Asus has announced a new revision of its TUF Sabertooth Z97 motherboard, the Mark 2, boasting the industry's first fully-certified 10Gb/s USB 3.1 Gen 2 motherboard.
The reversible nature of the USB 3.1 Type C connector has rendered it popular for newer devices, but systems offering USB 3.1 connectivity at present typically use the Gen 1 standard which is limited to the same 5Gb/s performance as USB 3.0. Asus' latest motherboard, the TUF Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2, instead uses USB 3.1 Gen 2 - all the fun of Gen 1, but with the full 10Gb/s performance promised of the next-generation connectivity standard. Interestingly, however, Asus has opted to use a matched pair of the older Type A connector, backwards-compatible with older USB devices, rather than the reversible Type C connector.
These high-speed ports, driven by a dedicated ASMedia USB 3.1 controller, are joined by a pair of USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports driven by the Intel Z97 chipset itself, plus a further four USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports on internal headers. As expected, the chipset also provides support to drive two PCI Express 3.0 16-lane slots - which drop to eight-lane when used for dual graphics setups - along with one 16-lane-size four-lane PCI Express 2.0 slot and three PCIe single-lane slots. Four DIMM slots provide support for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory, there are six SATA 6Gb/s ports, a single Intel gigabit Ethernet port, and on-board Realtek ALC1150 eight-channel audio.
The new Sabertooth Z97 motherboard hits the market as the first USB 3.1 Gen 2 certified model. The board is available in the UK now, priced at £127.99, with more information available on the official product page