The snowbound Sabertooth lives

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Last month, we took the Sabertooth Z170 S into the snow for a photo shoot highlighting its digital artic camouflage finish. The board spent a couple hours posing in the powder at Whistler Mountain, and it ended up covered in snow. The white stuff got everywhere, including between the pins of the CPU socket and inside the expansion slots for CPU and memory. Naturally, some of you wondered whether the board would work afterward.

The timing didn’t work out to test the Sabertooth immediately after its wintery excursion. But the board did sit on my dining room table for a couple of days to dry out. When the snow melted and the resulting water evaporated, it went back into the box and onto my shelf.

Since this particular Sabertooth Z170 S is due back at our offices in Fremont, California this week, a quick once-over was in order. I took the board out, popped in a Core i5-6600K CPU, and then held my breath as I hit the power button. In an instant, the lights came on, the fans spun up, and the diagnostic LEDs showed the board progressing through the POST process. Before long, I was staring at the UEFI for a fully functional system:

While some may be surprised to see a working system powered by a motherboard that was once partially submerged in snow, this outcome was ultimately expected. Water is usually only detrimental to electronics when they’re powered on, but the Sabertooth was unplugged throughout its time in the snow and for days after the ordeal, while it was drying out. By the time the board was turned on, there was no moisture left to cause problems.

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