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Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard

50% Positive Reviews
Rated #90 in Intel Motherboards

Posted

Pros: Look and design, dust covers, ports, thermal armour

Cons: Software package as a whole is a joke, mini included fans (lack of detail by ASUS), HD audio is bad

UPDATE 1st March 2013:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1362043/my-experience-with-scan-uk-asus-motherboard-antec-920-rma

After having a problem with the board Asus refused the RMA, it renders this 5 year warranty void. I understand Customer Induced Damage (CID) however for a board that's worth £170 I would have expected a little more attention to their customers and more so a better design by the CPU holes.
Long story short: If Asus really cared about their products and/or customers they wouldn't designed it this way, nor brought the CID comment upon a high-paying customer.
Last time I will ever buy a Asus product in my life.
I codename this board the Noob-Tooth Z77.

I do find it ironic that several months ago I did comment on the BUILD quality and the lack of care for certain aspects of this board - oh how I should have seen that coming in hindsight.

Here's the review I wrote a while ago:

I went for this board, over other ones in the same category for several reasons:
-Performance
-Included software (like Asus Turbo V Evo & AI Suite II)
-Look
-Thermal armour
-BIOS USB flashing

When I got this board, everything seemed great, it is not only when i started using it for over a month, when I realised its flaws.

Here is what I made out of it:
Pros:
-The design was very sleek, not like your normal motherboard. It looks tiny and sexy, whereas other boards remind me of 1990's boards, apart from some fancy heat sinks and some colours on them, they look identical. This Sabertooth Z77, looked the part, and really worked well with my overall rig.

-The dust covers were a nice little touch, they provided a sort of "protection" against dust, but it should be noted that with the ports closed, the air flow doesn't go within the slots, and doesn't cool within the thermal armour

-The thermal armour, coming back to looks, looks great. However it also performs well, the temperatures are very good, throughout the board

-Ports included. I like the amount of ports made available, both on the "inside" of the board, and the "outside" of the board.

Cons:
-Software, software, software - when will you learn ASUS? When?
The software really sucks - so much so that I have no software installed any more - yet the AI SUITE II was one of the main things that attracted me to this board (especially the tweaking your BIOS, whilst on your desktop thing). No, in all honesty, it really sucks - inaccurate readings, badly coded, super slow, and even made my PC boot up 3mins later, due to services that were not running properly.
Overall, the software was a huge let down - but that said I was used to the shoddy software provided by ASUS, from my terrible experience with their products and my old ASUS P5K premium board.
How many years will it take them to care about software?

-Those mini fans. They are noisy, whinny, and just overall really annoying. More so the temps, they do a little difference - 5c MAX difference, but apart from that they run at around 6000RPM, and are just super high pitched. The most noisiest thing in my whole rig is those mini fans.
Now about their quality control. In the manual, ASUS clearly show that there are two fans to be installed, on at the back, like an inhaler from outside the case/board, and the other, as an exit, from the middle of the board. Now, here's the funny thing: The diagram and your physical board, will show you that the middle one has 4 screws, and 4 holes. It will also show the intake one on the side, will have 3 holes and 3 screws. Simple enough right? Well ASUS, lack of QC means that I had to go back and double check if I had done something wrong, when installing the fans. BOTH FANS that came with the darn board have 3 holes, and 3 screws. Neither of them had 4.
Now this might seem petty, but really, I can't make myself think that even in the manual they got a fan with 4 holes/screws, and even on the board there is PLACE for a fan with 4 holes, but yet in their packaging (and I'm not the only one, if you look at reviewers), to get 2x fans with 3 holes in them.
WHY DON'T YOU LOOK AT YOUR PRODUCTS YOU SELL ASUS!?

Anyway, mini-fan rant over. They are annoying, and in fact aren't fully correct to fit on the board.
Long story short - disappointing ASUS.

