SAPPHIRE Technology, best known as a manufacturer and global supplier of graphics solutions has just announced plans to seriously address the motherboard market with the introduction of high end Intel platforms. SAPPHIRE has just released information that for the first time it will introduce Intel based mainboards in the high-end sector. Designed to appeal to the enthusiast, the first product will be a fully featured X58 board, to be known as the SAPPHIRE Pure Black X58, supporting the Intel core i7 series of processors. In addition to the established and highly regarded X58 chipset, the board incorporates many state of the art features such as on-board USB3.0, SATA 6 Gb/s ports in addition to SATA 3 Gb/s, six DDR3 memory slots, 3 Gen2 (x16/x8/x8) and one Gen1 (x4) PCI-Express expansion slots as well as a host of peripheral connections and on-board 8-channel audio. Many enthusiasts are keen to performance tune this class of board and CPU, and the SAPPHIRE Pure Black X58 has many features to support ‘overclocking’. The power sections are highly stable, featuring the same type of solid capacitors and the patented SAPPHIRE Diamond Black chokes with coolers that have featured on some of SAPPHIRE’s high end graphics cards. Additional options are provided in the BIOS to help optimize settings, and start, reset and BIOS reset buttons are provided as well as a number of signal and voltage test points on the board in addition to a numeric LED status code indicator. A version of TriXX – SAPPHIRE’s software overclocking tool – will give easy access to performance tuning and status monitoring. The second Intel based board from SAPPHIRE will support the new range of SandyBridge processors from Intel. To be known as the SAPPHIRE Pure Black P67 Hydra, the new board shares many of the features of the X58 model, but in addition to the Intel P67 chipset it uses the Lucid Hydra chip to allow a mix of graphics configurations to be used in its PCI-Express slots. It again incorporates high quality components, extensive I/O and peripheral support and a number of performance tuning features. Both boards are completed and in production.