Quality and reliability are crucially important and fundamental characteristics of any mainboard as they determine the service life and stability of the whole computer. This is why MSI emphasizes the use of “military grade” components in its products while Gigabyte’s technologies for higher reliability which go under the name of Ultra Durable are a third version already. It is no wonder then that ASUS offers its own high-reliability mainboard series which is called TUF or The Ultimate Force. There is one important difference of the TUF series from its competitors, though. ASUS not only promotes its products as highly reliable and backs this claim up with test results (there is a certificate with the description of the test methods included into the product box). The most important thing is that ASUS prolongs the warranty period for its TUF products for as many as five years!
According to our tests, the ASUS Sabertooth X58 is no different from ordinary mainboards ASUS offers except for the characteristic color scheme. Its functionality is the same or even somewhat broader than usual. Its packaging and accessories are the same as those of other ASUS mainboards, too. It makes full use of the chipset’s capabilities, supports multi-GPU configurations out of two graphics cards, and has a few additional controllers that implement SATA 6 Gbps, USB 3.0 and IEEE1394 (FireWire). Added to that are the high-quality components, the special heatsink coating CeraM!X, and the 5-year warranty instead of the ordinary 3-year one! We wouldn’t be surprised if such a mainboard cost half as much as an ordinary one, but in fact the Sabertooth X58 is only about $200, which is very modest for an LGA1366 product. This is even less than the price of an entry-level LGA1366 mainboard from ASUS such as the ASUS P6T SE. We just can’t understand why the Sabertooth X58 is so cheap. The only thing that’s missing in it is Express Gate (an integrated Linux-based OS with basic functionality for work and entertainment), but this can hardly make a big difference.
Some users may be disappointed with the problems we had when we tried to overclock our CPU and memory on this mainboard, but they are not too serious and the mainboard can be used for overclocking, too. Besides, those problems may be corrected in future BIOS updates. After all, there are a lot of mainboards from ASUS and other makers that can be overclocked, but the combination of a 5-year warranty, enhanced functionality and low price is a unique offer indeed. In fact, you buy an ASUS Sabertooth X58 for the whole lifetime of your computer. If the mainboard fails in the next 5 years, ASUS will replace it. And if it fails after 6 or 8 years, for example, there will be no reason to repair it. It would be much more reasonable to replace the whole computer then and buy a new Sabertooth. We do hope we will see more TUF series products with the same attractive combination of high functionality, low price and long service life!