The TUF team has put together its latest Sabertooth Z77 featuring a refined Thermal Armor and Thermal Radar combo, as well as unique dust proof covers for the PCI-Express and DIMM slots. If you’ve never encountered a TUF motherboard before, they are designed to prioritize cooling even in the most hot and arid or humid computing environments.
Read more about TUF tech here and we’ve also published an unboxing article for the Sabertooth Z77 as well.
Like its P67 older brother, the Sabertooth Z77 has – on the surface – the same Thermal Armor covering the main PCB. Looks can be decieving though, because underneath it’s been upgraded with two separate airflow zones; one covering the two sets of VRM heatsinks in the top corner, and the other venting over the Z77 PCH to keep it cool when no other case airflow is present.
The Thermal Armor is also extended with (bundled) PCI-Express slot covers that easily pop into spare slots to keep the dust out, and two dummy DIMMs if you only run a pair instead of all four. In addition to keeping out the dust, this helps limit corrosion if you live in a particularly humid environment. Check back soon as we’ll be putting together a video to demonstrate this feature.
The USB pin-outs along the bottom also have dust covers too, while the ports along the right hand side are nestled into the Thermal Armor. There’s even a right-angled front panel USB 3.0 connector above the eight SATA ports. Sitting above the ATX socket the MemOK button just in shot too.
The Thermal Armor area for the VRM heatsinks can drop a fan under the screw flap at the top, with air blown through either side of the CPU socket and through holes in the PCB to cool the rear of the socket. This ensures the heatsinks and components are kept cooler even in zero airflow environments. The second, four screw flap beneath the CPU socket can also be removed to allow another (bundled) fan to sit and push air down towards the Z77 heatsink.
Below we can see that tucked in the top are three fan headers, and the 8-pin EPS 12V CPU power socket.
The Sabertooth Z77 supports up to 3-way SLI and CrossFireX with PCI-Express 3.0 if a 3rd generation Intel Core processor is used. A PCI-Express 1x slot is placed above the top 16x graphics slot so that even when multi-GPU is being used there is still space for a sound card or WiFi for example.