Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review :: Pure CrossFire Board

04-21-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Sapphire PC-A9RD580Adv Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberPC-A9RD580Adv
ManufacturerSapphire
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetATI RD580 SB450
North BridgeATI RD580 AMD
SocketSocket 939
Processor TypesAthlon 64X2, Athlon 64FX, Athlon 64
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1GHz HyperTransport Bus Link
Memory TypeProcessor Dependent
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory4GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeATI SB450
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA1.5 GB/s
RAID0, 1
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireIEEE 1394a
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
BIOSAWARD
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

Sapphire decided to use the new RD580 chipset for their PC-A9RD580 motherboard. The RD580 support every AMD Socket 939 CPU available including the FX-60 and the 4800+ Dual Core CPUs. One thing to keep in mind about motherboards today is AMD is going to release their new M2 platform in the next few months, meaning the Socket 939 CPUs will likely be phased into the mainstream like the Socket 754 is today.


Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots


There are four 184-pin DIMM slots on the board. DIMM stands for Dual In-line Memory Modules. DDR2 support for the AMD platform will have to wait for M2 to reach the market. Sapphire color-coded the memory modules so two like memory sticks installed in same-colored DIMM slots will give you dual-channel mode.


Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review other SATA ports

other SATA ports

Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review IDE port+Floppy port

IDE port+Floppy port


Drive expansion on the board consists of 8 SATA ports, a IDE connector and a Floppy Drive connector. The 8 SATA ports are controlled by the SB450 South Bridge (4) and two Silicon Image 3132 controllers (The other 4). The inclusion of 8 SATA ports, is excellent, but forces the board to only have two expansion slots above the two X16 slots.


Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review PCI Express locks

PCI Express locks

Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review PCI Express x1 slot

PCI Express x1 slot

Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review PCI Express x16 slots

PCI Express x16 slots


Expansion on the board is dominated by the two PCI Express X16 slots for Crossfire mode. The ATI Xpress 3200 chipset provides two X16 slots. When operating in Crossfire mode, the two PCI Express slots both operate in X16 mode. One interesting thing about this board was the clearance between the PCI express slots in. The area is totally clear, no extra PCI or PCI Express slots sin the middle. This gives a wide clearance for installation of a second ATI card, but limits expansion options in a major way. The board has a single PCI Express x1 slot and a single PCI slot.


Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review Via chip

Via chip

Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review ITE chip

ITE chip


Onboard audio on the board is provided by a Realtek ALC880 CODEC. This CODEC supports the HDA (High Definition Audio) standard, and supports the popular audio APIs including A3D 1.0, EAX 1.0, 2.0. HDA hardware is capable of 8 channels at 192 KHz/32-bit quality versus AC'97's standards of 6 channels at 48 kHz/20-bit color.


Sapphire Pure CrossFire Motherboard Review I/O

I/O


Input and output ports on the board are different than most motherboards. First thing you'll notice is the lack of a Parallel port. Most printers today come with a USB connection, meaning this omission is understandable. Also present are a PS/2 Mouse, a PS/2 Keyboard port, and 6 audio jacks for the onboard audio, 4 USB 2.0 ports a RJ45 jack for the LAN and a Firewire port.