It has been interesting to watch Sapphires boards evolve over the last year or so as they began to target the likes of ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI who have been producing enthusiast based boards for some time now. The evolution has been very fast and with each board a leap forward has been made in terms of quality and features.
In the case of the Pure Black 990FX we have a board which has a good level of build quality thanks to the solid capacitors, diamond chokes, 8Phase PWM and Dual BIOS. Sapphire further enhance the design by providing on-board buttons for power, reset and clear CMOS and ensure that enthusiasts are catered for with the inclusion of voltage test points and additional power connectors.
Elsewhere on the board we have a large selection of SATA3 ports, the option to connect four USB 3.0 devices and the latest AMD CPUs are all supported. It is also great to see that Sapphire have fully embraced the performance BIOS concept, providing a GUI as well as BIOS update tool which brings them into line with other manufacturers.
Performance was also good on the Pure Black 990FX which offered CPU results which were in line with other high end products based on the same architecture. A better USB 3.0 controller would marginally benefit the board but it does excel on SATA performance and PCIe speeds are also good. Gaming performance will also be a highlight for those who use multiple GPUs though it is a disappointment that the board (understandably) doesn’t support SLI.
This of course doesn’t affect productivity performance where the board excels, especially when combined with the 6450 FleX edition. For those who are looking for a system that will power through content creation tasks the combination of AMD CPU, GPU and Pure Black 990FX is very much worth considering. Especially when we can power three screens from this single, low profile card on a budget price.
At the time of writing we do not have pricing for either product however we will update the article as this becomes available.
Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Motherboard
Sapphire Radeon HD 6450 FleX Edition Graphics Card