Sabertooth 990FX - Gen 3 or no?

By deanlaing12 · 17 replies
Sep 2, 2013
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  1. I am building a new pc and it will have the latest amd graphics card installed. 7990 (or 7970 depending if price drops on 25th)

    Two questions:

    Is this motherboard Gen3? I can't figure it out:
    I wonder because I also see this one for more money but it has declared its self gen3:

    Should I be investing in the PCI-E Generation 3.0? I plan to have the pc for around 5 years, but if something magical happens on the 25th when AMD release new gpu's, and I go for one, will they require gen3?
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    According to the Asus website it's only PCI-E 2.0.

    If you're planning to keep your CPU/mobo for 5 years then yes, you should definitely invest in PCI-E 3.0. At the moment PCI-E 2.0 x16 won't bottleneck a top-end GPU but in 5 years that will change.

    Also I think you should go with Intel (4670K or 4770K) if you really want to future proof it.
    deanlaing12 likes this.
  3. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 127

    Ok, I am looking into PCI-E 3.0 but can't find any made by asus. At leat, there website might be broken, I don't know. Hard to imagine that they of all would not have any.

    I have no interest in paying more for something that will be useless for my intentions, but the 4770k does look awesome. Also, AMD processors and hardware will have the edge since the new generation of gaming consols use amd technology. So better compatibility etc... But I aint using it just for games :)
  4. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    No AMD motherboards have PCIe 3 if I am not mistaken (maybe 1 or 2 do, but I am not sure). Intel is definitely what you want for futureproofing. I recommend waiting for the next gen AMD cards also, which are coming out in September-October.
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    There is only one I can think of off the top of me head right here.

    Asus SaberTooth Gen3

    This is the only one I can think of, it supports PCI-E 3.0 and 4 way CFX/SLI.
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Actually a grand total of zero. The Asus SaberTooth uses a PLX PEX 8747 splitter to double the bandwidth the PCI-E 2.0 lanes to approximate the PCI-E 3.0 specification, but the PLX chip can't do anything about the changing the encoding from 8b/10b (2.0 spec) to 128b/130b (3.0 spec - pdf), and of course, as with P68/Z68/Z77/Z87 boards equipped with the same bridge chip, you're introducing latency into the system by routing through it. Anandtech has an article that includes information on how the bridge chip actually works.
    All LGA 1150 boards are PCI-E 3.0, as are Z77/H77/H75. The only caveat with the latter is that an Ivy Bridge CPU is required for PCI-E 3.0 operation since the PCI-E controller is part of the CPU. Sandy Bridge CPUs are PCI-E 2.0 so using a Z77/H77/H75 with them defaults the system to the 2.0 specification.

    As for the benefits of PCI-E 3.0 over 2.0...basically there are none for the desktop consumer. A PCI-E x16 slot is nowhere near saturated even at 1.0 specification (high bandwidth requirement more limited to within that card : GPU <--> video RAM, not GPU <--> CPU). There are many gaming comparisons between 2.0 and 3.0 specification. All tell the same story.
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Knew it! Thanks DBZ.
  9. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 127

    Thanks for your input guys!

    After doing some more research myself, I can confirm dividebyzero's comment. The only form of PCI-E 3.0 for AMD boards is the duel PCI-E 2.0 business which is not true PCI-E 3.0

    I will not buy Intel equipment due to the price. If AMD can make processors that are comparable and sell them at a fraction of the price, then I see no point. I can't and won't support Intel for there money grabbing ways. D=

    Well, the answer to my actual question is answered. I will buy a Sabertooth 990fx R2.0.

    The Sabertooth 990FX Gen 3 R2.0 was apparently a limited edition product which are not made no more. They can still be purchased for around £300~£500, but I believe that spending £130 now and another £130 in a good few years time will be cheaper with renewed warranties ect.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    I would say go for a crosshair if you can, I know your interested in the sabertooth, but I feel the Crosshair series gives you a nicer assortment of features then that of the sabertooth, but it is a little more.

    But however, the sabertooth boards are phenomenal, I have not tried an AMD variant, but the Intel Variants on a machine my friends own is pretty sweet.
  11. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I would say that PCIe 3 is not a big deal since most cards do not take advantage of the higher bandwidth, but since you want it for 5 years, that will change.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    So far, the only time a difference has really been reported (When I say that, I mean outside of the margin) was in SLI/CFX on Titans, 780s, and 7990's in high Multi-GPU setups. A single Titan is reported on many forums Like This as at mst 3 FPS difference for the time. As you said that will of course change over time, but at the point we are needs PCIE 3.0 (Which 2.0 is rarely saturated as it is), we will have significantly higher video cards and processors to be accustomed to the needs. Right now it just seems like more of a "Talking Point" than anything else.

    The Sabertooth Gen 3.0 With its extender improved the speed to 3.0 specifications, but you might at most notice a 1-2 FPS difference even at a 4 way CFX/SLI Setup.
  13. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    "If AMD can make processors that are comparable and sell them at a fraction of the price" - there are NO comparable AMD chips. The FX-8350 is their best enthusiast proc, which can't even come close to Intel's top mainstream consumer part (i7-4770K), much less their HEDT parts. "Fraction of the price" - 2/3 is a fraction, I guess. Indulge your reverse snobbery if you like, but AMD procs are slow, hot, and power hungry, and are plagued with BIOS issues and driver problems. Do more research and you'll begin to see a pattern...
  14. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    You might need to do some research before you make comments like that. The FX 8350 is a decent and powerful processor and is much cheaper than most of the Intel Components that are unlocked. The FX chip is only right below the i7 in overall performance, the only real area the FX chip gets beat is in straight single threaded performance, but once you start to use more than 4 threads, the i7 Quad core starts to slow down. That being said, the i7 is still better than the FX 8350 chip, but not by enough to validate a more than 100 dollar price gap in many people eyes. Also your comparing a new generation i7 4770k to a previous Generation FX chip.

