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ASUS P67 Sabertooth TUF Socket 1155 Motherboard

asus sabertooth p67Yes, the X58 was a nice looking motherboard but the new Sabertooth model features the TUF armor which is a heat shield that covers the entirety of the motherboard to keep heat produced by other components in the tower from making its way to the surface of the motherboard. The TUF feature really takes the P67 Sabertooth to totally different level. But does the new Sabertooth’s performance make it a true winner? We will find out.

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asus sabertooth p67

asus sabertooth p67Yes, the X58 was a nice looking motherboard but the new Sabertooth model features the TUF armor which is a heat shield that covers the entirety of the motherboard to keep heat produced by other components in the tower from making its way to the surface of the motherboard. The TUF feature really takes the P67 Sabertooth to totally different level. But does the new Sabertooth’s performance make it a true winner? We will find out.

Introduction to the ASUS P67 Sabertooth TUF

Just what is a Sabertooth when it comes to ASUS? Well the Sabertooth is a new line of enthusiast motherboards from ASUS, which aside from your typical high end goodies, features a unique TUF (The Ultimate Force) list of options. You may have seen many of several reviews on the X58 Sabertooth motherboard, and it was the first to receive this treatment. The color combination was the first thing many of us noticed. Straying away from the norm with the brown, tan and greenish colors, it really draws one’s attention.

However, the TUF and Sabertooth mean more than a unique combination of colors. Beginning with the digital VRM to deliver a high level of power efficiency as to help reduce the heat produced. Also, the 8+2 phase power can be adjusted to allow for greater overclocking and power output. The E.S.P. (or Efficient Switching Power) design not only switches power on/off to the motherboard and CPU, but as well as the other system components like GPU, USB ports and LAN controller. All of this allows for a substantial reduction of heat output by all parts of the motherboard, which in turn saves on power consumption.

When it comes to resistors, chokes, caps and the other smaller components of the motherboard, they have been held to a higher standard. These components are tested in accordance to strict military level specs, and according to ASUS, the chokes consist of several different metals enabling it to support up to 40A of current.

Yes, the X58 was a nice looking motherboard but the new Sabertooth model features the TUF armor which is a heat shield that covers the entirety of the motherboard to keep heat produced by other components in the tower from making its way to the surface of the motherboard. The TUF feature really takes the P67 Sabertooth to totally different level. But does the new Sabertooth’s performance make it a true winner? We will find out.

Specifications

CPUIntel® Socket 1155 for Intel® 2nd Generation Core™ i7 Processor/Core™ i5 Processor/Core™ i3 Processor/
Support Intel® 32nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types
* Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
ChipsetIntel® P67(B3) Express Chipset
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 32 GB, DDR3 1866/1800/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* According to Intel® SPEC, the Max. 32GB memory capacity can be supported with DIMMs of 8GB (or above). ASUS will update QVL once the DIMMs are available on the market.
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. Some hyper DIMMs only support one DIMM per channel. Please refer to Memory QVL for details.
* Due to CPU behavior, DDR3 1800 MHz memory module will run at DDR3 1600 MHz frequency as default.
* Please refer to www.asus.com or user manual for Memory QVL.
Expansion Slots2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (single at x16 or dual at x8/x8 mode)
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCI
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports ATI® Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
StorageIntel® P67(B3) Express Chipset
2 xSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (brown)
4 xSATA 3Gb/s ports (black)
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10
Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller
2 xSATA 6Gb/s ports (gray)
JMicron® JMB362 SATA controller
1 xPower eSATA 3Gb/s port (green)
1 xExternal SATA 3Gb/s port (red)
LANIntel® 82579 Gigabit LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
AudioRealtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
– Absolute Pitch 192khz/24bit True BD Lossless Sound
– BD Audio Layer Content Protection
– Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, and Front Panel Jack-Retasking
– Optical S/PDIF out port at back I/O
IEEE 1394VIA® VT6308P controller supports 2 x 1394a port(s) (one at mid-board; one at back panel)
USBNEC USB 3.0 controllers
– 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports at mid-board for front panel support; 2 ports at back panel [blue])
Intel® P67(B3) Express Chipset
– 14 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 ports at mid-board, 8 ports at back panel)
ASUS Unique FeaturesExclusive TUF Features
“Ultimate COOL!” Thermal Solution
– TUF Thermal Armor
– TUF Thermal Radar
“TUF ENGINE!” Power Design
– 8+2 Digital Phase Power Design
– TUF Components (Alloy choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
– ASUS DIGI+ VRM Utility
– E.S.P. : Efficient Switching Power Design
“Safe & Stable!” Guardian Angel
– ESD Guards
– MemOK!
– Anti Surge

Other Special Features
– Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
– ASUS EFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
– AI Suite II
– ASUS Q-Connector
– ASUS Q-Shield
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
– ASUS Q-Slot
– ASUS Q-DIMM
– ASUS O.C. Profile
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
– ASUS EZ Flash 2
– ASUS MyLogo 2
– Multi-language BIOS

