both great mobos.overclocking wisely, will produce roughly the same results. so hero is a better deal since it is cheaper. if you like the thermal armor thing, or for bragging rights go with the sabertooth!
I was in the same boat as you a few months ago. I went with the Maximus VI Hero. I love it. The Sabertooth is nice, but I really like my Hero. The added bonus is that ASUS spent a little extra time making sure the onboard sound is shielded from the rest of the digital noise sources on the motherboard. Seems to be something they do with the ROG boards. Actually its graduated to some of the mainstream boards in their Z97 series too.
What is the best tool ..... screwdriver, hammer or wrench ?
What is the best vehicle ...... 2 seater, sedan or SUV
The answer will greatly depend on what you want to do with it.
Both are great boards. The Sabertooth was a break out board and when it came out with the X58 and later P67 generation; it literally had no equal and shocked the market with it's high end MIL spec components; it's a great workstation and solid gaming platform tho lacking in common OC features related to OC'ing ..... the Hero is a more gaming oriented board, not quite up to the Sabertooth's component specs and warranty but better for gaming in many respects. The Hero however is way overpriced at $200.
So to answer ya question, between those two..... I'd lean Sabertooth for longevity and stability based upon the components and Hero if ya like to play in the BIOS a lot anxious to tweak that last little bit of performance.
However, if the logo on the MoBo is not that important to you, IMO the MSI GD-65 trumps both......by no means take my word for it.......read the reviews to see why, some of which are listed below
MSI has been using components that meet or exceed MIL-STD-810G for some time as part of its Military Class build philosophy. Parts such as Super Ferrite Chokes that run at up to 35 degree Celsius lower temperatures, have a 30% higher current handling capacity, and a 20% improvement in power efficiency; Tantalum filled Hi-C Caps that are are up to 93% efficient; and "Dark Capacitors" that feature Lower ESR and a ten-year lifespan all tied into a PCB with improved temperature and humidity protections as part of the "Military Essentials" package......In the end MSI's Z87-GD65 is a board that comes with an expansive feature set that includes all your basics and the extras that set them apart such as the V-Check points, upper end audio, Dual BIOS ROMs, KIller Network package, Military Class IV package, and a three-year warranty. Couple that with good looks that carry the dragon theme through the board, and you have a winning combination at $189.
Now and again a motherboard appears that is so obviously brilliant, and so affordable, that we wonder if anything will be able to top it. For a while that crown was held by the ASUS Sabertooth, both in X58 and then P67 variants. Then MSI stole the crown with the Z77 MPower. Looking at the Z87 GD65 Gaming we think it's going to take something extraordinary to top it, such is the perfect storm of price, performance, features and looks.
The switch to Military Class 4 has given us an extremely ready overclocker too. You're always thermally limited when overclocking and the i7-4770K is one of the most demanding around. Considering the amount of cooling we're using we think that although the GD65 is capable of bringing 5GHz from our i7-4770K you'd need a proper water loop to make the most of it.
Performance is outstanding. The stock results were a particular highlight. We know a lot of people still just like to put their CPU in and go, without overclocking it first. Despite how easy it is these days we know that the fear factor still exists. So you'll be glad to know that the MSI Z87 GD65 Gaming really rocks hard even at stock settings. Naturally the overclocking is blistering too, with some OC3D records broken.
MSI have laid the gauntlet down to all the other manufacturers. Gorgeous to look at, blistering performance and all at a very affordable price, the MSI Z87 GD65 Gaming is not only the new benchmark for Z87 motherboards, but probably for all motherboards.
It's not that I don't like the current Sabertooth ($250) and hero ($200), but for that kinda money......
I'd dig up another $40 over the Sabertooth and get the Maximus VI Formula the cost difference between it and the Sabertoothj disappears in this combo. This is a great board combining many beeifits of both with built in water cooling. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
If that's outta budget range.... the GD-65 matches feature for feature with the Hero, has the MIL Spec components of the Sabertooth and is a helluva lot cheaper than both. I agree with the reviewers in that this is easily the best board in the Z87 generation at this price segment .... it is "the perfect storm of price, performance, features and looks".
Maximus VI Hero is more OC oriented, it support higher memory OC up to 3000MHz, better onboard sound card and generally better support for OC mainly if you plun to push to higher OC.
Sabertooth should have thougher design, with backplate to prevent board to bend and enhance cooling. It got front TUF armor which should also allow better cooling of components on motherboard. Also it feature 5 year warranty in comparison with standard 3y on other motherboards. Also you got for example anti dust covers on all ports inner or outer. Max memory speed for this one is 1866 and even if it support OC it probably wont go as high as it could go on Hero.
Both motherboards have their own set of extra features, some are common for both some are exlusive / own version. For example sabertooth for thermal radar 2, while hero got Fan expert 2 to manage temperatures and fan speed.
Hero is more oriented towards gamers with high OC.
Sabertooth towards those who want thougher motherboard which should last for long time.
Btw give a look to new Z97 motherboards, they should get to shops around these days. There you can compare new Sabertooth Mark1 (more closer to current sabertooth), Mark 2 (+- same just got stripped of it's TUF armor and lack some extra features, but ofc cheaper) and new Hero VII.