- x79 Sabertooth TUF Series
- Asus Republic of Gamers Rampage IV Extreme
- P9X79/P9X79 Pro/P9X79 Deluxe
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Asus has revealed their motherboard lineup that are powered up by Intel X79 Chipsets.
The following are the X79 series boards and its features that we will see from Asus.
Asus revealed X79 Series boards from 3 segments: High end Republic of Gamers catering the needs of both extreme overclockers and gamers, the Mid end TUF series catering the mainstream crowd and Value series.
We started off with X79 Sabertooth TUF series motherboards:
[cf]sabertoothx79showcase[/cf] The X79 Sabertooth is armed with Thermal Armor, Thermal Radar, Newer Digi+ Power Control, TUF components and Asus’ SSD Caching.
Asus has not the same Armour ‘vest’ design as they did on P67 Sabertooth.
There is a heat pipe connected from the VRM to the Stacked-fin MOSFET sink with a fan for active cooling. The fan will suck air in and blow through the the rear I/O and through the lower part of the heatsink.
The PCH is cooled in the same manner with a stacked fin heatsink design. Asus has also said that they’ve used thermal strips rather than using thermal compounds (or paraffin wax) as they are more long lasting compared to other choices. They said that the fans are of better built quality so they will aid in active cooling.
One thing you’ll have to keep in mind: This board uses Iron Ferrite chokes rather than Alloy Chokes.
One of the reason being the chokes take lesser space on the board compared on alloy chokes, but they have used rust-proof coating on the chokes.
There are 2 more features that are implemented on X79 Chipset boards from Asus. The first is a very welcomed “Bios Print” feature where you can take screenshots of the UEFI and save it on the flash drive.
The second is the Bios Flashback feature. You plug your flash drive with the newer UEFI and press the bios button on the rear I/O shield. Another beauty of this is that as long as the board is powered up even without the memory and the processor, the new UEFI will be flashed on the board.
For now, both the features will be present on X79, but no information was given about other Chipset boards.
The X79 Sabertooth and the P9X79 series boards come with Asus SSD Caching feature. SSD Caching works on these boards via Marvel 9128 SATA controller that powers up 2 SATA ports.
Unlike in Intel SRT where its a 4 step process (plugging in SSD/HDD, setting BIOS, configuring the SRT software and reinstalling the OS, Asus’ SSD caching promises it to reduces to 2 steps and does not require OS re-installation or Bios setup, thus making it more user friendly and reducing the hassle of reinstalling the operating system. Asus also promises that the system will be 35% times faster system boot than the average bear and the 3x times lower transfer time.
All the X79 boards will also support DRAM SPD information feature, where it will help you to identify memory issues in the DIMM slots.
Now coming to the TUF Thermal Radar:
The X79 Sabertooth comes with 12 thermal sensors and 6 4-pin fan controllers (out of which 1 is occupied for the 3 pin MOSFET fan) and voltage monitor. Now I did ask CPU thermal sensor and it uses the processor’s thermal sensor, but they did think of putting their own sensor for the CPU on the board.
There are 5 fan control profiles includes the disable option. There is also a manual control where you can increase/decrease the fan speed and monitor the temperature at the same time, giving you more control over the motherboard.
Asus implemented the newer Digi+ power control for both CPU and DRAM
The Digi+ Power control monitors and controls the current, voltage frequency and the power phase control for the DRAM, thereby giving a ‘server-grade’ control and stability. Top all of this with the usual 5 year warranty under TUF series, this board packs a lot of punch (feature wise) for mainstream users.
Legendary extreme overclocker and Asus’ RnD specialist Shamino did a wrap on this one! This one says for sure: Hardcore is Back!
Presentation started by first explaining Republic of Gamer’s segmentation. It goes without saying, Republic of Gamers purely focuses on extreme overclockers and Gamers.
I’ve been showed the Extreme series board and thus this is going to more than quench extreme overclocker’s thirst.
