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Sapphire Pure Black X58

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Posted January 31, 2011 by Jake in CPU & Motherboards

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by Jake
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Summary

The X58 has been around for quite some time now but it’s proven to have longevity. It is technically intel’s flagship platform, although the Socket 1155 P67 platform is proving to be a juggernaut. That takes a bit of shine off the X58 lineup, and Sapphire is definitely very late to the party here, leaving us a bit curious as to the rationale behind this motherboard’s launch.

Interestingly, since Sapphire essentially hired the core EVGA motherboard team, we have to wonder if this launch is an interim move by Sapphire to quickly jump into the Intel motherboard market and gain some exposure, work out a few bugs, and get ready for a run-up to future chipsets and sockets, particularly the successor the LGA1366 later this year. In that sense, the launch of Pure Black X58 makes absolutely good sense from both business and technical perspectives.

The Pure Black X58 is a good motherboard. It has gorgeous styling, plenty of features, excellent connectivity options, a smart design and layout, a rather strong BIOS out of the gate, and respectable overclocking prowess. But it is severely hampered by a lack of SLI support that can be found on cheaper X58 boards, and the power design is a bit weak for a board that’s being marketed as an overclocking-friendly product.

When viewed against several other LGA1366 boards we’ve tested, the Pure Black X58 behaves like a solid mid-range board, but it’s not priced as one. Scheduled to hit the shelves with a $300 price tag that represents a premium product, it’s in for a very tough fight against established heavyweights that feature SLI support and stronger power designs, several of which are cost considerably less.

Sapphire isn’t a big player in the motherboard market, but the Pure Black X58 may signal a change on the horizon. We really like this board and came away suitably impressed with their foray into the Intel premium market, but we just wish it came with a lower price tag. Overall, the Pure Black X58 is not without some drawbacks, but Sapphire has really hit the ground running here, and we hope this is a sign of more good things to come.

Sapphire Pure Black X58

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