Asus Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

[section_title title=P4 : Board Layout and Features (Part 2)]

Board Layout and Features (Part 2) :

Now lets take a look under the hood and see what lies beneath the thermal armour. For removing the armour, you need to remove quite a lot of screws, but once that is done, both the fortifier and the armour come right off. Even without the armour, the board looks beautiful. The Mark 2 comes without the armour and would essentially look like this.

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Here we see the socket and the heatsinks that cover the MOSFETs. The chokes have a new design with increased surface area for better heat dissipation.

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Above the socket, we find 4 fan connectors and the 8 pin motherboard power connector. The right most fan connector (ASST FAN3) is for the 40 mm rear fan. The others can be used for CPU and Chassis fans. Since most of the air coolers these days provide the option of 2 fans, this is very convenient.

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Now moving to the edge towards the RAM slots, we find the main motherboard power connector and the MemOK! button, which basically helps you reset your memory profile in case then went wrong while you were overclocking or pretty much any memory compatibility issue which might cause the board to not POST. When this happens, the DRAM LED will glow and you need to press the MemOK! button for 3 seconds.

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Looking down the same edge, we see a lot of SATA ports here. There are 4 SATA 6GB/s ports, 1 SATA Express port and 2 more SATA 6GB/s using the ASMedia PCIe SATA controller (Beige). You also have a front USB 3.0 header.

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Here we find 2 more USB 2.0 connectors, 1 USB 3.0 connector, 3 4 pin fan headers, TPM connector, SPDIF header and thermal sensor headers.

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Moving on, we find the TUF 10K Ti Caps, which basically have higher tolerances and longer life. Next to it, we have the Realtek ALC 1150 chip and the proprietary TUF ICe chip, which is responsible for all the thermal monitoring and fan control.16

Finally, the rear IO panel. We have 4 USB 2.0 ports, 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort video output,  Dual LAN, 8 ch Audio and a clear/reset BIOS button.

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