-"HD" on-board audio - there's no HD in that, and the fact there is, is a joke. The audio quality of the board, through analogue is dismal. For a 2011/12 board, it should really be better. I was disgusted to hear the terrible quality the audio was producing from the board, that I immediately went and bought the XONAR DX (yet another failure of a software-type product from ASUS, but with incredible hardware)


Anyway, overall the board is nice, and it did meet some of my expectations, however I find the lack of quality control, attention to detail, and software support to really bring this board from a fully deserved 10/10 to a 9/10. In fact I was tempted to give it a 4/5 - 8/10, but I feel the hardware on the board does what it says, and performs well, so I can't take away that from the board.


Here's my unboxing:

Posted

Pros: Looks Amazing, Great Features, Included Dust Caps

Cons: Network iControll, Can be Tricky to Instal, Aftermarket Coolers Might Not Fit

The ASUS Sabretooth z77 is my favorite motherboard to date. First off right out of the box this motherboard is absolutely great looking with is green,black, and brown military themed colors. The "Thermal Armor" covering that is designed to keep the motherboard running cooler by allowing air to circulate with two small included fans. The "Thermal Armour" also does a great job for the aesthetics of the motherboard by hiding just about everything except the main slots. For the slots that are not being used ASUS has included various plastic dust caps that are designed to be added to any vacant slot to keep the dust out while they are not being used. The layout of the board is another check in the pros column. All of the connections such as fan headers, usb, sata, etc... are located around the edges of the board. this makes it very easy to keep the case clean by simply keeping the wires from running across the motherboard. These great features continue right into the first time you power up the board. ASUS provides a very impressive BIOS for this board by combining clean looks with easy to use features and a very simple navigation. BIOS includes everything for the experienced users and also adds some great features for the less experienced users and that can be seen on the main BIOS screen where it provides users the ability to set their system in a power saver mode, a balanced mode, and a performance mode. Once the user gets past BIOS, ASUS provides some really useful software with this board and most notably the thermal radar which gives the user the ability to monitor temperature of all of the main components and also the temperatures of different areas of the motherboard itself. Once of the downsides of the motherboard is that one of the included programs is the Network iControl. It is a tricky program to figure out and most users had an extremely hard time using it and while the control has some great possibilities it most likely is going to slow down your internet browsing and download speeds if the time is not taken to navigate and setup the program. One of the other bad parts about the motherboard also ties into the as before mentioned "Thermal Armor." As great as it is the covering provides and easy way to loose screws when putting the motherboard into the case if the user is not careful. To get them out takes a bit of shaking and patience. Another slightly bad design is how close the cpu socket is to the dimm slots, it makes for a tight fit for some aftermarket coolers so keep that in mind. Overall this is a great motherboard, I would highly suggest getting it for your next built. I will include some specs below.

CPU
Intel® Socket 1155 for 3rd/2nd Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® 32 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.

Chipset

Intel® Z77

Memory

4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 1866/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
* Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

Graphic

Integrated Graphics Processor
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 1696 MB
Supports Intel® HD Graphics, InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™

Multi-GPU Support

Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Supports LucidLogix® Virtu™ MVP Technology *1

Expansion Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8) *2
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black) *3
3 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Storage

Intel® Z77 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), brown
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology *4
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller : *5
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

LAN

Intel® 82579V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)

Audio

Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

USB Ports

Intel® Z77 chipset : *6
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
ASMedia® ASM1042 controller : *6
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
Intel® Z77 chipset :
10 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 6 at mid-board)

Special Features

TUF ENGINE! Power Design :
- 8 +4 +2 Digital Phase Power Design
- TUF Components (Choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
- ASUS DIGI+ Power Control Utility
Ultimate COOL! Thermal Solution :
- TUF Thermal Armor
- TUF Thermal Radar
Safe & Stable! Guardian Angel :
- Dust Defender
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite II
- USB Charger+
- Anti-Surge
- ESD Guards
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- Network iControl
- USB 3.0 Boost
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector

