It has been said many times (not in so many ways, and this isn't a Christmas season lead-in, anyway), “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades”. It actually counts in countless other endeavors….darts comes to mind immediately, and being Italian-American, so does bocce. You know, most people don’t have the faintest idea that a proper bocce court originally had a floor of ground mollusk shells, with oyster being the preference. This gave an excellent surface which when manipulated correctly by the bowler could be used for smooth rolling, absolute deadening of a throw, or just about anything in between. Plus, the contrast of the rough outer exterior and luminescent inner of the shells looked really good…ah, my whacky ancestors. But, back to horseshoes and hand grenades. Or, “bocce and hand grenades”, if you prefer.



The point being, that in the game of horseshoes the object is to be the closest to the target to win, but you don’t necessarily have to be right on the mark. There is margin for error. Pretty much the same applies to hand grenades. Throw a hand grenade in the general vicinity of what you are looking to hit, and you are likely going to get effective results. Keep in mind that these are mutually exclusive, and throwing a horseshoe from a fox hole while under fire is going to have to be a direct hit for any positive result. The same can be said for many electronics. Items are going to have certain strong and weak points, not always hitting the mark on all. But, a piece to have to hit the mark directly on all counts to be a very effective high quality piece.

Sapphire Technologies has come back into the AMD motherboard market with their new Pure Black 990FX. Based on the new 990FX chipset, the Sapphire Pure Black 990FX is feature rich and looks to take advantage of all the new Bulldozer CPU has to offer. The Pure Black 990FX is a full ATX motherboard with incredible expansion possibilities thanks to six PCIe slots which fully support AMD CrossfireX multi-GPU. Tweaking comes courtesy of a UEFI AMI Dual BIOS and included TRIXX software. The Sapphire Pure Black 990FX tackles connectivity with USB 3.0 and 2.0, nine SATA III ports (all backwards compatible and RAID capable), dual Gigabit LAN and on board Bluetooth. Bulldozer’s power requirements are met with an 8 phase PWM design featuring Diamond Chokes and Solid Capacitors. Overclocking is aided with onboard power and reset buttons as well as diagnostic LED and voltage probe points. To complete the entertainment experience, the Pure Black 990FX offers 7.1 surround sound complete with digital out.