Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra
Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 6 May 2011. Page 3 of 5. 3 Comments

BIOS:

To some dismay, this board is using an older AMI BIOS instead of a new UEFI implementation like those found on many other Sandy Bridge motherboards from Sapphire's competitors.

Linux Testing:

Sapphire does offer "TriXX" software for overclocking, sensor monitoring, etc under Microsoft Windows. Of course, just like all of the other tier-one motherboard vendors, they offer no Linux support. However, like other Sandy Bridge P67 motherboards, the Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra works fine under Linux anyhow. The main exception on this board is that there is no Lucid Hydra support under Linux. Due to this, the Hydra chipset is inoperable for the near future, but the PCI Express ports will function fine regardless.

Intel Sandy Bridge motherboards are generally well supported under modern Linux distributions with the main issue just being the Sandy Bridge graphics when using a slightly older distribution (e.g. Ubuntu 10.10) where there is not the necessary packages to support graphics acceleration. Even in Ubuntu 11.04 the packages could be newer to provide a faster and more stable Sandy Bridge graphics experience, but in the case of P67 motherboards, there isn't anything to worry about.

For the Sapphire P67 testing an Intel Core i5 2500K CPU was used with 2GB of DDR3, 250GB Seagate SATA HDD, and ATI Radeon HD 4830 graphics. Ubuntu 10.10 x86_64 was the Linux distribution of choice but the Linux kernel was upgraded to the latest Linux 2.6.39 development snapshot from mid-March. The stock GCC 4.4.5, EXT4 file-system, and other components were used. The performance of this motherboard was compared to the ECS P67H2-A2, ASRock P67 Pro3, and a reference Intel Bearup Lake motherboard.

In terms of overclocking on the Sapphire P67 Pure Black, we hit a 4.5GHz overclock on the Core i5 2500K. That was with ease and if focusing more on overclocking and after-market cooling, there is likely headroom to go further, but overclocking is not our focus at Phoronix.

The Linux benchmarking was done by the Phoronix Test Suite and on the following pages are a few of the tests for reference. There are also many more benchmarks of the Sapphire P67 on OpenBenchmarking.org since we have used this motherboard already for many different Linux test articles.


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