The Ultimate Force (TUF) is Asus’ new lineup of motherboards designed for durability and extreme performance. Based on the Intel P55 chipset, the Asus Sabertooth 55i is the first TUF motherboard built for Intel’s latest generation of Core i5 and Core i7 processors.
What makes this board special is a slew of innovative features that Asus claims enhance component life and performance. Since the new LGA 1156 processors feature on-die memory and PCI Express controllers, the P55 chipset sports a simpler chipset design with only a single southbridge chip. The large heatsink for this chip and the finned heatsinks for the voltage regulators around the CPU socket are coated with pitted ceramic material that boosts surface area by more than 50 percent. Asus has provided a fan frame (CoolMem!) that fits right below the RAM slots. You can add a 40 mm or a 50 mm fan (with depth less than 15 mm) for additional memory cooling. The fan has to be purchased separately as the package doesn’t include one. The capacitors fitted are all-solid and are labelled ‘TUF’.
Like all high-end boards by Asus, the Sabertooth 55i features a very good layout. The CPU socket has ample breathing area around it and you can easily fit large heatsinks without any capacitors coming in the way.
The RAM slots have only a single clip—the modules slide into the notch at one end and snap into place by the clip at the other end. The chipset supports both CrossFire X and SLI in dual-8x mode. Three PCIe x1 and two PCI slots are provided for add-on cards. Out of the six SATA ports supported by the chipset, four are stacked vertically at the right edge of the board and two are placed at the base inline with three USB headers (each supporting two ports) and buttons for power and reset. Two additional SATA ports and two eSATA ports are courtesy JMicron JMB322 chip. The rear panel has PS/2 ports, optical S/PDIF output, eight USB ports, a FireWire and an eSATA port. A bracket with two USB ports and an eSATA port is bundled in the package.
The motherboard costs Rs. 17,700.
Consider this motherboard if you are dead serious about quality and performance.
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