Now, here's a Haswell-E motherboard that makes sense. Asus has added the Sabertooth X99 to its TUF lineup. This full-sized ATX board takes advantage of the platform's quad-channel memory controller, ample PCIe bandwidth, and generous storage options. It also adds dual USB 3.1 Type-A ports in the rear cluster.
The Sabertooth's TUF-specific features are what really set it apart. Like its Z97 counterpart, the board is sandwiched between a metal stiffener on the back and a plastic cover on the front. It's also covered by a five-year warranty that's two years longer than the coverage typically attached to enthusiast-oriented motherboards.
In a new twist, the Sabertooth X99 comes with TUF Detective software for mobile devices. This Android app monitors variables like clock speeds and voltages, and it can also be used to reset the CMOS and turn on the system. TUF Detective appears to require a wired USB connection to the host, though. The rear cluster even has a USB port reserved for the feature.
The Sabertooth X99 extends Asus' excellent fan speed controls to 11 onboard headers, each of which works with both three- and four-pin spinners. Those headers are backed by 12 temperature sensors and controlled by a dedicated chip. Asus claims the hardware-based fan controller needs only one second to repond to changes, regardless of the system load.
The press release doesn't include pricing, but the Sabertooth X99 will likely carry a premium over run-of-the-mill Haswell-E boards. Its Z97 sibling sells for $240, though a scaled-back "Mark 2" variant is available for $160. There's no mention of whether a similarly stripped version of the Sabertooth X99 is in the works.