Having a motherboard that can literally do it all is a quite a rare thing, but I think that the Sabertooth has hit the nail on the head which proves that they are out there. It brings performance, reliability, stability, and some gorgeous looks to the table as well. An added bonus is that it doesn’t cost hundreds above what it should realistically be on the market for either. The Sabertooth was able to outperform every other motherboard that I’ve tested in a large majority of our tests, which I will be the first to put up my hand and admit that I was not expecting it at all. I knew that the board was good, but I am simply blown away by what it was able to achieve. Let’s break it down a little further and go into the details on the three points which we rate our product samples on; performance, design and value.
Whilst it may not be the cheapest motherboard on the market, you most likely wouldn’t be expecting that from the Sabertooth either. It comes with a fully laden boat of features, and it also has the performance to match. At the time of writing, it was retailing for £206.24 ($209.99) which I feel may be pricing it above a number of customers, but it is worth every penny in my eyes. What the TUF brand brings to the market cannot be undervalued as it is something that will most likely (hopefully!) outlast its competition in 99% of scenarios. I am a strong believer in the ‘you get what you pay for’ saying, as it is true more often than not. From my viewpoint, the Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 deserves your money. On a side note to the pricing above, for those of you who read this and are in the USA, you’ve got one heck of a bargain available to you! I envy you somewhat, but we can thank England’s ridiculous taxing regime for that. I appreciate that it is normally roughly $260, but right now, it is a stonking bargain!
What makes the Sabertooth stand out from the crowd is its full body thermal armour. It’s actually more than just a shield and a cool looking bit of plastic as it acts as an air duct to further aid the thermal properties of the motherboard. It also hides a vast majority of the PCB which you could consider a good or a bad thing depending on what you’d like to see on your motherboard. When you remove the thermal armour, you will notice that the heat sinks are very boring and plain, which is hardly fair to judge given that they are made to be covered up. Performance over looks wins in this particular situation, which is what defines this as a TUF board.
We had to touch on this part sooner or later, so let’s brush over the performance to see if it can hit the marker on three out of three points that we aim to cover in our reviews. I will hold up my hand and be the first to admit that I was not expecting the Sabertooth to perform as well as it did. It was beating out motherboards that are specifically designed for maximum performance (such as an overclocking motherboard) and the Sabertooth was serving them dirt for breakfast. Granted it did not finish at the top in every single benchmark that we ran, but it was in the upper quartile for pretty much every single benchmark with the exception of AIDA which it seemed to struggle in for some unknown reason. The results were replicable which means that the Sabertooth just doesn’t handle that AIDA data as well as other boards on the market. It’s an odd one for which I have no answer, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Whichever way you look at it, the Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 performed admirably, regardless of its unfortunate outcome with one benchmark in particular.
So, in conclusion to our conclusion, what we have here is a motherboard that is clearly capable of providing us with some great performance and everything else that comes under the TUF brand. I believe that ASUS have a truly great product on their hands here and I do not feel that the asking price is too high. You get a lot for your money, which can be hard to come across sometimes. It is with such thoughts in mind that I am going to award the ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 with an Editor’s Choice award, as it ticks all of the right boxes for me. The price, design and the value aspects are all up there and it is a five star all-round product in my books, any day of the week, all year long.
I’d like to thank ASUS for providing us with the sample for us to look at in today’s review.
+ Great value for money (all things considered)
+ Fantastic performance
+ Five year warranty (goes for all TUF components)
– No LED debugger (very minor)
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