Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum Reviewtacohunter52 - October 13, 2011
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Llano processors probably won't be seen in a multitude of gaming computers, especially with the upcoming release of the new Intel chips, and the freshly released Bulldozer. However, from the performance we've seen offered by it, the chip can definitely hold its own. As with all socket types, the motherboard isn't really going to give a noticeable performance increase or decrease. If they did, the comparison charts would be slightly more interesting. So instead of buying a motherboard based on performance, it's best to purchase one based on its overclockability, features, and sometimes even its looks. After using the Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum I'm confident in saying that it doesn't fall short in the latter two of these categories. The one that I'm slightly concerned about is the board's ability to overclock.
It is fairly well known that the A8 3850 CPU's have a problem with their multiplier. This is, the user can increase the multiplier past 29 without actually increasing anything. However, CPUz as well as the motherboard will still report the increase. For this reason it can appear as though your CPU is hitting something insane, like 6GHz on air, when really it's still at the stock 2.9GHz. So for overclocking you must keep the multiplier at 29 or below and increase the BCLK. The overclock I achieved by doing this was ok, but I haven't used enough A75 motherboards to know what to expect. However, by looking around the internet, I'd say it's a fairly decent overclocker.
As for features the board may not have as much as we'd see on one of Intel's high end Z68 boards, but the Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum still has a decent amount. In the Expansion slot category, the board has two PCIe x 16 slots, two PCIe x 1 slots, one x4 slot, and my favorite a mini PCIe X 1 slots. I'm not entirely sure what someone would actually use it for, but I think that it's extremely cool that it found its way onto an ATX motherboard. The Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum is also equipped with three display port options. You can use a DVI port, a displayport, or an HDMI port. This was another feature that I thought was pretty cool.
Earlier I stated that we probably won't see a whole lot of gaming rigs using A75 motherboards or AMD Llano chips. I do, however, believe that we will see a large amount of HTPC/Multimedia rigs using this hardware. The Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum paired with an A8 3850 would be perfect for both of these types of setups. Not only that, but you could easily do some light gaming on this hardware as well. The Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum isn't currently being sold on Newegg, or any sites that I could find, but it should be priced similarly to other A75 boards. This would give it a price tag at around $100. Paired with an A8 3850 and some other mid range components you could easily have a great Multimedia rig/light gaming machine for around $400. To me, this makes all of this hardware worth it! Not only that, but for the cheap price of the Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum, you'll be picking up a great board with Dual BIOS, a good Layout, and a Mini PCIe X 1 slot!
- Mini PCIe