ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 Review

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 motherboard looks like an old military truck. Rugged and big, ASUS developed the Sabertooth motherboard to play well with AMD’s Bulldozer CPU.

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 Review

How well does the military-styled Sabertooth 990FX motherboard pair with the popular 8-core Bulldozer CPU from AMD? You might even say it’s a match made in heaven.

In this review, we test the bonds of this union to determine whether the Sabertooth 990FX is a solid motherboard for users. We will look at its military hardware, as well as discuss its aesthetics and performance. 

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, AMD, Socket AM3+, 990FX,...
  • Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX/SB950, 4 x DIMM DDR3, 8 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x eSATA 6Gbps, 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 x PCI, Gigabit LAN, 7.1ch. HDA, 6 x USB3.0, 12 x USB2.0, ATX

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 (Our Review)

Overall Assessment 

If one motherboard manufacturer doesn’t shy from trying new things, it’s the ASUS brand. Perhaps better known for their Republic of Gamers series, ASUS also shows off with their TUF series. TUF is an acronym for “The Ultimate Force,” and while it sounds like a cheesy 80s action movie, the TUF range is quite serious. 

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 belongs in the TUF series because of its military-grade components. It’s more than just a gimmick, these components are known for their exceptional ability to withstand humidity, impacts, and all other types of abuse.

Beneath the high-grade military standards and the camo-pattern looks, you’ll find a phenomenal 990FX chipset that drives the power in this hard-working motherboard.

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 board has enough features and power to satisfy most average users. Looking at its price, we’re well impressed.

Even though this motherboard isn’t an improvement on the Asus TUF Z390-Plus Gaming board, it’s more than capable of standing its ground.

RAM

Sadly, the Sabertooth falls flat in the RAM arena. The Sabertooth 990FX comes with 4x DDR3 dual memory slots. Users can install as much as 32GB of RAM on this system. We’ve seen other motherboards in the same price range that offer more RAM at much faster speeds. 

Peripherals

This motherboard isn’t lacking in features, although it has somewhat less than what we saw in our ASUS TUF B450M-Plus Gaming review. It still offers DIY system builders a fair number of options.

The Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 comes with 6x standard SATA ports and no M.2 ports. It saddened us to see no M.2 ports. Nowadays, having access to lightning-fast SSDs with an M.2 connection is something that comes with most mid-tier motherboards.

Another surprising feature is the 18 USB ports. That’s right, ASUS gave us 12x USB 2.0 ports along with 6x USB 3.0 ports. Few motherboards offer this many USB ports. We can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a bit excessive. Do you really need 18 USB ports on your motherboard? We doubt it.

Graphics

The Sabertooth 990FX supports both Nvidia SLI and AMD Crossfire technology. Users can connect up to 4 graphics cards for enhanced performance. With 4 graphics cards working in unison, animators will spend less time waiting for files to render, while gamers will get a kick out of the improved frames per second. 

On the other hand, crypto miners could also make use of this setup to mine.

ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, AMD, Socket AM3+, 990FX,...
  • Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX/SB950, 4 x DIMM DDR3, 8 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x eSATA 6Gbps, 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 x PCI, Gigabit LAN, 7.1ch. HDA, 6 x USB3.0, 12 x USB2.0, ATX

Audio

The Sabertooth 990FX comes with an older, industry-standard Realtek ALC892 audio codec. This codec isn’t as great as the audio we saw on our ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming review. Yet, it’s still capable of delivering clear, quality High Definition Audio across 8 channels. 

While the ALC892 chip is capable enough, we recommend that audiophiles install a newer, external audio card for higher fidelity studio-quality sound. 

Aesthetics

ASUS TUF motherboards aren’t well-known for their pleasing aesthetics unless you are a fan of all things military. 

The no-nonsense Sabertooth 990FX Rev2.0 has no RGB headers. Lacking RGB headers is okay for anyone who doesn’t want to run a disco out of their ATX tower.

The Sabertooth 990FX isn’t a good-looking motherboard.

We saw in our ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming review that Asus is capable of producing stunning motherboards. This motherboard isn’t one of them.

Conclusion

For us, the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX Rev2.0 motherboard is like your uncle’s favorite truck. It’s been around for ages. Nothing can damage it. It gets the job done, even though it lacks the looks of the newer, flashier models. 

If you want to skip the AM3+ CPU, and you are looking for a TUF model that has a bit more to play around with, then check out our ASUS TUF Z390-Plus Gaming review. This TUF motherboard will surprise you.

Pros

  • Military-grade TUF components
  • Durable and rugged
  • Huge number of USBs
  • Standard price
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, AMD, Socket AM3+, 990FX,...
  • Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX/SB950, 4 x DIMM DDR3, 8 x SATA 6Gbps, 2 x eSATA 6Gbps, 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 x PCI, Gigabit LAN, 7.1ch. HDA, 6 x USB3.0, 12 x USB2.0, ATX

Cons

  • No onboard RGB headers
  • Bland design

Common questions about ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 motherboard

Can the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 motherboard run 2133MHz RAM?

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX Rev2.0 can handle the DDR3 2133MHz memory, but it will not use it at the maximum speed. The memory controller on the board can only achieve a maximum of 1866MHz. The controller will cut down any frequency above this threshold.

Will my Core i5 CPU work on the Sabertooth 990FX Rev 2.0?

The board can only support AMD AM3+ processors and not CPUs from Intel. This is because it uses the AMD 990Fx chipset.

Will my PCIe 3.0 graphics card work on the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0?

You can use your PCIe 3.0 graphics card in any PCIe 2.0 x16 slots found on the Sabertooth 990FX. All PCIe3.0 graphics cards are backward compatible. This compatibility means that you can get excellent graphics performance from this older motherboard.

Customer Reviews

“I have never had any motherboard work as well as the Sabertooth 990FX Rev 2.0 from ASUS. It is absolutely the best purchase you can make. As a graphic designer, I work with very large files, and this computer is a fantastic machine.”

Aaron Cummings

5/5 Stars

“I have used two of the Sabertooth 990FX motherboards. It works fine for my needs. The only problem seems to be that sometimes the PC won’t wake up once it goes into sleep mode.”

Hunter

3/5 Stars 

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