Sapphire Storms Mainboard Market with Two High-End Intel Offerings Page: 1

Well known graphics card manufacturer Sapphire today boosted its motherboard lineup with the introduction of its new high-end Intel based platforms. According to the official word from the company, both the new boards that are being introduced will be aimed mainly at the enthusiast crowd.

Named Sapphire Pure Black X58, the first board is a fully featured one that supports Intel Core i7 series processors. Sapphire has kept all the default features of the Intel X58 chipset and added many new ones of its own. Some of these include on-board USB 3.0, SATA III and SATA II ports, and as many as six slots for dual channel DDR3 memory. Sapphire has also loaded three Gen2 (x16/x8/x8) and one Gen1 (x4) PCI-e expansion slots. There is also 8-channel on-board audio for a full-fledged sound experience.

Keeping enthusiasts in mind, Sapphire has put in many features that let them tweak around with the performance of the board. Solid capacitors and patented Sapphire Diamond Black chokes with coolers make the board a highly stable one. The BIOS too has been given some additional functions for optimization of performance.

Additionally, there are the start, reset, and BIOS reset buttons for quick restoration to factory settings. A numeric LED status code indicator and a number of voltage and signal test points also make overclocking very easy and efficient. The manufacture will also be loading its own software overclocking tool TriXXX on to the motherboard for easy access to performance tuning and status monitoring functions.

The second motherboard, again a high-end one is the Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra and this board has been created for the new Sandy Bridge processors. Carrying most of the features of the X58 board, the P67 Hydra uses the Intel P67 chipset clubbed with a Lucid Hydra chip. The combination allows the board to offer multiple graphics configurations through its PCI-e slots. Sapphire has used high quality components in the Pure Black P67 Hydra too and has also thrown in many connectivity options and performance tuning features.

As of now both boards are in production mode. The company has held back on full specifications, pricing and availability though and all of these are likely to be announced shortly.

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