Sapphire Pure Black X58 Reviewccokeman -
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No, you read the title right! Sapphire has jumped into the Intel based motherboard market with its Pure Black PB-CI7S41X58 motherboard. As AMD's largest partner, the motherboard offerings out of Sapphire's doors in the past had been strictly AMD based. Now, we have not one but two Intel boards that have been released with this X58 board and a P67-based board coming for Intel's Sandybridge lineup. While the Socket 1366 X58 platform is starting to age, the platform is still the Intel top-of-the-food-chain. Sapphire has been building their own video cards and motherboards for some time now and you can see some of the component selection being employed here on this "Pure Black" offering. One thing that stood out were the Sapphire branded Diamond Black chokes seen on the Sapphire VaporX line of video cards. You get all the X58 based goodies with updates that include a Bluetooth module, SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 connectivity. If this board can can deliver performance and overclocking like the Sapphire high-end video cards then this board should prove itself to be a serious contender. Let's see how it measures up against some of the higher-end boards out right now.
The packaging on the board befits the name with the box being black with accents describing the features employed on the board. In the middle is a shield showing the "Black" branding and traces running away from the shield with the "Pure" designation up top. The feature list includes support for up to 24GB of system memory, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s and an eight channel audio solution. The back of the box expands on the feature set and lumps the features into the three bands of "Pure Speed", "Pure Features" and "Pure Reliability".
The internal packaging follows the "Black" theme and is entirely black inside and out. The bundle is on top with the motherboard underneath. Pretty much your standard packing solution for motherboards.
The bundle of accessories is pretty slim with this board but includes an I/O shield, IDE cable (yes, IDE is supported), a manual, driver disk and six SATA 6Gb/s cables that have locking ends. The manual is a bit light on information, but what it does have is given in a multitude of languages.
Now let's take a look at this offering from Sapphire and see if this board performs up to the level of the comparison field or if it does indeed blow them away.