The board comes with 8 DIMM slots and USB BIOS flashback like the X79 Sabertooth. The board supports 4 way SLI/CrossfireX and 8 DIMM slots, 4x USB 3.0 on the rear I/O and 4x USB 3.0 via the header and the usual OC Zone features.
What will knock your socks off are the following features:
The X-Socket is the first feature that was showcased. In a nutshell, the mounting holes for LGA 2011 socket is not as same as LGA 1366 sockets, but this board uses the LGA 1366 mounting holes and hence this way you do not need to invest on an extra kit for your existing after market heatsink or the LN2 pot.
Extreme Engine Digi+ II are set of components that uses higher grade components and giving you precise control over the board. There are 4 digital controllers for CPU and Memory with finer frequency interval from 300 to 1100KHz, better Power Block MOSFETs that are more than 90% efficient at 15A and Black metallic chokes that are rated 50A. The board uses Japanese capacitors with better low endurance and 5times longer lifespan.
Subzero sense is a very nice feature to see on a board made for extreme overclockers.
SubZero Sense lets you to connect 2 K- type Thermocouple to monitor temperatures via the Bios, TurboV Evo and the OC Key (you’ll know about that when you read the stuff below), even on system standby. During the demonstration done by Shamino, the SubZero Sense had a quicker temperature display compared to the thermometer. The measuring temperature ranges from -200 degrees Celsius to +1350 degrees Celsius.
VGA Hotwire feature lets you to do easier over-voltage mods for the GPU.
There are 3 onboard headers for VGA over-volt modding: PLL, VMem and VCore. You connect the headers on the board and solder the other end on the GPU’s medication spots. After that, you can over-volt your VGA via the UEFI, Turbo V Evo and the OC Key.
And speaking of the OC Key…
The OC Key is an exclusive add-on for Extreme Series. I and other Media guys weren’t allowed to take photos for demonstration of the OC Key but this allows Real time monitoring and hardware-level tweaking via OSD display, similar to the OSD display for the monitor.
OC Key has an iROG chip that does not have a sleep mode and collects the report from iROG chip on the board, that collects relevant information and controls from VGA Hotwire and Subzero Sense feature mentioned above. Another good feature is that the OC Key is the possibility to upgrade its firmware, this way chances are high you could get newer features. Also, its not necessary for the OC Key to be attached on the GPU. As long as the DVI cable is attached to the key, the OSD display can be seen. This is a very good option, especially if you want to keep in eye on voltages and temperature on the screen without the extra sets of multimeters. You can increase of decrease the opacity, alongwith change the size of the display- and also making it to be displayed on a second monitor.
A feature on the UEFI Bios is present to detect which PCIE slots are occupied and running on which mode (x8/x16).
They also did an interesting slide: Battlefield 3 edition ROG motherboard. Nothing was talked about this… yet.
The “Value” segmentation comes with 3 boards (for now): P9X79/P9X79 Pro/P9X79 Deluxe. These boards uses the same DIGI+ Power control, Asus SSD Caching and BIOS flashback option as the Sabertooth.
Asus USB 3.0 Boost
Another feature is the UASP feature that utilises the maximum bandwidth via the USB 3.0 mode. This is possible using the UASP USB 3 controller and the UASP driver. Do note, however, the drive will also require UASP controller as well to take advantage of this feature on the board.
The boards come with the updated AI Suite II software, with Fan xpert+, digi+ power control, TurboV EVO, SSD Caching and USB 3.0 Boost interface.
BT GO 3.0 uses Bluetooth v3.0+ HS and Wifi B/G/N with Speed Rate of upto 24Mbps.
There are also couple of newer implementations: DTS Ultra PCII and DTS Connect that lets you enjoy your Home theatre system on the PC via S/PDIF.
To wrap things up, I am looking forward to see X79 Sabertooth and to know about the Battlefield 3 Edition ROG board. Thanks to Asus India for taking the time and effort to sponsor the trip and letting me to check out the features.