Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

This review will be considered an unusual model, produced in a limited edition – ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S. This senior representative range of motherboards increased reliability The Ultimate Force, from the previous “stamp” in the form of Mark 1 is the hallmark of a snow-white color versions.

The average cost of ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S at the time of testing is at the level of ~ 17 000 rubles.

Packaging equipment

The motherboard comes in a cardboard box of medium size. Making packaging compared to other solutions line TUF has changed – if earlier used stylized brushed metal, now dominated by bright colors and military themes.

New color scheme manufacturer in advance highlights the fact that the updated version has custom coloring.

Much more informative reverse side of the box:

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

Here is a picture of the product, and lists its main technical characteristics. Describes the features and fees relating to the TUF-functionality: explains how to set a temperature sensor of a case to protect the card against mechanical damage and the system of protection against dust.

When you open the package view on a motherboard directly placed in a separate cardboard box with a transparent cover:

On the cover, there is a recess in which is placed a part supplied. Here are all the basic components, revealing the TUF-component model:

I will bring them in a list:

  • Set of plugs for rear panel ports;
  • Plugs for card expansion slots;
  • Plugs for two RAM slots;
  • One 35 mm and one 40 mm fans, as well as the mounting screws to them;
  • Dust filter for the back panel plugs;
  • Three thermocouples for connection to the terminals T_Sensor1-3.

Supplied definitely pleased, especially in terms of the availability of thermocouples. A similar set can be found in the board-twin, Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1, with the only difference being that the plugs for the expansion slots and memory modules are painted in a different color.

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

The remainder of the equipment is located on the bottom of the box.

Including:

  • The plug on the rear panel. As befits expensive motherboard, it is equipped with padded;
  • Four cable SATA 6Gb / s;
  • User Manual;
  • A booklet outlining the conditions of warranty service in several languages
  • CD with software;
  • Adapter kit Q-Connector;
  • Sticker «The Ultimate Force» for PC chassis;
  • SLI bridge.

It would be nice to see an increasing number of bundled cables SATA, otherwise nothing to complain about.

The design and features of this board

ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S is sized form factor ATX – 305 x 244 mm.

As for the design of PCB, layout interfaces and expansion slots – it is clear that we face Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1, the only difference is that the new model has other colors. The protective cover is painted in camouflage colors of light, and that the card is made in white.

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

At first glance, the changes are minor, but the product already looks quite different, which is can be used in various modding projects. Additionally, in this vein, I note that, despite the use of a range of colors, the motherboard does not blik when photographing, that was unexpected.

Like Mark 1, Mark S retained version casing from the back side of the PCB:

This all-metal casing and is involved in the removal of heat from the transistors of the power converter of the CPU. And because the novelty tightly fixed between two covers, it has a very good strength “bending”.

Of course, sufficient space to here could be mounted in any super-cooler, but the installation may be difficult.

As you can see, the space here with a large margin.

The only thing that can cause problems in some configurations – the proximity to the processor socket capacitor power converter, which can interfere with the installation of large water blocks.

However, when this test in the ASUS allowed “trample” these capacitors so check the capabilities of the board will be liquid cooled.

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

Perhaps, for further acquaintance with the Sabertooth Z97 Mark S’s time to remove her guards. Before you unscrew the screws on the back side of the card it is better to loosen those that capture the covers from the front.

Confirmed the assumption that this is a repainted Mark 1. In my opinion, this is a good thing: why make unnecessary any other design, when there are already ready, and there are practically no weaknesses?

Simply put, the recipe is simple – take a good proven system board and repaint it in a new color than can satisfy lovers of beauty. As they say, from the good deed goes unpunished.

On the reverse side of the card if you remove the casing is nothing interesting, except that it is possible to note the presence of six transistors of the power converter and processor use screw attachment for all standard radiator cooling system.

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

Since graphics port removed a sufficient distance from the RAM slots, the use of latches on only one side looks unjustified decision worsening fixation modules.

The manufacturer claimed modes DDR3 1333/1600 / 1866. Unlike ASUS Motherboard other series, with products in the list of characteristics TUF manufacturer does not boast the high-frequency memory overclocking, although the behavior of overclocking and on the list of settings in UEFI any difference there. So, there are all factors that are available to other models, ie modes 800, 1066, 1333, 1400, 1600, 1800, 1866, 2000, 2133, 2200, 2400, 2600, 2666, 2800, 2933, 3000, 3200 and 3400 MHz.

The maximum memory capacity of 32 GB says board support modules of 8 GB. To activate the Dual Channel Memory must be installed in a bracket slots of the same color, that is either 1/3 or 2/4 in. To ensure maximum compatibility and stability of the modules in the dispersal of the manufacturer recommended primarily use connectors 2/4. When using a single module it is best to install in the second slot.

Next to the RAM slot is a button «MemOK!»:

In some cases, pressing it can help correcting problems of compatibility of memory and the motherboard.

The configuration of expansion slots:

Connectors from top to bottom:

  • PCI-E 2.0 X1;
  • PCI-E 3.0 X16 / 8;
  • Empty space;
  • PCI-E 2.0 X1;
  • PCI-E 3.0 X8 / 0;
  • PCI-E 2.0 X1;
  • PCI-E 2.0 X4.

This configuration on the boards Sabertooth has not changed for a relatively long time: the amount involved in the six slots arranged in the space of seven (seven – the maximum number for the form factor ATX). Empty space is below the top graphics slot (PCI-E X16).

In general, the configuration of expansion slots competent, graphics connectors are spaced a sufficient distance, and on the first graphics port is PCI-E X1, which will be available regardless of the configuration used cards. In addition, this solution allows you to leave more space for CPU cooling system.