Back I/O Ports

1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)

Internal I/O Ports

1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin, moss green)
3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
4 x Optional Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
2 x Assistant Fan connector(s) (3 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)

Accessories

User's manual
Accessory Guide
ASUS Q-Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
2 x Accessory Fan(s) ( 35 mm )
1 x TUF Certification card(s)
1 x TUF 5 Year Warranty manual(s) (by region)
1 x TUF Inside sticker(s)
1 x Accessory Package(s):
- 1 x 40mm I/O Cover fan lid(s)
- 3 x PCIe x16 slot dust cover(s)
- 2 x DRAM slot dust cover(s)
- 3 x PCIe x1 slot dust cover(s)
- 2 x Short fan screw(s)
- 4 x Long fan screw(s)
- 1 x Adhesive Sponge(s) for 35mm Fan

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI 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, F12 PrintScreen Function, F3 Shortcut Function and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Support Disc Drivers
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Update
ASUS Utilities
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Note

*1: LucidLogix Virtu MVP supports Windows 7 operating systems.
*2: PCIe 3.0 speed is supported by Intel® 3rd generation Core™ processors.
*3: The PCIe 2.0 x16 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe 2.0 x1_1 slot, PCIe 2.0 x1_2 slot and PCIe 2.0 x1_3 slot. The PCIe 2.0 x16 slot default setting is in x1 mode.
*4: Supports on Intel® Core™ processor family with Windows 7 operating systems.
*5: These SATA ports are for data hard drivers only. ATAPI devices are not supported.
*6-1: Supports ASUS USB 3.0 Boost UASP Mode.
*6-2: The USB 3.0 ports only support Windows® 7 or later versions.
*7: Due to Intel® chipset limitation, P8Z77, P8H77 and P8B75 series motherboards do not support Windows® Vista operating system.
Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX Intel Motherboard
By:
Description:

Brand ASUS Model SABERTOOTH Z77 CPU Socket Type LGA 1155 CPU Type Core i7 / i5 / i3 (LGA1155) Supported CPU Technologies Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 North Bridge Intel Z77 Number of Memory Slots 4×240pin Maximum Memory Supported 32GB Channel Supported Dual Channel PCI Express 3.0 x16 2 (x16/0 or x8/x8) PCI Express 2.0 x16 1 @x4 PCI Express x1 3 SATA 3Gb/s 4 SATA 6Gb/s 4 x SATA 6Gb/s SATA RAID 2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), brown and 4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10 Onboard Video Chipset None Audio Chipset Realtek ALC892 Audio Channels 8 Channels LAN Chipset Intel 82579V Max LAN Speed 10/100/1000Mbps Rear Panel Ports: HDMI 1 x HDMI DisplayPort 1 x DisplayPort USB 1.1/2.0 4 x USB 2.0 USB 3.0 4 x USB 3.0 eSATA 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s S/PDIF Out 1 x Optical Audio Ports 6 Ports Internal I/O Connectors: Onboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0 Other Connectors 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin) 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (4 -pin) 4 x Optional Fan connector(s) (4 -pin) 2 x Assistant Fan connector(s) (3 -pin) 1 x S/PDIF out header(s) 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s) 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s) 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP) 1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector) 1 x MemOK! button(s) 1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s) Form Factor ATX Dimensions 12.0" x 9.6" Power Pin 24 Pin Features LGA1155 Intel 3rd/2nd Generation Processors Ready TUF Thermal Armor - Total Airflow-Boosting Heat Dissipation TUF Dust Defender-Repel the Dust, Expand the Lifespan TUF Thermal Radar - Real Time Temp. Detection and Heat Removal TUF Components [Choke, Cap. & MOSFET; Certified by Military-standard] - Certified for Tough Duty New DIGI+ Power Control - All-New Digital Power Control for both CPU and DRAM

Details:
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