Back Panel I/O Ports1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Combo port
1 x External SATA 3Gb/s port (red)
1 x Power eSATA 3Gb/s port (green)
1 x IEEE 1394a
1 x LAN(RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue)
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x S/PDIF Out (Optical)
8 -Channel Audio I/O
Internal I/O Connectors1 x USB 3.0/2.0 connector(s) supports additional 2 USB ports (19-pin; moss green)
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connector(s) support additional 6 USB ports
1 x MemOK! button
4 x SATA 6.0Gb/s connectors ( 2 x gray; 2 x brown)
4 x SATA 3.0Gb/s (black)
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (1 x 4-pin; 1 x 3-pin)
1 x Power Fan connector(s) (3-pin)
1 x Assistant Fan connector (3-pin)
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
24-pin EATX Power connector
8-pin EATX 12V Power connector
1 x Front panel audio connector
1 x COM connector
1 x System Panel (Q-Connector)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
BIOS32 Mb Flash ROM , EFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
ManageabilityWfM 2.0,DMI 2.0,WOL by PME,WOR by PME,PXE
AccessoriesUser’s manual
2 x SATA 3.0Gb/s cables
2 x SATA 6.0Gb/s cables
1 x Q-Shield
1 x Q-Connecor (2 in 1)
1 x ASUS SLI bridge cable
1 x TUF Certification card
1 x TUF 5 Year Warranty manual (by region)
4 x screws for Assistant Fan
Support DiscDrivers
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Update
ASUS Utilities
Form FactorATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Features

  • Intel® LGA1155 socket for Intel® 2nd Generation Core™ i7/ Core™ i5/ Core™ i3 Processors
  • Intel® P67 Express Chipset
  • TUF Thermal Armor – Total Airflow-Boosting Heat Dissipation
  • TUF Thermal Radar – Real Time Temp Detection and Heat Removal
  • TUF Components [Alloy Choke, Cap. & MOSFET; Certified by Military-standard] – Certified for Tough Duty
  • E.S.P. [Efficient Switching Power Design] – Optimal power efficiency for key components

Closer look

Here is our first look at the Sabertooth P67 motherboard. Covered in its tactical jacket as ASUS calls it. The jacket covers areas of the motherboard that does not have to be frequently accessed as well as areas that is protected by a heat sink. The jacket is secured by twelve tiny screws that we will be removing shortly to get a better look at the surface of the motherboard.

The overall layout is ideal for multi-GPU setups as plenty of area is located between the two x16 length PCIe slots. If using a dual GPU setup you may have to sacrifice one of the two x1 PCIe slots located between them. The top tan PCIe is the lone x16 bandwidth slot. When running dual graphic cards the slots reduce to x8/x8 bandwidth. SLI and Crossfire is supported by the board.

The Sabertooth offers a total of four DIMM slots color coded for dual channel using brown and tan. We found that the Sabertooth P67 supports DDR3 from 1066MHz to 2400MHz. Of all the boards that we have tested this is the only one that does support memory over 2133MHz. But we will check within the BIOS to see if this is correct. In the corner of the board underneath the DIMM slots is the MemOK button.

A total of eight SATA ports are located on the lower right of the motherboard. The darker colored SATA ports are rated at 3 GB/s while the brown and gray ones are 6 GB/s. the brown ones are controlled by the Intel chipset and the grays ones controlled by a Marvel controller. A front mount USB 3.0 connector is placed above the SATA ports.

The Sabertooth P67 is designed to be operated with the socket 1155 processors from Intel called the Sandy Bridge. Currently, only the 2500K and 2600K are overclockable to a decent level. While the 2400, 2500 and 2600 have very limited multiplier selections.  We see the military grade VRM underneath the passive heat sinks.

The tactical jacket is not a replacement for heat sinks that are normally used on motherboards. It is to block heat from coming in contact with the motherboard. So regular heat sinks are still used on the Sabertooth as well. The above image is of the heat sink that covers the VRM, next is the North Bridge heat sink while the last image is of the South Bridge heat sink.

Just underneath the CPU socket is a door that can be removed and replaced with a 50x50x10 cooling fan that could help accelerate the cooling aspect of the tactical armor of the Sabertooth. For those that want to keep an eye on the motherboard temps ASUS placed twelve thermal sensors throughout the motherboard. Software included with motherboard will read these points and record them. The user can take advantage of preset settings to activate any fans connected to the motherboard or can program their own.

Now, a list of the rear panel I/O connections:

  • PS/2 KB+Mouse Combo
  • 10x USB ports (8 are USB 2.0, 2 are USB 3.0)
  • 2x eSATA (green is powered)
  • 1x LAN port (Intel)
  • 1x IEEE 1394
  • 1x S/PDIF out
  • 6x 3.5mm analog jacks for 8-channel HD-Audio

TUF Armor removal & bare motherboard quick look

Lastly, we have the tactical jacket removed to show the entire motherboard.


The board, sans jacket, in all her fine glory!


