Review Index:

ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications


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The ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 motherboard is the newest member of thier TUF (The Ultimate Force) series. The board features the Intel Z97 chipset, but keeps the aesthetics and functionality you have come to expect from TUF series boards, and more specifically the Sabertooth line. That does not mean to say that ASUS did not improve the design of the Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 board. The Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 comes with a premium MSRP of $249.99 with features to justify its premium price point.

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ASUS used the previous Sabertooth board as a template to design and improve upon the Sabertooth Z97 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 two optional fans into its design as well as flow ports above the CPU VRM heat sinks to adjust the airflow through the Thermal Armor. The board is designed with an 8 phase digital power system with alloy chokes redesigned to run cooler than previous generation chokes, 10k-rated Titanium capacictors, 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 Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review!

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The ASUS integrated the following features into the Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1's design: six dedicated SATA 3 ports; two shared SATA 3 ports; a SATA Express 10 Gb/s port; dual Gigabit NICs - an Intel I218-V GigE controller and a Realtek GigE controller; three PCI-Express x16 slot; three PCI-Express x1 slots; on-board MemOK! and BIOS FlashBack buttons; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)


Intel® Socket 1150 for the 5th/New 4th/4th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to for CPU support list


Intel® Z97


4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 1866* / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 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 for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).


Integrated Graphics Processor
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 512 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 AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots

2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (Single at x16, dual at x8/x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode, black)
3 x PCIe x1


Intel® Z97 chipset :
1 x SATA Express port, black*1
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology *2

ASMedia® PCIe SATA controller : *3
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), beige

*2: These functions will work depending on the CPU installed.
*3: These SATA ports are for data hard drivers only. ATAPI devices are not supported.


Intel® I218V
Realtek® 8111GR
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers- 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) appliance


Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 112 dB SNR stereo playback output (Line-out at rear) and 104 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
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
- 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

USB Ports

Intel® Z97 chipset :
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 4 at mid-board)

ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)

Intel® Z97 chipset :
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)

Special Features

TUF Features:
TUF ENGINE! Power Design :
- 8 + 2 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
Safe & Stable! Guardian Angel :
- Dust Defenders
- TUF Fortifier
- TUF ESD Guards
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- Anti-Surge
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- Turbo LAN
Interactive HomeCloud
- Media Streamer

- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- Multi-language BIOS
- Push Notice
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-Connector

Operating System Support

Windows® 8.1 86x64
Windows® 8 86x64
Windows® 7 86x64

Back I/O Ports

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

Internal I/O Ports

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)
1 x SATA Express connector: , compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1 x TPM header
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 x 4 -pin)
3 x Assistant Fan connector(s) (2 x 3 -pin, 1 x 4 -pin)
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 Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
1 x DRCT header(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)


User's manual
Accessory Guide
ASUS Q-Shield
4 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 /40 mm )
1 x TUF 5 Year Warranty manual(s) (by region)
1 x TUF Inside sticker(s)
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 2.0 connector dust cover(s)
- 7 x On board SATA connector dust cover(s)
- 1 x SATA Express conector dust cover(s)
- 5 x Audio connector dust cover(s)


64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS,
ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3, My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information


WfM 2.0, DMI 2.7, WOL by PME, PXE

Support Disc

Anti-virus software (OEM version)
ASUS Utilities

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Video News

May 30, 2014 | 12:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ASUS used Newsun CMOS battery on this board instead of other better known brands. ASUS used maxell, KTS, Panasonic in the past. Seems like a cost saving switch to me.

November 18, 2014 | 06:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Cmos battery? I lol'd

May 30, 2014 | 04:04 PM - Posted by YTech

I want ASUS Sabertooth Z97, just becomes it looks neat! Or as Ryan puts it "These capacitors are neat looking" *droolz*

Nice review Morry! Thanks for pointing out that cooler issue! :)

May 31, 2014 | 06:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Finally! Morry likes the CMOS battery placement!

June 1, 2014 | 01:21 AM - Posted by Stephen Huxtable (not verified)

I think all mid to high end boards will evolve into something like we see here with just the connections and sockets visible.

June 1, 2014 | 02:45 AM - Posted by Airbrushkid (not verified)

I just ordered one this past Friday. Should be here June 6th. Hope it's worth it.

June 4, 2014 | 03:27 PM - Posted by macmuchmore

I just got a Z97 Gryphon. I would love to see a review of it! Can't wait to get a 4790K!!!


June 4, 2014 | 08:23 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Performance should be on par with the Sabertooth board since both TUF boards share the same components and design...

June 22, 2014 | 09:25 PM - Posted by The Doctor (not verified)

Awesome review! I guess you're fan of Doctor Who, which is awesome too! Anyways, you just answered the exact questions on my mind.

June 25, 2014 | 10:59 PM - Posted by curious george (not verified)

I am planning a build with the Asus Sabertooth z97 Mark 1 with the Corsair H100i.

Can you explain further on the fitment issues you ran into?

Are you saying that instead of the Corsair logo being parallel to the ground, that it should be oriented 90 degrees to the left or right in order for it to fit?

July 11, 2014 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i just put together a new system with a sabertooth z97 and a h100i n had no problems at all, every thing went smooth.

October 24, 2014 | 05:02 PM - Posted by Will (not verified)

Me too, just installed an h100i on my z97 mark 1 without problems

June 27, 2014 | 08:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

After a lot of head fu***ing around. I i have finally decided on my gaming build, it consist of a corsair 750d case, sabertooth z97 (badass looking motherboard) Intel I7 4790k (devils canyon) and a evga 780ti sc.

The only thing I need to decide on now is what color cables and light I should use? I was. thinking blue or white! Can't wait !

August 3, 2014 | 06:40 PM - Posted by Robbie (not verified)

I completed a build with an ASUS z97 Mark 1, corsair H100i, ASUS R9 280X, and a i7-4790K.

I had an older Western Digital SSD 256 Gig. Second generation SATA that I used with it. The SSD drive was plugged into the first SATA port.

The SSD failed on me multiple times (was working fine in it's former laptop).

Changed the SSD to a different port and used a different SATA cable. Seems to be fine now. I was curious if any other SATA issues have shown up. Could be motherboard, cable, or drive. It's possible that I fixed it with the different cable but I wanted to ask around. I have read of issues with the Western Digital SATA drives so it's my second suspect.

Robert Hart

August 7, 2014 | 06:14 PM - Posted by krishna (not verified)

I am having problem after plugging wireless adapter 'Asus PCE N-53' in 'PCI-Express x1' of 'asus Z97 mark1' motherboard. I am using windows 8.1.

During whole installation of OS, I need to unplug the wireless card. I installed all drivers from DVD for this wireless card after OS install and then retried plugging in 'Asus PCE N-53' wireless card..Still same problem..

Window 8.1 is showing blue screen saying something that 'problem deptected and collecting information and wil try to restart PC'.

Any idea, how I can fix this problem?


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