Having chatted with Sapphire back at CeBIT a couple of weeks ago, we knew the company is planning on taking a slightly different direction for its future motherboard products and the Pure Platinum A55V looks like it's a step in that direction. What we're looking at is a fairly basic motherboard for AMD's APUs, without being a feature stripped board like what many of Sapphire's competitors are offering when it comes to the A55 chipset.

Having chatted with Sapphire back at CeBIT a couple of weeks ago, we knew the company is planning on taking a slightly different direction for its future motherboard products and the Pure Platinum A55V looks like it's a step in that direction. What we're looking at is a fairly basic motherboard for AMD's APUs, without being a feature stripped board like what many of Sapphire's competitors are offering when it comes to the A55 chipset.

The slot layout is fairly basic with a single x16 PCI Express slot, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots, but as AMD's APUs don't support more than one discrete graphics card, this is unlikely to be an issue for those considering this motherboard. The standard six SATA 3Gbps ports are all present and it's the only area where Sapphire hasn't added anything in terms of functionality.

We're quite surprised to see features like dual BIOS, a POST80 debug LED, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons on a board at this price point. One feature we can't quite figure out is the inclusion of a front USB 3.0 pin header, yet we can only locate one USB 3.0 host controller and it appears to be connected to the rear USB 3.0 ports and the board isn't sharing the same PCB as one of Sapphire's other models.

The rear I/O isn't overwhelming, but it's got enough ports for your average user with a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1-channel audio and a D-sub, DVI and HDMI port. Overall not bad for what should be a fairly affordable board and if Sapphire's new strategy is one of offering more affordable motherboards with an improved feature set, this isn't a bad first step in that direction.

Source: Sapphire