flashback Button that will automatically backup your BIOS on your flask drive when press. Lastly, there are only two video ports available here which I feel short, they are the DisplayPort and HDMI.
Asus Sabertooth Z87 Review Features
The Asus Sabertooth Z87 is pack with features that results in its faster performance and added user friendly interface. The all new UEFI BIOS can be set as easy as drag and drop with the EZ Mode displays. The Advance Mode is still there for enthusiasts who prefer their own personal settings.
Users who frequently enter the BIOS may discover the usefulness of Direct Key feature on the board, it will take you straight on the CMOS settings without pain of continuously hitting the DEL key even during standby.
My personal favorite here is the USB 3.0 Boost, if you don’t have the patience to wait for a longer period of time to transfer your massive files on the external drives, this will definitely save the day. This is excellent for users that always in a hurry as it will increase the transfer speed tremendously up to 170% instantly with its auto detection design.
Overclocking The Asus Sabertooth Z87
As always, we’re going to use the best processor in the form of Core i7-4770K to find out how far it can take with the Asus Sabertoth Z87. Of course, we’re using the “K” unlock version to have the freedom to overclock it and please don’t forget the water cooling system if you wish to push it to the limit.
Haswell processors are faster to get hot due to its low voltage supply compare to Sandy Bridge. However, performance and power saving wise Haswell is definitely a good choice. The easiest way to overclock the board is by going at the UEFI BIOS and select the Performance Mode and it will immediately took you at 4.3GHz speed.
That was 800MHz on top of its 3.5GHz default speed that shows tremendous increase in its performance which is fairly good if you wish to play safe on the board stability. If you want to push it further a 4.7GHz speed is achievable, you can reach it manually by increasing the multiplier to x47 while the base clock remains at 100MHz and slightly increase the voltage but not too far from 1.3v as it will start to toast.
At 4.7GHz speed mark, the system demonstrates a solid stability and its performance brings an extra boost in every aspect. Even though, the CPU is getting hotter the board shows no signs of heat being produce with regulator circuit remains cool and the entire board from top to bottom are chilled. This is probably the result of the board’s Ultimate toughness and coolness features.
The Asus Sabertooth Z87 Review proves the board is a great performer as it shows an excellent overclocking ability without the danger of overheating the system and keeps it cool permanently; this is how the board’s TUF features works.
The board has so much to offer, it shares the same feature as the other non Asus TUF series and I could say that the shield has a better effect than its rival while the back plate Fortifier provides a rock solid shielding.
The Asus Sabertooth Z87 is direct to the point without any frills such as Wi-Fi and on-board diagnostic feature. The idea behind this is to bring it to the masses with no additional cost which is ideal for those who are budget minded users. The board is presently available at $233 and the price alone delivers an excellent value to anyone who’s looking for a solidly built Best Z87 Motherboard. Click Here to get it at its Lowest Price!