Basic Features: Sapphire PURE Innovation

Sapphire PURE Innovation
CPU Interface Socket 939 Athlon 64
Chipset ATI RX480 Northbridge - ATI SB450 Southbridge
BUS Speeds 200 to 440MHz in 1MHz Increments
Memory Speeds DDR200, 266, 333, 366, 400 (433, 466, 500, 533 with Rev. E AMD)
PCIe Speeds 100-200
PCI/AGP Fixed at 33/66
Core Voltage Auto, 0.8V to 1.55V in 0.025V increments
PLUS .0V to 0.6V in 0.02V increments
(Maximum vCore 2.15V)
CPU Clock Multiplier 4x-25.5x in 0.5X increments
DRAM Voltage Auto, 2.5V to 4.0V in .05V increments
HyperTransport Frequency 1000MHz (1GHz)
HyperTransport Multiplier Auto, 1X to 5X
HyperTransport Voltage 1.22V, 1.29V, 1.39V, 1.5V
Xpress 200 Voltage 1.22V, 1.29V, 1.39V, 1.5V
PCIe 1.2 Voltage 1.22V, 1.29V, 1.39V, 1.5V
PCIe 1.8 Voltage 1.8V, 1.9V
Memory Slots Four 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 4GB Total
Expansion Slots 1 PCIe x16
2 PCIe x1
2 PCI Slots
Onboard SATA/RAID 4 SATA Drives by SB450 (RAID 0, 1, JBOD)
2 SATA II Drives by Sil 3132
Onboard IDE/IDE RAID Two Standard ATA133/100/66 (4 drives)
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 8 USB 2.0 ports supported by SB450
2 1394 Firewire by VIA VT6307
Onboard LAN Gigabit PCIe Ethernet by Marvel 88E8052
Onboard Audio Azalia HD Audio by Realtek ALC880
BIOS Revision Award (7/28/2005)

The DFI nForce4 Ultra and SLI boards have quickly developed a reputation for offering the enthusiast every imaginable BIOS option. We mention the DFI only to put in perspective that the Sapphire ATI offers 2 more memory adjustments not found on the DFI and even more controls to tweak the performance of the motherboard. It is clear that ATI has worked with some leading enthusiasts in refining the Crossfire AMD - it clearly shows in the depth and breath of available options. At the other end of the spectrum, the Sapphire ATI also offers automatic overclocking options in the BIOS for those uncomfortable with manual overclocking

What can you say about a range of CPU adjustments from 200 to 440 except that it is beyond expectation. The same can be said for vCore adjustments that extend to 2.15V.

vDIMM extends to 4.0V, matching the DFI nF4 boards as the widest vDIMM range available. This extremely wide adjustment range makes the Sapphire ATI ideal for driving OCZ VX or Mushkin Redline.

The Sapphire ATI also has memory adjustments to DDR400 with the 4000+ Clawhammer processor that we use for standard benchmarking. However, as soon as a Rev. E AMD processor is installed, options from 433 to 500 or 533 appear. The ability to run the processor at stock speed with memory at up to DDR500/533 opens new options for memory performance.

The incredible depth of memory controls available is perhaps best illustrated by the adjustments for vDIMM VTT. ATI says that certain memories perform best with VTT offsets, which is why the adjustment is there.

Sapphire has done an excellent job in their PURE Innovation of putting their money where their mouth is. We often hear companies talk about "targeting the enthusiast", only to deliver a luke-warm rehash with laughable options and overclocking performance. We have often said that calling a motherboard an enthusiast board does not make it so. It's a pleasure to see that this Sapphire ATI not only talks the talk in options - it also walks the walk, as any enthusiast will soon discover.

Sapphire PURE Innovation Overclocking: Sapphire PURE Innovation
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Avalon - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    This board sounds fantastic!
  • Hacp - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    Competative with similar Nforce4 boards(DFI LP) isn't enough. They need to beat the price by 5-10 dollars in order to regain the edge. I agree that the VTT options is awesome (for you BH-5 users), but in order to kill the current proven top Overclockers board, they need to be very competative with the DFI in terms of price.

    Also, I was wondering if they managed to fix the cold boot issue with these boards. If the cold boot issue is a non issue with these boards, and they are priced exactly the same as the DFI Lan Party boards, then it is a no brainer for BH-5/CH-5/UTT users as to which board to pick (unless they already are doing the 3.3 Rail Vdimm mod).

    Also, the 2nd page, He art in the first sentence needs to be fixed, and in the first page, it says AMD in the first paragraph when its supposed to say ATI.
  • afrost - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    I don't think so, a lot of people complain about problems with the DFI.....and it has a super loud fan on the chipset which is difficult to replace because the video card is right on top of it.

    I personally would never buy a DFI....different people obviously have different priorities

    If this board is rock solid stable like AT reported, then they will have a winner.
  • cryptonomicon - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    looks like a strong competitor, and here was a typo pg. 11
    "The Sapphire ATI chipset performs at least as fast as the best of nForcee4 chipset boards"
  • Mant - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    I think that was intentional. They're comparing the ATI to the "NForcee" by you can compare a Seiko watch to a BOLEX
  • RyanVM - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    In the first pic of the motherboard, it clearly has 8 SATA ports. However, the next page lists the specs with 6 SATA ports and the next picture seems to confirm that. Is there indeed an 8 SATA port version as well?
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    The pictures on page 4 were provided by Sapphire and are earlier prototypes. The actual production version we tested is pictured on page 5 and has 6 (not 8) SATA ports. We apologize for the confusion. There are indeed pads for 8 SATA ports on the production board, so there could be further developments.
  • ncage - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    What i like:
    Performance in general
    good audio quality (im wondering if it supports any of the eax extensions though which would be great if it did. Would elimante the need for a sound card.)

    What i don't like:
    bad USB2 performance. This would affect me big time. I have a pro consumer camera (8MP Olympus C-8080) and i usually transfer a bunch of images at a time from my camera to my computer so this is definitly a disapointment.

    I really like nvidia as a company. Their driver team has from the start been top notch. I think that is one of the things that led to their popularity. I generally have always gone with nvidia except in the 9800 pro days because you know why. I currently own a 6600gt which i love. Anyways the only thing that upset me that nvidia did was to take out soundstorm out of thier chipsets. I hope ATI bringing high end audio will force nvidia to reconsider. Nvidia knew that a lot of customers were asking for soundstorm back yet they still wouldn't put it back in. I just don't understand this.

    I hope thier are boards produced that don't have dual video card abilites because of price. I really don't want two video cards. I only occasional play games and im not going to spend 500-900 on two video cards. So we shall see how this plays out.
  • bob661 - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    The mobo manufacturers were griping about the price. Also, I believe the demand was too low. Yes I know lots of geeks liked it but we're a small percentage of the market.
  • BPB - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    "Today, we look more deeply at production version of the ATI Grouper that will be launched by Sapphire next week."
    So, when do we actually see these? If it's by end of Summer, great. If not, it may just be too late. I think most people who've waited for ATI to get this out have already gone to nVidia. I know my buddy has.

    Also, regarding Crossfire, can an AIW X800XT PCIe work with a plain old X800XT PICe?

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now