Product: Sapphire Pure Black X58 / Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
Company: Sapphire
Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: February 16th, 2011
Sapphire Pure Black X58 Motherboard and Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Review

Today we're looking at Sapphire's entry into the Intel X58 chipset mainboard market - 'Pure Black' - released just as Intel tried to release their new Cougar Point platform for Sandy Bridge processors. Released in late 2008, Tylersburg chipsets (the codename for X58) have been around longer than USB 3 and SATA 3, and represent Intel's first point-to-point system interconnect architecture. Sapphire recently raised their profile in the mainboard business, showing off P68, X58 and AMD Fusion APU designs at CES 2011 in January.

Pure Black X58
Pure Black X58

The X58 Tylersburg chipset is feature rich and premium priced, offering Nehalem family Bloomfield and Westmere family Gulftown processor support. The X58 chipset is also Intel's workstation and entry level server platform, offering up to two-CPU socket support for Xeon Nehalem and Westmere family processors. Tylersburg represents a large change in system design for Intel, and isn't due for replacement until the new Sandy Bridge EN and EP suffix processors using socket LGA 1356/2011 and the Romley platform appear at the end of 2011.

Sapphire's Pure Black X58 offers several feature updates and expansions to the now aging X58 platform, including SATA 3 6gbps and USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports.

Pure Black X58
Pure Black X58


  • $299USD SEP

  • Intel Socket LGA 1366

  • ATX Form Factor

  • Intel X58 + ICH10R Chipset with Six SATA-2 Ports + RAID 0/1/5/10 + eSATA

  • Six DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 24GB

  • Marvell 88SE9128 Host Controller AHCI/RAID 2x SATA-3 Ports + IDE Dual-Channel Controller

  • 8 Rear USB 2.0 ports + Internal 2 Port Header

  • 2 Rear USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports

  • Integrated Bluetooth 2.1+EDR

  • 1 Rear Firewire 400 + Internal Header

  • Realtek ALC892 7.1 HD Audio w/ S/PDIF Optical + Coaxial Output

  • Marvell 88E8057 Gigabit Ethernet port

  • Five 3-pin Fan Headers + CPU 4-pin PWM header

  • Four PCI-Express Graphics slots (Three PCI-E Gen 2.0, One PCI-E Gen 1.1)

  • AMD CrossFireX Support

  • Single PCI 2.3 32-bit expansion slot

Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme

Our evaluation of the Sapphire Pure Black X58 gives us the opportunity to take Tuniq's 120 Extreme tower for a spin, a black monolith of fins and heatpipes, against the stock Intel heatsink & fan.   

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