Sapphire serves up mini-ITX Sandy Bridge boards

Graphics card specialist Sapphire Technology is continuing its strategy of branching out into fresh markets with two new ITX boards aimed at the enthusiast.

The mini ITX motherboards support the second generation LGA1155 Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5/i7 family of processors from Intel and boats a number of features geared to optimizing performance.

The Pure Platinum H67 board sports two on-board USB 3.0 ports as well as four USB 2.0 ports, two SATA 6G ports and two SATA 3G ports, including AHCI and RAID support, Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth connectivity. Four video output options are provided – DVI, VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort - of which any pair can be used simultaneously. The rear panel has the standard I/O configuration for the on board HD 7.1 Audio as well as SPDIF out. Up to 8GB of memory is supported by two dual-channel DDR3 memory slots. The PCI-E Gen2 slot supports add-in graphics cards and the bundled Lucid Virtu software gives the user control over the use of on-board or add-in graphics without changing the physical connection to the monitor.

A mini PCI-E slot on the underside of the board allows the use of add-in cards to this new format such as Wireless networking or Flash memory.

For cheaper Pure Platinum H61 shares many of the features of the H67, with the exception of the SATA 6G ports and the AHCI, RAID and Virtu support.

Hardware monitoring tools and Sapphire's proprietary Mainboard TriXX software allow users to optimise performance of both these boards. Sapphire says both boards are in production now, and will available at as-yet unspecified prices in due course through the usual suspects.