Sapphire P67 Pure Black Hydra Motherboard Review



Product: Sapphire P67 Pure Black Hydra Motherboard
Company: Sapphire
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: June 6th, 2011

Introduction

In the middle of last year, rumors flew that Sapphire Tech had acquired several members of EVGA's mainboard team. While never confirmed, no one can doubt that Sapphire is back in the mainboard markets with serious intent and serious products. Regardless of where they came from, Sapphire's mainboard team certainly shows talent and expertize for premium mainboard designs. Today Rage3D looks at Sapphire's latest offering: the Sapphire P67 Pure Black Hydra, featuring Intel's latest chipset and processor - the potent Cougar Point and Sandy Bridge combination.

Sapphire P67 Pure Black Hydra

Intel's second Generation Core i-Series processors launched at the beginning of 2011, to much fanfare and acclaim - but was quickly overshadowed by problems with the Cougar Point chipset. A flaw was discovered that would eventually lead to data loss, due to a failing SATA-2 port controller, leading to a stop-shipment-and-halt order from Intel. A new chipset revision was issued, denoted B3, and supplies picked up again after a few weeks and a $1Bn write down by Intel. All previous revision chipset based products were recalled and replaced at Intel's expense, so you shouldn't have to worry about getting a bad board.

Specifications

The Specifications of the Sapphire P67 Pure Black Hydra are:

  • Socket LGA1155 supporting second generation Core i-Series processors
  • Intel P67 'Cougar Point' Chipset
  • Four DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting upto DDR3-2133 (overclocked)
  • Twelve USB 2.0 Ports (8 at rear, 4 via header)
  • Two USB 3.0 Superspeed Ports (rear)
  • FireWire 1394 (rear panel + header)
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR built-in
  • Intel ICH10R featuring four SATA-2 (3 Gbit/s) and two SATA-3 (6 Gbit/s) ports (5 internal, 1 eSATA)
  • RAID 0/1/5/10 with Matrix support
  • Two SATA-3 (6 Gbit/s) ports via Marvell 88SE9128 controller with RAID 0/1 support
  • Onboard Gigabit Ethernet LAN (Marvell 88E8057)
  • Realtek ALC892 7.1 Audio supporting Blu-ray Protected Audio
  • ATX form factor (305mm x 245mm)
  • Four PCI-Express Graphics Slots (v2.0: x16, x8, x8; v1.1 x4)
  • Two PCI v2.3 32-bit 33MHz slots
  • AMI EFI dual BIOS
  • Dual 7-Segment LED POST debug display
  • Onboard Speaker, Power button, Reset button, and component diagnostic LEDs

Today's review looks at the P67 Pure Black Hydra's features and design, and gives us a first look at our updated test bed's Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz processor. Being too enthusiastic to rely on OEM cooling, we'll also get a sneak peek at Noctua's NH-C14, which we'll review indepth soon.