Metal threaded posts, soldered to the motherboard, that are used to secure the tactical jacket. Shot of the quad DRAM slots.


The CMOS battery is also covered by the jacket, should you ever need to get at it. Also we see the winged ‘TUF’ logo as well.
[Editor’s Note: If any designers at ASUS read this, that logo is badass! As such, you should’ve put it on the armor itself,
maybe at the ery east have it embossed or painted on the small removable plate for the optional fan mount 😉 The time
was taken to design such a sweet logo, so I say display that puppy!]

BIOS

 
Main EFI EZ Mode screen


AI Tweaker – OC Tuner, Turbo Ratio, PLL Over-volt, Power Saving and submenus


DRAM DDR3 drop down: 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133MHz. However, ASUS didn’t stop there, as they also provide a final 2400MHz!


DRAM Timings


Addition CPU Ratio and advanced options


Advanced CPU Configuration screen with CPUID info and more advanced options


Monitor tab, for temperatures, fan speeds and thermal fan speeed management

More Key Features

The absolute key feature of the Sabertooth P67 TUF is the tactical jacket that covers almost the entire motherboard. ASUS enhanced their AI Suite II even further to provide the user with monitoring capabilities for the different areas of the motherboard. There are an amazing twelve different thermal readout points on the motherboard for the AI application to monitor, in order to help the user maintain a stable and well cooled system.

 

(In addition to the CPU, the other 11 thermal sensors are marked by the light-blue rectangles on the motherboard diagram)

 

Keeping in the realm of monitoring the system, the user can also keep an eye on the three basic voltage rails of the power supply, as well as the VCore of the processor.

AI Suite is definitely one of the most advance applications to come with a motherboard. Providing you with all the bells and whistles you could ask for. In addition to the temp and voltage monitoring, it can also read the RPM of any fan that is connected to the fan headers on the motherboard.

All of the above can be recorded by the software to aid the user at a any future time. An example may be if you are doing a burn-in test for a few hours and plan to be at work or asleep, which if it fails this would give you a time and perhaps give an idea as to the area causing the instability.

Under the Digi+ VRM section the user has the ability to adjust the phase control of the motherboard. While many would choose to keep this at Auto while air cooling, but when improved cooling is used you have the ability to adjust the switching frequency (speed) of the phase circuit. Simply put, with the frequency level increase, should allow for a higher and more stable overclock.

Test Hardware:

Motherboard: ASUS P67 Sabertooth TUF
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K
Ram: Patriot Sector 5 1600 4GB Dual Channel (8-8-8-24)
Video Card: ASUS Radeon HD 5870
HDD: Hitachi 1TB
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 850 (Sponsored by Thermaltake)
Case: NA
Cooling: Scythe Yasya
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Thermal compound: Arctic Silver 5

Overclocking the ASUS P67 Sabertooth

Overclocking the Sabertooth was no different than other ASUS motherboards using the UEFI BIOS. So, we won’t go into much detail on what the steps were to achieve the maximum 4.7GHz we got. Any multiplier that we select over x47 would result in a BSOD. Chances are that an increase of of VCore voltage from the 1.45 we used would fix that, but we weren’t willing to sacrifice our poor little 2500K. (Sorry all!)

Conclusion

The Sabertooth P67 TUF was not built to be the kind of extreme overclocker that we read the new P67 Maximus to be. It was built to be the high quality type of motherboard that you can afford and rely on. ASUS made it a point to make sure every component on the motherboard passed the  strict military testing procedures. From the capacitors to the heatsinks, everything was designed to work together perfectly. We are not saying the Sabertooth can’t be overclocked because it surely can, and quite likely better than many other P67 boards out there. It is the quality, stability and durability that was first priority when designed.

The Sabertooth P67 does have a unique look about it. A look that may require some getting used to, because for me it did. The TUF jacket does serve a functional that no other motherboard has: separating the heat generated from all the other internal components from coming in contact with the surface of the motherboard. We have no external way of measuring the different areas of the motherboard to determine the heat buildup, and so ASUS did incorporate sensor throughout the motherboard to measure heat, and automatically adjust fan speeds accordingly.

The Sabertooth is a very good board, but might not be considered an overclocker’s benching board, as it is missing many of the options that many professional and self-proclaimed overclockers may want. To begin with there are no onboard buttons for Power and Reset, no onboard voltage measuring points, and not even a clear CMOS button. ASUS made for this motherboard to be built just the way it was. Slapped in a case, generate a nice stable overclock and be left alone.

While it may be lacking some of the features of other ASUS boards, what it does have is the Q series of features that make installation not only quicker, but more secure and safer. When it comes to the DRAM modules, they only need to be locked in from one end since the opposite is permanent. This also eliminates having to remove the graphics card from the first slot if you are wanting to upgrade or remove the RAM modules. Expansion cards are locked into place once installed, to prevent the card from becoming lose and getting a bad connection, potentially ruining the card.

There are many very fine points about the Sabertooth P67 TUF, and for $220 these fine points can be yours, which includes the ASUS  industry leading five year warranty.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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