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Sapphire Pure Element AM2 review

Still refusing to totally give up on AMD? Take a look here

There is a full 16x PCI Express slot should you want to up the graphics power

Our Verdict

Great price, good performance, but limited applications


  • Great value for money


  • Integrated graphics disappoint

So, you've bought an AM2 processor, or maybe you're thinking of buying one - they are cheaper after all. When it comes to motherboards, Nvidia and its nForce range hold the way here, but ATI isn't far behind, but what about integrated solutions?

This is somewhere that Sapphire, ATI's main ally, could really do well, and the latest release of the Pure Element motherboard hopes to tap into this market.

To be honest though, integrated graphics are rarely better than miserable, and although the Pure Element's X300 engine is much better than the standard fare, only a secondhand PC dealer could actually call it good.

If you're looking at playing the likes of Oblivion or F.E.A.R., then you've come to the wrong place, but it's fine for pushing around the odd basic triangle at lower resolution. The engine does support output through the TV out and VGA ports up to 2,048x1,536 though, so if you fancy pushing out some HD content, then this should be enough.

This isn't an X1x00 series engine though, so don't expect any hardware acceleration for your movies. Thankfully there is a full 16x PCI Express slot should you want to up the power.

The audio is acceptable, and this board could easily form the heart of a lounge media machine. Of course, this is a full ATX mobo, so such a rig would be a little on the large side.

This board is clearly worth considering if you are tapping into the great value of AMD's current range of chips. Don't expect too many thrills for your money though, such as overclocking, or you'll be sadly disappointed. Alan Dexter