I'm angry at how big conventions have gotten on the west coast. I spent a huge portion of my life on the west coast. Around that time, most of the conventions were small and nobody really cared about them. Take, for instance, Comic-Con. I used to live in San Diego and, at the time, the attendance was much lower, as it was still very niche. The main attendance was Trekkies, fantasy buffs, and comic nerds. I ended up moving away from San Diego in 1995. It wasn't until a few years later that it really took off, and then, in the 2000s, it exploded into a huge deal. Now we get movie sneak peaks, game showings, TV show announcements and panels, all kinds of cool stuff. It's huge and awesome.



While I don't have the means to attend every convention, I still get to see some cool stuff that was shown at some of them. There are some perks as a component reviewer that I enjoy. One is being able to see and test equipment before their release. The other is being able to test things that I might normally never have purchased. It gives a good perspective on the technology that is out there for a different demographic. Take, for instance, the AMD Llano lineup. As an enthusiast, I wouldn't really purchase something like that. I like extreme performance as I push my systems and game at maximum settings with multiple monitors. However, for a budget or mid-range user, I can see where it is very practical and can meet essential needs.


Sapphire has just released their venture into Llano with the Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 Motherboard. The Platinum A75 offers all of the premium niceties that can be found with AMD's Lynx platform. First, there is the top tier A75 Hudson-D3 FCH chipset. This has an FM1 socket for the latest Llano APU chips. There is support for up to 16GB of 800/1033/1333/1600/1866 MHz speed DDR3 memory. This chipset offers exceptional connectivity, as you get five SATA3 ports, one 16x PCI-E, two 1x PCI-E, one 4x PCI-E, two 32-bit PCI,  and four USB 3.0 ports. Because the APU is a CPU/GPU combination, for video connectivity, there is an HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort available. Sapphire used a Realtek ALC892 audio CODEC for 8-channel HD audio. There is a wired LAN using a Marvell 88E8059 Gigabit LAN. A few unique features to the Pure Platinum are the Bluetooth and MINI PCI-E slot.