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ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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The ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 motherboard is the latest addition to the TUF (The Ultimate Force) product series. ASUS updated the armored-version of their Sabertooth board for Skylake processor support using the Intel Z170 chipset, including other functionality upgrades and design changes to for a better user experience. The Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 comes with an MSRP of $259.00 with features to more than justify its cost.

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ASUS continues to evolve the armored Sabertooth board, enhancing and improving the last generation design with the Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1. The board includes the line's signature TUF Thermal Armor board overlay and TUF Fortifier back plate. With the new revision of the Thermal Armor, ASUS integrated to fan ports into the rear panel and middle of the board into its design as well as flow ports over the wrap-around CPU VRM heat sinks to adjust the airflow through the Thermal Armor. The board is designed with an 8+4 phase digital power system featuring alloy chokes redesigned to run cooler than previous generation chokes, 10k-rated Titanium capacitors, and military-grade TUF MOSFETs. Additionally, ASUS integrated on board ESD (elctro-static discharge) protection into the rear panel keyboard/mouse, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, LAN, and audio ports to protect the motherboard and integrated components from voltage fluctuations and power surges.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 motherboard!

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The ASUS integrated the following features into the Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1's design: four dedicated SATA 3 ports; two SATA Express 10 Gb/s port; a PCIe x4 M.2 slot; dual Gigabit NICs - an Intel I219-V GigE controller and a Realtek GigE controller; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; on-board MemOK! and BIOS FlashBack buttons; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 port support.

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Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Intel® Socket 1151 for 6th Generation Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset Intel® Z170
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 2400 / 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

Graphics Integrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 1024 MB
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
DP 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport compliant, supports DP 1.2 monitor daisy chain up to 3 displays
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technolog
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)*1
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

*1: The PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with SATA6G_56. The PCIe x16_3 is default set at x2 mode.

Storage Intel® Z170 chipset:
2 x SATA Express port, Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)*2
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports*3
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology*4
Supports Intel® RST for PCIE RAID storage.

*2: The M.2 socket shares SATA ports with SATA Express_1 port. Adjust BIOS settings to use an M.2 SATA device.
*3: Supports PCIE RAID configurations via onboard M.2 and PCIEX16_3 slot storages.
*4: These functions will work depending on the CPU installed.

ASMedia® SATA 6Gb/s controller:*5
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), beige

*5: These SATA ports are for data hard drivers only. ATAPI devices are not supported.

LAN Intel® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Realtek® RTL8111H, 1 x Gigabit LAN
Gigabit Intel® LAN Connection- 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) appliance
ASUS Turbo LAN Utility
ASUS LAN Guard
Audio Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC featuring Crystal Sound 3
- Supports : Multi-streaming, Front Panel MIC Jack-retasking
- High quality 112 dB SNR stereo playback output (Line-out at rear) and 104 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
Audio Feature :
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- BD Audio Layer Content Protection
- Audio Shielding: Ensures precision analog/digital separation and greatly reduced multi-lateral interference
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Audio amplifier: Provides the highest-quality sound for headphone and speakers
- Unique de-pop circuit: Reduces start-up popping noise to audio outputs
- Top notch audio sensation delivers according to the audio configuration
- Absolute Pitch 192khz/24bit true BD lossless sound
Separate layer for left and right track, ensuring both sound deliver equal quality
USB Ports Intel® Z170 chipset :
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 4 at mid-board)

Intel® Z170 chipset :
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
1 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 port(s) (1 at back panel, teal blue, Type-A)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller :
1 x USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 port(s) (1 at back panel, Type-C, Reversible)

Special Features OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology
- Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance

TUF Features:
TUF ENGINE! Power Design :
- 8 +4 Digital Phase Power Design
- TUF Components (New Alloy Choke, Ti-Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
- ASUS DIGI+ Power Control Utility
Ultimate COOL! Thermal Solution :
- TUF Thermal Armor with Flow Valve
- TUF Thermal Radar 2 with Thermistors
- TUF ICe
Safe & Stable! Guardian Angel :
"We Got Your Back!" Shape Force
- TUF Fortifier
- Dust Defenders with connector covers and back I/O dust filter
- TUF ESD Guards 2

