Sapphire isn’t a new name when it comes to performance computer parts. Sapphire has been manufacturing AMD based graphics cards for a number of years already. Now Sapphire is making a move back to another segment of the enthusiast PC market, and they are poised to take it by storm. Which segment, you may ask? Well, Sapphire is now building enthusiast level motherboards. Today we have our first look at the first new motherboard put out by Sapphire since the days of the Pentium 4! With the recent release of the new Intel 6 series chipset, one may have expected Sapphire’s first board to support the new Sandy Bridge processors. Alas, Sapphire’s newest run of motherboards went a different route. They opted to build an Intel X58 chipset motherboard. For our first look at a Sapphire motherboard we will be taking a look at the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard! Intel X58 motherboards range in price anywhere from $145 all the way up to $579 for the most extreme boards. The Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard comes in at $219.99 after rebate, which makes it actually one of the more budget friendly boards on the market today.
The Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard will support all of the current Socket 1366 processors out there today. In order to supply the Intel Core i7 processor with enough juice, Sapphire uses an 8+2 power phase system. There are eight phases for the CPU and two for the CPU VTT (Uncore/L3 Cache/Integrated Controllers). We will take a closer look at the power circuitry when we start our tour of the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard.
The Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard brings Sapphire right into the deep end of enthusiast motherboards. There are quite a few features on the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard that I am looking forward to playing with. Unfortunately, there is one feature that the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard doesn’t support that could seriously hinder the WOW factor of the board. Multi GPU performance and support is a big feature for enthusiasts. The Sapphire Pure Black X58 does give us access to multi-GPU performance through CrossfireX. SLI capabilities however, aren’t available on the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard. There are rumors that Sapphire wasn’t able to get the NVIDIA SLI licensing from NVIDIA because of the fact that they are a premier partner with AMD for Radeon graphics. Like I said, those may just be rumors.
|CPU||Supports Intel LGA1366: Intel Core i7 Series processors|
|Chipset||Intel X58 Express Chipset + ICH10R Chipset|
|Audio||Realtek ALC892 HD Audio CODEC with 8-Channel|
|Ethernet LAN||Marvell 88E8057 PCI-Express Gigabit LAN|
|Rear Panel I / O||
|Internal I / O||
|Form Factor||ATX, Size 12″ x 9.6″|
|OS support||Windows Vista (32/64) bit
Windows 7 (32/64) bit
Now that we have satiated our appetites for the technical specifications of the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard, we can start peeking at the board and bundle. On the next page we will take a look at the retail packaging and bundle that accompanies the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard!