I really like Sapphire as a company, they create some of the best video cards on the market and over the last 12 months we've seen them expand into different segments to try and increase the brand around the world.
The company's entry into the motherboard market hasn't been a smooth one, even though, it started off well with the PURE Black X58. Following the X58 we saw the PURE Platinum P67 Hydra miss the mark. The release of the new AMD A75 chipset and the Sapphire PURE Platinum A75 saw the company again shine in the motherboard market. The shine was quickly taken off as the delayed Intel Z68 offering of the Sapphire PURE Platinum Z68 again lagged behind its competitors. From a pure statistics standpoint with the on again off again relationship we've had with Sapphire motherboards, the new PURE Black X79N based on the new Intel X79 chipset which we are looking at today should be on the mark.
Before we find out just how performance on the board goes, though, we need to first take the time to check out the package that Sapphire are offering us here. From there we'll take the time to have a closer look at the motherboard itself to see how the design of it all is. After that it's time to get into the BIOS, an area that Sapphire has been a bit weak in since launch. With the move over to UEFI for the X79, we hope that Sapphire has been able to do something here that moves its BIOS in a positive direction. Once we've done all that, though, it's time to really get down and dirty with the BIOS to see what kind of overclocking potential the new board has before we of course check out the performance of it.
Looking at the box design it follows the same Black / Silver setup we've seen on all the Sapphire motherboards before. It's a pretty nice setup and across the bottom of the box we've got some of the main features that are on offer. Looking at the back we can see a picture of the board along with a bit of an expansion of some of the main features explaining exactly what they do for us.
Moving inside the box we've got a fairly standard bundle which includes some paperwork, driver CD, eight SATA cables and rear I/O panel.
Along with that we've also got a dual port USB 3.0 header that can be installed in the front of your case or the rear via the included back panel.