Asus Sabertooth 990FX £160
20th Sep 2011 | 09:00
Does this AMD 990FX-based motherboard have the teeth to defeat Intel's Z68 chipset?
Those eight-core, quad-mod Bulldozer chips should at the very least match the Intel i7 2600K pace for pace. Intel's chip is a four core, eight-threaded affair, while the Bulldozer chip will have eight actual cores.
All that processing magic will appear on store shelves in Zambezi quad-mod chips before you'll be digging your winter coat out, but for existing AMD CPU customers, the Bulldozer-ready Asus Sabertooth 990FX still has features to offer right now.
First, there's a landmark moment for AMD boards and multi-GPU. It's SLI and it's available across a range of the 9-series boards. Gigabyte's GA-990FXA-UD7 will actually support 4-way SLI or CrossFireX setups, while this Sabertooth can hack three-way support.
This is quite a big selling point for loyal AMD gamers – these are the first motherboards to support Nvidia's multi-GPU tech, and the very fact it's included suggests Bulldozer has the grunt to match SLI'd GPUs.
Sabertooth comes without that TUF thermal armour that gives its P67 iteration that odd look, but still sports the rugged design and heatsinks painted in ubiquitous military tones.
There's plenty of space to fit a cooler, the side mounted SATA ports are out of your GPU's way, and it's compact enough to fit in most cases despite supporting three GPUs.
CPU video encoding performance
X246 v4: Frames per second: Higher is better
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX: 33
Asus M5A99X EVO: 33
Asus RoG Crosshair V: 33
Asus Sabertooth 990FX: 32
Gigabyte 970A-UD3: 33
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H: 33
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7: 33
MSI 970A-G45: 33
CPU rendering performance
Cinebench 11.5: Index score: Higher is better
ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX: 5.86
Asus M5A99X EVO: 5.86
Asus RoG Crosshair V: 5.86
Asus Sabertooth 990FX: 5.72
Gigabyte 970A-UD3: 5.78
Gigabyte H67MA-UD2H: 5.83
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7: 5.74
MSI 970A-G45: 5.71
It's not the beast performing motherboard we've seen, but the military stylings betray the serious overclocking performance you can get out of the Sabertooth.
Ultimately, the excellent build quality and Bios make this motherboard another great Asus offering.
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