ASUS is one of two manufacturers that really puts an emphasis on the durability of their components and their products. ASUS, as we all know, has a reputation for doing things a little different and sometimes a bit over the top. And this time they are most certainly creating one of the most ambitious and likely reliable motherboards ever; announcing the TUF Sabertooth X99.
ASUS announces the TUF Sabertooth X99 motherboard. The next evolution of The Ultimate Force to provide the ultimate in overclocking.
The Ultimate Force is ASUS's attempt to bring together the most reliable components and then provide a framework to ensure rock solid reliability. Oddly, this is targeted at gamers and overclockers and not the server crowd, though it's inspired by their server line of motherboards.
This thing is absolutely gorgeous. The TUF Sabertooth X99 has similar styling to all TUF motherboards dating back to its inception as a brand in 2010 with the TUF Sabertooth X58. The black and tan color scheme is back and just as tough, or TUF, looking as ever. It also comes complete with the obligatory dust shroud, Thermal Armor and even PCIe slot covers to protect against dust and even some ESD.
With those tough looks comes TUF components that meet or exceed mil-spec standards for ESD protection with their ESD Guard 2 that's integrated into the rear panel. New Alloy Chokes, low RDSon MOSFET's and their own TUF branded 10K Ti-Caps are all on board to provide a clean power delivery process. It may just be a strange language to some, but the improvements that these components provide are actually substantial. Perhaps not in a normal environment, but they do help, and work.
It wouldn't be a TUF Sabertooth model if it didn't have a plethora of sensors either. To that end the TUF Sabertooth X99 has an improved IC that has control over 11 fan connectors and 12 total thermal sensors. They say that because it's a hardware driven sensor platform that latency has been reduced to be around 1 millisecond, giving you near real-time data feeds.
The TUF Detective helps you find those pesky problems.
ASUS also introduced what they call the TUF Detective, which is a way to connect your Android powered phone to a dedicated USB port so as to remotely interact with the motherboard. You'll be able to turn it on, restart it, clear the CMOS, view live system data like voltages and clock speeds and even view POST codes to help diagnose problems when its being put together. the TUF detective is actually a pretty novel way of interacting and providing access to the BIOS. Perhaps, in time, a way to update the BIOS via smartphone will be implemented as well. It's only a logical step from USB key updates.
Speaking of USB, the TUF Sabertooth X99 will feature 2 USB 3.1 type A ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports. Also, though, there is mention of NVM Express and the ability to support absolutely all types of NVM Express storage. It will supposedly come with a Hyper Kit expansion card that can potentially allow you to take advantage of the PCIe 3.0 x4 slot to use as storage, and potentially as a boot drive. Of course there is also an M.2 slot for storage as well.
Top everything off with a five year warranty and you have a good product. There is no word on pricing or the actual release date.
I've owned the previous entry into the socket 2011 arena, the TUF Sabertooth X79. It was used for distributed computing with two Titans (Kepler) to produce scientific results. The sensor platform was very much appreciated to be able to make sure that nothing fails and no fires accidentally happen.
The over-made components are a godsend. Anyone who works with a server environment can appreciate being able to rely on your capacitors to not fail. It's actually relieving to know that the hardware should theoretically last for quite awhile. I also was confident enough in it to have it in an open environment and not in a case.
My point is that while the price will be steep, those that can appreciate the actual real-world benefits will really enjoy this. While I had to downsize for personal reasons, I might have to get back into distributed computing with a few of these, 8-core Xeon's and a few Titan X's in there.
So check out the gallery below and enjoy the gorgeous pictures courtesy of James Chen.