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Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Review


Closer Look:

Sapphire has adopted a kind of hybrid UEFI BIOS called QBIOS. There is nothing about navigating it in the quick start guide, but fortunately it is rather intuitive.


The main section of the QBIOS is where you will find the BIOS version information, total system memory, and access level status. You can see at the bottom of the screen there are three sections that monitor frequencies, voltages, and system temperatures. These windows are at the bottom of all the BIOS tabs and update every two seconds. The changes made do not appear here until after a change is made and the system is restarted.












The performance tab is where the majority of overclocking settings are made. From here you can set and control the CPU frequency, memory dividers and timings, and the system voltages.




The advanced section of QBIOS is where you will find PCI subsystem settings, ACPI settings, CPU configuration as well as the IDE and USB configurations. The HW monitor tab will give you real time temperature and voltage readings and the thermal settings limit. In this section you will also find the power saving schemes and the ability to enable or disable them. You can also enable or disable one core per module.



The chipset tab provides information and control over the Northbridge and Southbridge settings. Included in the Northbridge settings are memory bank interleaving, channel interleaving, and memory hole mapping. In the Southbridge settings you have the controls for different SATA modes.



Under the Boot tab you have all of the settings for the type of boot devices, number of them, and the order and priority. You can also enable Fast Boot, which skips some of the POST checks for a faster boot provided your computer has no hardware conflicts such as memory problems or incompatibilities.



Security is simply where you set the administrator and user passwords, if you wish to have one.



The Exit tab allows you to make or discard changes before leaving the BIOS to boot. Here you can restore defaults, use optimized defaults, or save your overclocked changes.


I like the updated look of the QBIOS from Sapphire. It can feel a bit clunky at times and the voltages set in the BIOS don't always show up correctly or are off quite a bit at times, but it is mostly intuitive and gives you plenty of control for an overclocking environment. On the next page have a look at the specifications and then we'll load it up and put the screws to it.

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Sapphire Pure Black 990FX
  3. Closer Look: The BIOS
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. Testing: PCMark 7
  7. Testing: HD Tune, AIDA 64
  8. Testing: Sisoft Sandra, x.264, Handbrake
  9. Testing: ATTO USB 3.0 Testing
  10. Testing: Gaming
  11. Conclusion
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