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Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT Motherboard Review

Rating: 9.0.

AMD released their A10 5800K at the beginning of October and we analysed the processor when paired up with Asus F2A85-V Pro and Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 motherboards. Sapphire recently sent us their PURE Platinum A85XT motherboard which incorporates a dual BIOS switch, onboard mSATA slot, 2 way Crossfire support and seven SATA 6 GB/s ports. On paper it ticks the right boxes, but can Sapphire offer a serious challenge to market leaders Gigabyte and ASUS?

We have reviewed almost all of Sapphire's motherboards in the last 2 years and there is no doubting their high grade engineering standards. If we had a single issue with the products however it would be their BIOS development, which at times has been flaky, especially when dealing with the fastest DDR3 memory.

First let us have a quick recap of the AMD A10 5800K processor. The A10 5800K is a 32nm CoC with four Piledriver cores and a Cayman GPU.

This is no Bulldozer style core however, the focus is on getting power consumption under control and AMD have placed focus on the VLIW4 architecture to improve graphics efficiency. AMD don’t want these new chips to be excessively priced either – the AMD A10 5800K should ship in the UK at a price around £94.99 inc vat.

The differences between Trinity and Llano are also significant.

AMD have created a new architecture with a higher transistor density to improve overall performance. The onboard 32nm HD7660D graphics runs at 427mhz core and 1066mhz memory. The 512MB of GDDR3 is connected via a 128bit memory interface.

The HD7660D has 8 ROPS and 384 Unified shaders.

An AMD diagram overview of the current APU range. The A10-5800K slots in right at the top of the chart, with 4MB of cache, a base clock speed of 3.8ghz and a turbo speed up to 4.2ghz. The maximum DDR3 supported is said to be 1,866mhz but as we will find out later, with the right motherboard this is ready to be broken. The ‘K’ moniker, as always, is an indication that this chip is unlocked, ideal for the overclockers out there.

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