- CPU: Intel Core i5 760
- GPU: Zotac GTX 560 Ti
- Memory: 4GB Generic 1600MHZ DDR3
- Storage: Samsung 1000GB HD103SJ
- PSU: Xigmatek 550w NRP-VC503
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Benchmarking a motherboard doesn’t have much of a purpose as they don’t tend to impact performance. It’s a bit like testing a case, in reality, the feature set is more useful to have a good run down of. Still, we wouldn’t be a proper review site without a few benchmarks so of course a few were run. They included Cinebench, the CPC test suite, AIDA64, Sisoft Sandra and STALKER Clear Sky.
This board actually did pretty well as far as overclocking goes. I was able to increase the BLK frequency to 104.7, and with a turbo multiplier jump to 45 I was able to hit 4.7GHZ. This required a Core voltage of 1.47V, PCH bumped to 1.2V, VTT at 1.2V, VSA to 1.1V. I have a feeling that this could go a little further, but with the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Rev 2.0 I was hitting idle temperatures of 60 degrees C and it was into the 80s during load so I didn’t want to push it. With better cooling you could go further still I think.
I did have a couple of issues with the Sapphire board that are worth bringing up. They’re not major but they do need noting.
1: I can’t find any references to what the diagnostic LED codes mean, anywhere. Not on Sapphire’s site, in the manual or through any general Googling. Hopefully I’m just being an idiot and one of you can link me to it but it shouldn’t be this hard to find.
2: This board needs Hydra drivers. If you buy it, don’t forget it. I spent a couple hours wondering why I couldn’t get the Zotac 560 TI to work, turns out I’d forgotten to install the Hydra drivers. This of course isn’t a problem if you use the bundled CD, but being the enthusiast that I am I of course got the latest ones from the manufacturer’s websites.
However, there’s still some problems even if you do install them. The latest Hydra drivers from their website are from March, supporting officially nVidia 266.58. While the latest few WHQL drivers do work, they’re not perfect. I’ve had 3Dmark crashes and similar.