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| Author: MAC |
Date: March 8, 2011
Product Name: Sapphire Pure Black X58
Part Number: PB-CI7S41X58
Warranty: 2 Years
Sapphire Pure Black X58 LGA1366 Motherboard Review
What we have here today is Sapphire’s first new entry into the Intel motherboard market since the Pentium 4 days, the Pure Black X58. Now some of you might be asking why the brand most closely linked to all things AMD/ATI has decided to re-enter this ultra-competitive sector. Well if the rumors are to be believed, sometime last year Sapphire managed to lure over EVGA’s motherboard development team. With not much activity on the AMD chipset side, and the engineers responsible for the highly successful Classified series on their payroll, Sapphire’s next step was obvious: make new Intel motherboards.
With the release of Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform, the venerable Core i7-900 series processors and X58 chipset have been slightly pushed into the shadows. However, with the recent Cougar Point ICH chipset fiasco, some posited that a protracted absence of Sandy Bridge parts might have the effect of dragging the tried and true LGA1366 platform back into the limelight. From our point-of-view, this hasn’t really been the case, but the LGA1366 can still stake its claim as the flagship platform due to its support for the six-core/twelve-thread Gulftown processors and 32 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes.
The Pure Black X58 model that we are reviewing today is a fairly ambitious first attempt, since it is definitely aimed at the upper-end of the spectrum with its $270-280 price tag. Sapphire has outfitted this motherboard with two SATA 6GB/s ports, five SATA 3GB/s ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, a eSATA port, an onboard Bluetooth receiver, basically the works when it comes to connectivity. There are also cool enthusiast-friendly features like voltage read points, onboard power and reset buttons, and a debug LED display. Expansion slot wise there are an impressive four mechanical PCI-E x16 slots, but don’t get too excited, since there a few huge caveats when it comes to the Pure Black X58’s graphics capabilities. Read on...