With computing becoming more and more centralized, information about many topics can be found on the internet. This includes computers and its accessories. Before retailers like Newegg, there were places where you would go into just to purchase computer parts to build. This was more or less ten years ago and now you don't even need to leave your house to research and purchase a set of components. Previously, if you wanted to get into computer building, you would need to know a few things about them, but now, with the internet as a tool, many more have become more educated, including myself, about how computers work. This has made it much easier to learn and the amount of information that is out there is almost endless.
Computers have advanced more so at the software end than anything, with more creative solutions by the day. Hardware has also come a long way, as we see different classes of the main components of a computer: motherboard, processor, GPU, RAM and the hard drive. Each of those components have their own subset of classes of features and price range. For people who are just starting to get into computer building, it can be exciting, yet it is a lot to take in, especially with the many choices available to them. It may be hard to decide what is a good starting processor or motherboard, etc. Thankfully, Intel has their solution for the average Joe; the Z68 chipset and Sandy Bridge for the second generation Core i-series processors. With features such as overclocking using the turbo memory and quick sync, this makes the chipset as user friendly as they come. The Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68 motherboard then takes this idea and applies it to their motherboard design.
The Pure Platinum Z68 is the Sapphire's first entry for the Z68 chipset of Intel, which is capable of technologies such as Smart Response and Virtu. The Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68 includes 4 DIMM slots with support of up to 16GB of RAM with speeds of up to 1600+MHz. For network connectivity, the Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68 has a Marvell chip controlled Gigabit LAN port and wireless capability via a Bluetooth 2.1 receiver. Storage options are many in the Pure Platinum Z68, with 8 total SATA ports; 4 SATA II with RAID 0,1,5,10 and AHCI controlled by the Z68 chipset, while there are 2 SATA III ports also controlled by the Z68 and the last 2 are controlled by Marvell's controller. Peripherals on the Z68 Pure Platinum are 2 USB 3.0 with up to 12 total USB 2.0 ports (including the USB headers), with 4 on the rear panel. Added also on the Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68 motherboard are CPU-VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort, which add different ways to setup your display. For PCI cards, there are 3 X16 available, two of which can be used for CrossFire support, and 3 PCI 2.3 slots. Other features in the Sapphire Pure Platinum Z68 also include the seven segment display and dual BIOS switch for troubleshooting purposes.