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ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Motherboard Review

Author: Steve Grever
Manufacturer: ASUS

Overclocking Results

ASUS Turbo EVO Overclocking

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4.62GHz overclock using ASUS Turbo EVO software

Most high-end motherboards nowadays include numerous overclocking options for beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard follows a similar approach by providing performance users tons of options for adjusting CPU ratios/voltages/speeds and memory voltages and timings through their customized UEFI BIOS and Turbo EVO overclocking software. 

To start our evaluation of this board's overclocking features, we chose to test how well the Turbo EVO software could automatically overclock our Intel i7-3820 3.6GHz processor. To do this, we installed the latest version of AI Suite II from ASUS's website. After that, we clicked on the CPU Ratio tab and clicked the "on" button to automatically overclock the CPU using by adjusting the CPU ratio. Next, we clicked on the CPU Strap tab and increased it to 1.25. After rebooting the system, we increased the CPU speed to 4.62GHz. 

 

Manual overclocking via UEFI BIOS

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Achieved 4.734GHz overclock

The second part of our overclocking tests included manually overclocking our Intel  i7-3820 processor through ASUS's UEFI BIOS. Before we could make any adjustments to the UEFI BIOS, we uninstalled AI Suite II to ensure there were no other applications that could alter the CPU adjustments we will be making manually in the UEFI BIOS. After uninstalling AI Suite II, we rebooted again and accessed the UEFI BIOS to manually configure the CPU clock ratio, CPU voltage, and processor per clock ratio. 

As I've done in previous motherboard reviews, I like to mention an excellent tutorial for overclocking the i7-3820 that Ryan wrote, which helped me learn the ropes to get the most out of the LGA 2011 platform. Here's a quote from Ryan's review that illustrates a key change in the overclockability of the i7-3820:

"...overclocking on the Core i7-3820 is a bit different than with any other Sandy Bridge processor out there.  Because it is not fully unlocked, the multiplier is limited to 43x, about the same as the non-unlocked Core i7-2600.  Unlike the original Sandy Bridge though, Sandy Bridge-E allows us to use "straps" or bus speed multipliers that still operate with the 3820."

I followed Ryan's advice for adjusting the strap options to 125MHz or 1.25x, which helped me overcome the CPU multiplier limitations. I also increased the CPU voltage to  1.45v to help improve the stability of our overclock.

I left the CPU multiplier at 37x, and worked on configuring the CPU clock and processor per clock ratios. I manually adjusted the processor per clock ratio to 1.25x in the UEFI BIOS, and reconfigured the system memory multiplier to ensure the memory speeds and timings were not a limiting factor in getting a stable overclock. After rebooting and confirming our overclock with multiple runs of Cinebench 11.5, I was quite impressed with a 4.734GHz overclock on our i7-3820 CPU.  

CPU Speed BCLK CPU Multiplier DRAM Frequency DRAM Timings CPU Voltage
4.734 GHz 128 MHz

37x 

1365 MHz 9-9-9-24 2T 1.464v

Detailed Overclocking Results

June 5, 2012 | 12:29 PM - Posted by Olternaut (not verified)

I think I like the p9x79 deluxe better. The i/o ports on the sabertooth version is too limited for me.

June 5, 2012 | 12:36 PM - Posted by deowll (not verified)

Looks like this was written by the company rather than being a review but it was interesting.

June 5, 2012 | 01:28 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

did you read the whole thing? ;)

June 5, 2012 | 01:30 PM - Posted by mc (not verified)

Why does this review keep repeating "SLI/CrossfireX Quad GPU support" when I only see THREE pcie x16 slots?

PCPer usually gets it's reviews right, but I agree with deowll, this review reads like an ASUS press release...

I ended up going with the P9X79 Pro for my lga2011 build. I didn't want the noise of those two little fans and I liked the layout/ports of the pro better than the sabertooth.

June 5, 2012 | 02:11 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

Because Quad SLI/CrossfireX support means 4 GPU linking, not 4 cards with 1 GPU each. So support for 2 GTX 690's or 2 HD 7990 (Whenever they do come out).

Just my guess, because it is technically accurate. ;)

But obviously if you want 4 PCI-E slots Asus (and others) have options there.

BTW-side note, I do own a X79 Sabertooth and the PCH fan is 100% silent, I didnt install the optional fan (over the VRM area).

June 5, 2012 | 04:59 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yup, what Thedarklord said. These boards can do 4WaySLI and CrossFireX using two dual GPU NV cards or two dual GPU AMD cards.

June 5, 2012 | 02:01 PM - Posted by dreamer77dd

I dont know about this review.
The features like the Bios and easy update etc seem nice.
But the other boards seem to do better over all in performance?
So i dont know if the board should get Gold?
Not saying it is a bad board but maybe price comes into play here to give it a Gold Award.
I think i would be a harder marker.

June 5, 2012 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I think in the world of motherboards these days performance really means very little, and features and usability are now king.

Thoughts?

June 5, 2012 | 05:32 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

Yeah I agree, with how the motherboard arena has become a "set in stone" approach thats dependant on your choice of CPU. Ex: You want a Sandy Bridge-E which means, X79. Or the Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge gives you more choices but performance isnt really the difference in those chipsets (ignoreing overclocking "K" series CPU's, obviously).

So with how the CPU to Motherboard Chipset has changed, and how it is now, performance from a motherboard is not really there, meaning there is no real difference.

The difference has become about the user experience. So things like features, overclocking, built in audio, expansion slots, customer support, design (how good it looks), these are things that motherboards are all about these days. (Really ever since Intel's Nahalem, and AMD's Phenom II).

June 5, 2012 | 02:03 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

I got this board back in march to be the platform for my Core i7-3930K and I am loving this board, I have this in my primary system (where I do OC, but I much prefer stability over performance, this board delivers with both).

I also did not install the optional fans (didnt need to, board runs cool in my Corsair Obsidian 800D). I was worried the PCH fan would be loud, but nope, and it has a 5 year warrenty (fan included) so should last me a long time. :)

Great review PCPer, good read.

October 27, 2012 | 12:56 AM - Posted by Prasannan Krishnan (not verified)

Your explanation is very informative. I like the way you present it. I appreciate your hard work. A big hai for this. Please continue these sort of nice work.

Kind reards
Krish

November 26, 2012 | 06:35 AM - Posted by zizo (not verified)

how to connect an extenvtion firewire IEEE ON MOTHERBOARD asus sabertooth x79 because i have one on the foront of my Cooler Master Case HAF932

December 24, 2012 | 04:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have bought a SABERTOOTH X79 with 16G Kit 1866(8Gx2) Patriot Viper Memory and i7-3930K.... i bring it from out side of my country. those r not available in our Bangladesh.
now i need some advice.
First of all which power supply is good for this system?.....
in our country Thermal Take is available.

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