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Sapphire Pure Black X58 Review

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Testing the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard will consist of running it at a 3.0GHz baseline clock speed to get an idea how it performs in as-delivered trim and then it will be overclocked to see if putting the screws to my well worn DO stepping 920 will result in a higher clock speed than some of its contemporaries. To keep the results consistent and have a measure of repeatability, Intel's power savings and performance enhancing technologies will be disabled in the BIOS. The video card control panel settings will be left at the factory default settings with the exception of disabling PhysX for the 3DMark Vantage testing. I will be using a fresh install of Win 7 Pro 64 bit that is fully updated and with all games using the latest patches.


Testing Setup:


Comparison Motherboards:



Overclocked Settings:

  • CPU Overclock: 210 x 20 = 4200Mhz

Overclocking the Sapphire Pure Black X58 initially was met with a lot of failed boot attempts until I figured that the voltages needed were a bit different from the values I've needed in the past. Not so much different but one in particular that I had never really needed to adjust before was the IOH/ICH I/O voltage. This voltage helped bring stability to my overclock at 210 x 20. The board could boot up to a bclock of 218Mhz and make it into windows at 214Mhz but good long-term stability was only reached at a bclock of 210. This of course done using air cooling. I used a combination of CPU vcore, CPU vtt, IOH/ICH I/O voltage and DRAM voltage to increase the speed of the processor ultimately giving me a 4.2GHz stable OC. The one thing that seems to be missing is a way out of a failed overclock without using the clear CMOS switch on the board. With ASUS you have just a shut down and restart, MSI has three failed post attempts and the Intel board uses the Back to BIOS switch. Putting a clear CMOS switch on the I/O panel would be a good start at least. Sapphire includes their own TRIXX overclocking utility on the driver disk that allows you to overclock from inside the windows environment. The utility is indeed functional and includes both a section to manipulate the voltages and clock speeds of the CPU with a monitoring section to check the temperatures, fan speeds and voltages real time. If you close out of the main window you still have a small configurable widget in the top right corner of the screen to monitor the fan speeds and the CPU and VRM temperatures.



Maximum Clock Speeds:

Each CPU has been tested for its maximum stable clock speeds using Prime95. To gauge the maximum stability level, each processor had to be able to perform at least a one hour torture test without any errors.




  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench
  4. Office 2007
  5. POV Ray 3.7
  6. PCMark Vantage Professional
  7. Sandra XII
  8. ScienceMark 2.02
  9. Cinebench 10
  10. Cinebench 11.5
  11. HD Tune 3.50
  • Video:
  1. Far Cry 2
  2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  3. Batman Arkham Asylum
  4. 3DMark 06 Professional
  5. 3DMark Vantage

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