Sapphire Shows Off New Motherboards and Graphics Cards at Computex
Sapphire had quite a few new and upcoming products on display at Computex this year, although not all of its upcoming products where displayed at the show. Click through for some pictures of Sapphire's upcoming AMD motherboards and graphics cards as well as some details on what to expect in the near future.
First up we have Sapphire's Pure Black 990FX-N motherboard which is a standard ATX board with five 16 PCI Express slots and two x4 PCI Express slots. The x16 slots are configured with the top slot being a full x16 and the remaining ones as x8 thanks to the inclusion of an nForce 200 chip which helps boost the available lane count. The fourth slot down will also operate in x16 mode if none of the other x16 slots are populated. The two x4 slots are open ended and there's a clip to hold x16 cards if used with the slot.
The board also has eight SATA 6Gbps ports, as well as another SATA port just behind the I/O ports, a right angle USB 3.0 pin header at the front of the PCB, two headers for four USB 2.0 ports, a power, rest and clear CMOS button, a POST80 debug LED display, a manual BIOS switch and a rather unusual looking 8+2 phase PWM design using vertically mounted chokes.
Around the back there's a PS/2 port, eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Marvell powered Gigabit Ethernet ports, an eSATA port, a Bluetooth dongle and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. Not a bad show and feature wise one of the more impressive looking AMD 990FX boards so far. Sapphire has still to prove that they can compete with the big guys, but this looks like a move in the right direction.
The next motherboard we had a look at was the Pure Platinum A75 for AMD's upcoming socket FM1 processors. This board is clearly targeting the mainstream market with a single x16 PCI Express slot, two x1 PCI Express slots, two PCI slots and a couple of slightly unusual additions. First up Sapphire has added an open-ended x4 PCI Express slot and we were told that the position of the battery will be moved so that x16 cards can be used with the slot.
The second addition is a mini PCI Express slot, so something like a notebook type Wi-Fi card could be fitted to the board, although it won't work with mSATA SSDs. We were slightly disappointed at the four SATA 6Gbps ports, although there seems to be space for a fifth port that will hopefully be added. There are pin headers for two front USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. Finally we have a power, reset and clear CMOS button as well as a manual BIOS selection switch and a POST80 debug LED.
Around the back we have a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio, but oddly enough no S/PDIF out, a Bluetooth dongle and a DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI connector. It's refreshing to see a motherboard manufacturer that has decided to give up on the D-sub connector and hopefully this will become the norm in the future.