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

  • QueBert - Saturday, July 30, 2005 - link

    I like the white, but not a big fan of red. As for it being the "first white motherboard we've seen" There was a really sweet looking one by I believe, Epox. Platinum colored PCB with blue and gold on the board. The color scheme of this Sapphire is different, and different is good. I hate green/red PCB's.
  • beorntheold - Saturday, July 30, 2005 - link

    Under Gaming Performance:
    "... If you keep in mind that the orange bar represents the same NVIDIA 6800 Ultra used to test the other boards in this review, you can clearly see that the Sapphire ATI is at or near the top in most game tests..."
    There is either an error in the graph or in the text - because the orange bar clearly says
    nV 7800 GTX.
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, July 30, 2005 - link

    > This number is meaningless as far as hard disk performance is concerned as it is just the number of IO operations completed in a second.

    What exactly is meant here?
    Isn't more completed operations per second better?
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, July 30, 2005 - link

    I meant that the operations per second is meaningless as a SPECIFICATION of hard drive performance. Yes, more operations per second is better, but you will never see iPeak ops/sec quoted as a specification.
  • roel - Saturday, July 30, 2005 - link

    And what about support for linux?
    Will it boot? Will it be fast as well?
    I'd like to know.

  • kevykev - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    What is with the stupid fish names though? How ridiculous.
  • TheInvincibleMustard - Saturday, July 30, 2005 - link

    Actually, that was one of the first things to catch my eye ... Not the fish, but the jaguar, with the silkscreened logo looking almost exactly the same as the automobile company (Google Images if you're curious). The actual leaping cat is positioned slightly differently between the two, but the similarity is remarkable.

    If I had better image manipulation on this machine I'm at, I'd whip up a side-by-side comparison to better illustrate (hehe) my point.
  • shoRunner - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    All i can say is drool, this definately looks like a very promising board, if they can fix the issue with the USB transfer rates(even without a fix its will still be very competative, how often do most ppl transfer huge amounts of data over USB?). What i still want to see is one of these boards with the integrate graphics and a DVI port.
  • Stas - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    Just as I expected: nVidia is whooped. ATi + AMD = Performance
  • Zebo - Friday, July 29, 2005 - link

    Looks great Wes..cept for memory is to close together and not staggard and may present cooling problems between the the board looks like green snot, much prefer blacks, reds and blues.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now