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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Monday, May 24, 2004
Sapphire 9100IGP-AA38 motherboard

4. Page 4

Sapphire - Axion 9100 review - Page 4

All in all, the Saphire Axion RS300-AA38 is a product that targets a specific audience. Sapphire may not have a long history in motherboard manufacturing, but for a very long time it has been making graphics boards of good quality. As you can easily verify, there are a lot of better boards out there for the Pentium family of processors, feature and performance-wise. One driving factor to get the Saphire board is the price. Its retail price is in the range of 80-90 Euros, and no extra graphics card is necessary to set up a good and stable system. Yes, gaming will be almost out of the question, but I doubt any serious gamer would rely on an integrated graphics card to cover her needs for high 3D performance. If you’re looking for a motherboard to overclock your P4 like “no man has gone before”, this board is not for you, either.

Putting newest (and always rising in demands of processing power) games and hardcore overclockers aside, the graphics performance will be more than adequate to watch movies on your monitor or TV, run desktop applications, play games and so on.

This board could very easily power an office pc, and with all the extras that are offered on board, you won’t have to buy any other card in order to build a complete system. You could even get one of these boards and build around it your own custom built HTPC!

Should you decide to go for it bear in mind a couple of things: if you need features like SPDIF and IEEE1394 ports, purchase of the necessary brackets is necessary since they are not included. If you have more than 2 ATA devices, you will also need to buy an extra IDE cable, which we think should have been included and not left out. Also plan ahead what your memory needs will be and buy enough RAM, because with the shared memory that the integrated graphics card requires, you might be ending up with 128Mbytes less of memory available for your system.

Pros

  • Ideal for low cost solutions
  • Integrated DirectX8.1-compatible graphics card
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • No or little overclocking (only 15 more than FSB)
  • Cannot change Vcore or any other voltage
  • To get good 3D performance for newer games you need an extra graphics card
  • Retail package is a bit poor (no SPDIF out bracket, 1 IDE cable only, manual)
  • Shared memory between graphics card and system needs to be taken into account when buying RAM

Links

http://www.Sapphiretech.com

 

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