This board’s predecessor is the Sabertooth 55i and they belong to the 'TUF' series and this acronym stands for 'The Ultimate Force'. In this lineage's proud military tradition, the color scheme of the Sabertooth X79 is in the tones of earthy greens set against a jet black PCB. This board boasts of military standard components for durability. Its ferrite chokes, solid capacitors and MOSFETS are screened by rigorous tests to ensure superior life-span even under the duress from their operating environment.
On first glance, this board also resembles the ASUS P67 without its thermal plastic sheath that covered a large part of its board. The Sabertooth X79 features is its new generation TUF Thermal Armor with its innovative vent design and integrated fans to draw heat away.
The heatsink crowning around the LGA2011 CPU socket area resembles the ones found on the ASUS Sabertooth 55i and are made of ceramic. It conceals a metal heatpipe that draws heat from the critical electrical components (mostly related to power regulation) near the CPU socket. The heatpipe extends to terminate in a heatsink that is located just above the external SATA 6Gbps port on the back panel of the board. This area is part of the TUF active thermal armor as shared above and works hand-in-hand to keep temperatures around the CPU socket in check.
Complementing its TUF Thermal Armor are twelve thermal hardware sensors for real-time thermal detection. It has a comprehensive software menu for a user-friendly experience.
Underneath the TUF exterior, the Sabertooth X79 features ASUS SSD caching when the system has a SSD paired with a HDD which is set as its primary drive. In lieu of the Intel X79 motherboard not supporting the Intel Smart Response technology first featured in the Intel Z68 series, ASUS has stepped in with their own variant that's supposedly more convenient to set up. The frequently accessed files of the HDD will be cached on the SSD, and according to ASUS, the SSD caching technology will boost performance up to 3x when pit against a similar system without an installed SSD.