Sapphire has been rollin’ ‘n’ tumblin’ around the hardware arena for over a decade and is one of ATi’s largest Solutions Provider. Mention the latest ATi graphics accelerator at a retailer today and chances are that you would be bombarded by a full-range of alien-endorsed, glossily-packed graphics accelerators from Sapphire. Such limelight did not come about out of sheer luck. Sapphire has been continuously developing new and innovative products to satisfy the enthusiast market.
The TOXIC X800 PRO VIVO is one such product. The customised Arctic Silencer heatsink made it an attractive package for casemodders and overclockers. The performance of the product at its time of production also made it a great choice for gamers around the globe.
The practical balance of form and fuction.
Rather than honking on their past success, Sapphire made another big bang in the market by producing motherboards with ATi’s chipsets. As Crossfire Multi-GPU Technology had gone gold last year, we have been seeing numerous AMD/ATi based Crossfire motherboards. Intel’s participation in multi-GPU was only realised this year when the i975 chipset appeared on the market with dual X16 PCIe slots for Crossfire.
What we have with us today is Sapphire’s PC-I7RD400 motherboard. It might be a little dated, but we took it as a chance to evaluate what Sapphire motherboards have to offer in terms of design and build.
|Chipset: ATI RADEON XPRESS 200 CrossFire ATI RD400 + SB450|
|Platform: Intel Pentium LGA775 (P4, Dual Core Northwood/Prescott @ 3.8GHz+)|
|FSB: 800/1066 MHz|
|Memory Bus: Dual Channel DDR400*4 (4GB max)|
|Slots: 2 PCIe x16, 2 PCIe x1, 3 PCI|
|Ports: USB 2.0 (4+4) / 2 IEEE1394 , SPDIF, FDD, Com via header, Parallel|
|4 SATA, SATA RAID 0/1 (4)|
|Audio: HD 8-channel Audio|