Pros: Very Fast, Great for Overclocking, Better Components,
Cons: Not a fan of the color, Bring back the WiFi editions
I have been building custom computers for well over 10 years now and I have tried a variety of motherboards to include Soyo, MSI, EVGA and ASUS of course. Recently I have been mainly using ASUS motherboards as I really liked the previous versions they have released with the built in Wi-Fi capabilities. The ones I previously used in my system were the M2N SLI Deluxe Wi-Fi Edition and the M3A32-MVP Deluxe Wi-Fi Edition. I still have these boards and use them in other systems in my house.
But on to my review pf the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX motherboard review. I chose this board for the abundance USB ports, the overclockability, and the features that should keep me content for the next few years. Over the past six or so years I have been upgrading the internals of my PC on a two year cycle.
Some of the key features this board has are:
- ATX Form Factor (12”x9.6”) This is a large board, make sure you have a mid-tower or full-tower to hold it.
- CerM!X cooling solution
- TUF Thermal Radar
- DIGI+ VRM
- GUI Bios
- TUF Components
- ESD Guards
- 6 SATA ports
- Quad Crossfire or SLI support
- USB 3.0
- 32 GB DDR3 Support
Let's look at the board, the layout and some the components.
From the image you can see this board has plenty of USB ports, both 2.0 and 3.0. There are also more ports on the board for front USB support on a case. I have my ASUS Sabertooth in a Thermaltake Armor Revo. This gives me four front mounted USB ports I can access. You can also see the four PCI slots and the four ram slots. The Sabertooth also uses a special military grade type of capacitors that are made of a special material.
The TUF stands for The Ultimate Force. Included with this board are a lot of specialized software that allows the user to watch thermal temps, through Windows overclocking and BIOS updates. One thing I really like is the Graphic User Interface for the BIOS. This BIOS has a lot of changeable inputs that will allow the user to change just about every setting this board has.
Overclocking can be done either manually or through the ASUS software to test and overclock. I have an AMD FX 8350 attached to this motherboard and I have only done a small overclock. I still intend on pushing this further. Some report online have reported getting 5 GHz or better with water cooling and this motherboard. Other sites made note of the fact that the same CPUs overclock more on this board than on others.
Benchmarks show this board in direct competition with the other top AMD motherboards out there. In benchmarking I personally have found that real world applications are the better choice. If PC Mark or FutureMark give an awesome score that might not necessarily translate into the programs you are using. So I recommend looking for reviews or comments that the specifics of what you are looking for. Also please remember that the PC will only run as fast as the slowest component in the system. So having a super CPU, great motherboard and awesome memory with a 5300 RPM laptop hard drive will not yield the performance you are expecting. Try to match your components as evenly as possible.
As I noted in my cons, the color scheme of the board I am not in love with. I get the military colors as I mentioned this board has a military certification for its specialized capacitors and such. I just am not a fan of the green and brown colors. I like the ROG black and red, or even some of the blue color schemes ASUS uses more.
The other feature I miss and hope ASUS brings back is the Wi-Fi built into their boards. I would venture to say most people now have wireless networks in their homes and do not always want to run a cable throughout their homes. Having a built in wireless network connector is a great feature. I found mine to be more reliable than USB wireless NIC and also leaves one more free USB port.
For my two minor complaints in should in no way deter someone from getting this motherboard. I have not seen another board out there that has the built in wireless card, and the color scheme is a personal preference. The features and what the board can do for your system now and tomorrow is by far a more important factor. If you are in the market, think you might want to test the waters with overclocking, want top level performance and have a good size care than I would not hesitate to recommend this board.