Doing a comparison with Intel’s latest 6 series chipset on a quality motherboard shows us that this Motherboard has no deficiencies that can really be improved on by Sapphire. The 1333 memory speed can be a turnoff for some but there is really not much sacrificed in that 266 MHz. Yes a benchmark will show you the deficiencies but will they make a difference in the normal operation of this board?
In the end it comes down to what the manufacturer does to add value to the chipset and components that ride the buses. Did Sapphire do that? Yes I believe they did.
The Bluetooth was a good addition as is the MINI-PCIe slot. Could they have included a wireless N adapter in the MINI slot like some manufacturers? Yes but then what would you do with the wireless adapter if you wanted to us the slot for another device? The included Bluetooth is in its own little home and you still have the six open USB ports. This is not meant to knock the boards with the included n card it is to point out that there are more uses for an open slot.
Sapphire included RAID support on this board. Some manufacturers of this type of board neglect the RAID component, which is vital to the Videophile, who wants a clean appearance around his entertainment area and an external backup drive would ruin that.
The included x16 slot is nice but almost a moot point considering the IGP has as much or more power than many of the traditional single slot video cards that are used in the SFF PC segment. Again it is one thing that some boards do not have. The best thing about an x16 slot is the fact that any PCIe card will fit and work in it; but you can not put an x8 cars in an x4 slot though that is out of the ordinary for someone purchasing a boars such as this to need an enterprise drive or raid controller.
If I had to pick one thing that really annoyed me it would be the location of the front panel connectors.
This board is not a monster clocker, it is not a topped and top of the line and it wont take you to new heights with its design. So what is this board?
Sapphire has created a well rounded product that only has everything that some manufacturers forgot and Bluetooth to boot. Sapphire gets the