Lack of resources chipset is very acute, to empower the motherboard using an auxiliary controller – it ASMedia ASM1184e:

It allows you to use four lines PCI-Express, while he is satisfied with the resources of one line.

ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S supports SLI and CrossFireX according to the formula PCI-E 8 + 8 3.0. To divide the sixteen lines PCI-E, coming from the CPU between the two graphics slots are four chips, the switch ASMedia ASM1480:

Possible modes of slots – 16/0 and 8/8.

In addition to the photos if chip on board additional scattered three-chip the switch ASMedia ASM1440, who are responsible for resource sharing chipset: the lower full-size port can operate in X4, so that will not be available additional USB 3.0 controller and the lower PCI-E X1, or lower full-size port can operate in X1, then an additional USB 3.0 and X1 slot will work.

Near the lower right corner on the board SATA ports are located and block for connection of two ports USB 3.0:

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

There are six SATA 6 Gb / s, two of which are aligned with the interface SATA Express. Interestingly, the mechanical compatibility with SATA Express interface received not two, but four slots SATA, but are functional in this mode, only the ports below. As the SATA ports in this group, and block USB 3.0 originate from chipset Intel Z97.

While USB ports operate on Intel Z97, two additional SATA 6 Gbit / s core logic is not connected. They originate from the controller ASMedia ASM1061:

As for the ports USB 3.0, then the boards TUF used in a unusual configuration, when eight USB 3.0 are implemented as four blocks and four in the form of ports on the interface panel (usually at eight ports can be configured to meet the 2 + 6).

Audio path is placed in the lower left corner of the motherboard.

It uses a controller Realtek ALC1150, as well as a headphone amplifier chip Texas Instruments R4580I.

As Multi-IO chip used Nuvoton NCT6791D.

At the rear of the ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S located:

  • Four USB 2.0;
  • Four USB 3.0;
  • Button «USB BIOS Flashback»;
  • One HDMI;
  • One DisplayPort;
  • Two LAN;
  • Optical output S / PDIF;
  • Five audio inputs / outputs 3.5 mm mini-jack.

Configuration interface board is not bad. It would be possible to find fault with empty space on the left side, but specially conceived.At this point, realized the ventilation system, which provides additional perforation.

Cooling system

The cooling system consists of three heaters, two of which are connected by a heat pipe. This pair removes heat from the CPU’s power converter, the third heat spreader is responsible for cooling the chipset Intel Z97.

Radiators are the same as that of Mark 1 (i.e., substantially the same as that Sabertooth Z77 and Sabertooth Z87):

In comparison with other models of ASUS lines in the same price range radiators obviously smaller, but in the case of TUF-cards they do not perform decorative functions, and the area of the fins is comparable.

As numerous stress tests products of previous generations, to the effectiveness of such radiators have no complaints, with the task they cope. Accordingly, by Mark S have to wait a good resistance to corrosion.

In this case, a thermal pad average thickness. Her contact with the power elements of the power converter is good and uniform over the entire area fit.

As for the radiator chipset, the board Sabertooth he perhaps the largest and most efficient of products ASUS:

In view of the low heat chipset can hope for a very comfortable temperature.

Thermal interface used by the consistency of the dried gum. Scrape it with difficulty.

In addition to the radiator, the cooling system involving two boards larger casing. The first is located on the front side of the card:

Rather, it prevents the cooling elements for air impairs access to the radiators of the power converter. However, in the scope of delivery fee for the installation of a proposed two additional fans, which can completely solve possible problems with overheating. On the other hand, in the presence of the casing, and no fan or blower I have not managed to “boil” at least one model Sabertooth, despite the use of a liquid-cooled processors.

A second housing located on the back side of the board:

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S

It is made of metal and is in contact with a portion of the transistors of the power converter of the processor. Uses the same thermal pad, like the radiator of the power converter. The quality of the contact between her and force elements have no complaints.

Supply system

The controller is marked as DIGI + ASP1252, as the driver uses eight chips International Rectifier IR3535. As used two transistors NXP 4030DLA 6030DLB and one for each phase, wherein a portion of the transistors (six 4030DLA) located on the back side of the motherboard.

The controller is marked as DIGI + ASP1103, as established by two transistors NXP 6030DLB for each phase

Conclusion

So, we have a well-established Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1, which has taken a new look in white colors. In fact, all the pros and remained unchanged among them: efficient cooling system, the best among its competitors implementation of temperature monitoring and fan control, and protection of the motherboard from mechanical influences. All of these advantages can now add and moddingovuyu component.

Not only good news is that for an updated color scheme have to shell out – an average of Mark S version is worth 3 000 more than the Mark 1. Perhaps the reason for this difference is not in the pricing of products (most lying in warehouses Mark 1 corny yet purchased in the days of the old value of the dollar), but the final buyer that does not help.

Pros ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S:

  • Execution in white;
  • Protection against mechanical damage to the board through the use of the plastic cover from the front and the back of the metal sheet;
  • The developed system of monitoring temperatures on the basis of several on-board temperature sensors;
  • Three plug thermocouple;
  • Predictability motherboard when overclocking;
  • Smart layout of expansion slots;
  • Efficient cooling system;
  • A better control fan speed among its competitors;
  • Five year warranty.

Cons motherboard:

  • In fact, in comparison with the Mark 1 customer overcharged for another coloring.

Page Motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S on its official website:

  • Global Mirror;

Source: asus

Review and testing motherboard ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark S updated: March 31, 2015 author: John Malkovich