ASUS Exclusive Features :
- GPU Boost
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger
- Ai Charger+
- M.2 & SATA Express
- Anti-Surge
- Front Panel USB 3.0 Support
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- USB 3.1 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- Turbo LAN
- PC Cleaner

ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Multi-language BIOS

ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED, HDD LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector

Overclocking Protection :
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Operating System Support Windows® 10, 64bit
Windows® 8.1, 64bit
Windows® 7 x86 / x64
Back I/O Ports 1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x USB 3.1 (teal blue)Type-A
1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
4 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0 (blue) (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
1 x 8-channel Audio I/O
1 x TUF Detective USB port
Internal I/O Ports 1 x AAFP connector
2 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x SATA Express connector: , Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
6 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
3 x Assistant Fan connector(s) (1 x 3-pin, [White])
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x Thunderbolt header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector(s)
1 x DRCT header(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x CPU OV
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x Water Pump header (4-pin)
1 x 14-1 pin TPM connector
Accessories User's manual
Accessory Guide
ASUS Q-Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x HYPERM.2 X4 with M Key design, type 2230 / 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (1 in 1)
2 x Accessory Fan(s) ( 35 /40 mm )
1 x TUF Certification card(s)
1 x TUF 5 Year Warranty manual(s) (by region)
1 x TUF Inside sticker(s)(white)
1 x STAY COOL BE TUF sticker(s)(white)
1 x Bead Chain for Metalic Cover
1 x Accessory Package(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)
- 3 x Thermistor cable(s)
- 1 x back I/O dust frame
- 1 x back I/O dust grid
- 1 x connector dust cover collection (On board USB 3.0, DVI, HDMI, DP, LAN)
- 2 x On board USB 2.0 connector dust cover(s)
- 8 x back I/O USB connector dust cover(s)
- 7 x On board SATA connector dust cover(s)
- 2 x SATA Express conector dust cover(s)
- 5 x Audio connector dust cover(s)
BIOS 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 3.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

March 4, 2016 | 02:15 PM - Posted by zaodrze244 (not verified)

two additional Weaknesses: disgusting sli bridge and two small fans ;)

March 7, 2016 | 04:38 PM - Posted by Photonboy (not verified)

On my Z77 Sabertooth I had to force the fans off (horribly whiny things even on lowest speed), and the ONLY way was with the Asus fan software (BIOS settings won't turn off).

Then I upgraded past Windows 7 and discovered no fan software! Luckily the W7 software worked for W8 and W10.

Now I don't know how quiet the fans are but if at all noisy they need to rethink things.

Slower, quiet Assist fans would be a LOT better than the only two choices:
1. ON - annoying noise, or
2. OFF - no air flow

*I did set my fans to come on if temp goes above 50degC for the chipset (which for me is rarely), as well as 1 minute after turn off, but MOST people probably wouldn't figure that out easily.

March 4, 2016 | 04:50 PM - Posted by ImmenseBrick

AH but did morry bend the pins?

March 4, 2016 | 05:17 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Bend the pins on what?  I don't do that on purpose ;)

March 5, 2016 | 06:15 AM - Posted by Michael Dunn (not verified)

How can it say it has quad SLi/CFX support with only 3 PCIE Slots

March 5, 2016 | 02:10 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

quad support = 2 x dual GPU cards...

March 7, 2016 | 04:47 PM - Posted by Photonboy (not verified)

I expect Star Citizen to eventually support four GPU's via DX12 fairly efficiently.

Maybe a Pascal card similar to 2xGTX980Ti each, with DX12 using four GPU's for each frame.

(8GB VRAM per GPU would mean 8GB usable for AFR or up to 32GB usable for SFR)

March 5, 2016 | 09:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There must be bins filled with SATA Express connectors at their manufacturing facilities they're just trying to get rid of.

March 7, 2016 | 12:21 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

just trying to remind people about RAID

March 29, 2016 | 01:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The led light on my mouse continues to stay on when I shut down my computer. I tried going in to my BIOS and Ai Tweaker and turn the EPU Power Saving Mode to disabled to Enabled, but that didn't help. How can I fix this issue?

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