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Sapphire Pure Black X58 Review

ccokeman    -   January 27, 2011
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Conclusion:

I can honestly say I am surprised by what Sapphire has been able to do with an Intel motherboard. This surprise is based on some of the AMD boards in the past that did fine at stock speeds but lacked the overclocking credentials to make a lasting impression. That all changed with the Pure Black X58. Overclocking this board was really no harder than any other X58 board I have worked with. I was easily able to hit 4.3GHz on my Core i7 920 for some quick benchmarks and some screen shots with a bclock of 215MHz and a clock multiplier of 20 to hit the number. My chip usually has a hard limit of right around 212MHz for any kind of stability so in this respect the Pure Black X58 let me go a little higher than I previously had gone. However not all is right in Oz as the voltage adjustments in the BIOS were a bit coarse for my liking and the overclocking recovery required hitting the CMOS clear button in lieu of just a restart. Maybe I am spoiled but those areas will need some help to truly make this board great. Fixing the voltage adjustments should be a simple BIOS update I would think. The one other thing that is different from the rest of the X58 pack is a lack of SLI support. As you know, Sapphire is AMD's biggest AIB partner for graphics cards. I think this would have put them in a sticky position with AMD. While you can't run an NVIDIA multi-GPU setup on this board you can run a three way CrossfireX setup if you need to run a multi-GPU setup or want three monitor surround gaming. Even with what it does not have, it is still loaded up and is a high-end board with all the bells and whistles such as onboard power and reset switches, CMOS clear switch, voltage measuring points, Dual BIOS, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps, a Diagnostic LED that displays the CPU temperature, solid Japanese capacitors and Bluetooth connectivity. Its really got it all.

So you say the X58 chipset is getting long in the tooth after a few years? Well yes and no. It's still Intel's premier platform and you have technologies being released that consumers want but can't find on other platforms. So, the release of this board is not late to the market but just right with the offered feature set. It looks as though Sapphire has improved their motherboards and have chosen Intel's top platform to show off their manufacture and design capabilities. Add in the P67 board they have produced and the mini ITX Fusion APU boards getting ready to explode onto the market and Sapphire has set themselves in a solid position in the motherboard business. The Sapphire Pure Black X58 delivers great performance with the latest feature set and would be a great option for consideration with your socket 1366 Intel based build.

 

Pros:

  • Great overclocking
  • Good looks
  • Solid performance
  • Has the latest technologies
  • Bluetooth
  • Dual BIOS
  • Voltage measuring points

 

Cons:

  • No SLI support
  • Coarse voltage adjustments
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