The 990FX is an ATZ mainboard that sports the AMD 990FX and SB950 chipsets. Sapphire has put in four dual channel memory sockets, which support up to 16GB of DDR3. When the modules are available, Sapphire says, it will support up to 32GB. Four USB 3.0 ports – two at the back and two on the front panel, plus eight USB 2.0 ports at the back as well.
There are eight SATA 3GB ports which support AHCI and RAID just on the edge of the board, and one more SATA port on the back with an eSATA connector. As you might expect, the Pure Black 990FX has optical and SPDIF outputs on the back panel along with standard I/O configuration for on-board HD 7.1 audio.
On the board, there are six PCI-Express Gen2 slots for expansion, which lets users bung in either six single slot cards or three dual slot cards for high end graphics cards. There is a 4-pin Molex connector on the edge of the board for extra power when running multiple cards.
Sapphire is aiming the board at the hardware enthusiast market, so there’s stuff like a digital debug display, push button reset for the BIOS and start and system reset buttons. The company says it’s the first board that sports its SAPPHIRE.QBIOS, which is packed full of overclocking features. Along with that, the board ships with Sapphire’s Mainboard Trixx software to fiddle with system parameters and keep the CPU, memory and chipset ticking along.
The Pure Black 990FX has a dual BIOS and S_BIOS which lets users update and back up the kit from a BIOS screen, so you don’t need to boot from an external disk. There are even voltage test pads for serious hardware tinkerers.