    Also saying the FX-8350 is their best Enthusiast level chip AMD has to offer is also untrue, the best AMD has to offer at the moment is the FX-9590 Listed here. That chip is also unlocked and can be overclocked beyond its 5ghz Turbo speed (in case theres a comment regarding the price, I never said the price was a good deal, merely that this is the best AMD has to offer).

    I can go on, but that's not the point of this thread, he was asking a question about AMD motherboards, nothing more, nothing less.
    deanlaing12 likes this.
  15. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 127

    Well, when I installed my FX8350, it's core is as 4.3GHZ and I have done nothing to overclock it yet. :)
    I looked a a review and after overclocking the 8350 to 5GHz, it was very compatible to the 4770k.
    I done so much research before buying my stuff.

    To say AMD is riddled with problems in the bios etc is just you being a fanboy of intel. That statement is just outright not true.

    I will admit, I am a fanboy of AMD, because they are cheaper and I can get comparable, if not better performance for the price.

    1/3 is still a fraction, and that was me comparing the 4770k to the fx8350, both of which are currently outdated for price and specs. (that said though, the FX9590 is apparently just like an 8350, but overclocked, haha. They even Burn hot...

    The way I see it: 1X AMD core running at 6GHz is comparable to 1X Intel core running at 3GHz with Hyper-threading. Intel is much more efficient, but amd can throw a bigger punch. However, AMD are getting better at it.
    When it comes to games, the only game I am aware of that takes advantage of six of the eight cores is Battlefield 3. I am not sure how it would handle intel chips though.
  16. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    Sorry, guys. I may have over-reacted to the statement, and said some things that are debatable, because I do like Intel better, but only because for me, they do the job better. Right now most of what we do on a computer is still single threaded, so it makes sense to use the fastest single thread available. The multi-threaded apps are mostly audio, video, and photo conversion, but I spend less than 10% of my time doing conversion or rendering. The performance I get from my 3570k@4500 MHz with 2400 MHz RAM is amazing, and it cost $200 for the CPU and $65 for 2x4GB 2400 RAM. That's cheap to me - how much are you really saving by going with AMD? Yes, the $200 8350 will outperform it running a few multi-threaded bencmarks, but at a cost of 50% more power, heat, and fan noise. And running single threads it's noticeably slower, and less capable of high RAM speeds. I do admire AMD's business philosophy more so than Intel's, and hope that they'll soon beat Intel at their own game like they did in the past. As soon as they do, I'll consider buying one. No piece of money you save will cost you so much as the little bit you save buying inferior equipment and then having to live with it for the next few years. So if an Intel build costs 10% more, isn't it worth it in the long run?
  17. deanlaing12

    deanlaing12 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 127

    On the CPU alone, I saved £100 which paid for my h100i liquid cooling which means that now my cpu is running at an average of 6C idling and 20C under heavy load. The fans on the radiator are running slow and so there really is not much noise. All of a sudden, my cpu will last much longer than previously. Now I point you to this guy:
    . If you paid for this, then fair enough. Each to their own.
    Without overclocking, I am running at 4.3GHz per core, on eight cores. I can easily get this up to 5GHz, but I see no point since it is currently already, (According to review) better than the 3770k. If I push this to 5GHz, it is slightly less efficient than the 4770k. Then again, the reviews I watched compared it with games. Not really a good review.

    I have no doubt that inlet runs more efficiently, but there is no way I would pay for it.
  18. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Well heres the deal, while I agree with you in some regards on this matter there is a difference between an i7 3770k or 4770k when comparing to an FX 8 core chip. I own and FX 8350 which I have at 4.7 on all 8 Cores and love with a custom liquid loop cooling the GPU's and the CPU's. For a gaming rig/workstation/video editing machine, I cannot complain as it has done a phenomenal job and can render a video faster than my friends equivalent i7 machine. Now in terms of straight gaming when most games still only use up to 6 cores, the i5 or i7 can be better options as single threaded performance is a lot of times needed unless a game actually takes advantage of all 8 cores and uses them properly which is the issue.

    There are games which show the FX 8/9 series chips blowing the i7 out of the water, but there are many that show the exact opposite which can make the debate go on forever. The i7 is definitely a superior chip, but it costs more and because you working with 8 threads rather than 8 full cores, the chip starts to suffer when needing to use all of the threads while an FX chip can give the application 8 cores to work with.

    Just be careful with what you say or you will start an argument with the Intel fans on here, just a fair warning. Ive been already in like 10 arguments on similar subjects and I just don't want you getting into that same situation because there are some people who will stop at nothing to "Try" and prove you wrong on every ground.

    I hope you enjoy your FX chip, if you manage 5ghz stable, please share your results as im stuck and I have been unable to pass 4.7 so far stable.

    Oh for the record, I have seen in person one of those Gen 3 Sabertooth boards as one guy I know bought one of those with an FX 9370 recently and managed a 5.2ghz overclock on all 8 cores while running 3 7970ghz editions on it. Its actually a nice board and works pretty well for what its doing, I have not seen if he said anything about the PLX extender making it PCIE-3.0 making a difference in performance, but its a cool board, ill go ask him what he thinks this weekend because hes bringing it to a LAN party and see if he notices a difference.

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