Biostar 1155 TZ68A+ Review
So how did the latest in a long line of Biostar motherboards do?
Overclocking the TZ68A+ is simplicity, albeit slightly frustrating. Our 2500K is good for 5GHz on a great motherboard and the Biostar topped out at 4.7GHz. Not even a ridiculous bump in voltage could get it to POST at 4.8GHz. This obviously had a knock-on effect in the synthetic scores we saw. They were about on a par with a 4.7GHz overclock which is good, but the real-world based tests, and PC Mark Vantage in particular, definitely took at a hit.
Looks wise the nicest thing we can say is that it's got everything you could expect. It's got the same design flair as a breeze block. Entirely utilitarian and wholly lacking in any artistic elements at all. The on-board power and reset switches are very basic switches indeed, all the SATA ports are individual ones mounted in the same vertical manner that we often see a 7th port mounted in and they make cabling the whole thing tidily a bit of a challenge. 3 fan headers are barely enough for any setup these days, and even the ones there are aren't placed in the most useful spots.
If we discount the price for a moment then it's very average in performance, as plain as a boiled potato and about as satisfying.
However and, to paraphrase Blackadder it's a 12 story however with wall-to-wall carpeting a big neon sign saying 'However', it's £92!
By any measure you care to use, including the 'always lower cost than Intel' AMD line of motherboards, the Biostar is cheap. Properly cheap. But it isn't cheap in the same way that a Rolex brought from a market for a fiver is. It's cheap in the same way another TZ was. If you can bear with my whilst I recant my youth, when I was a teenager Yamaha had a TZ motorcycle which wasn't very expensive and went like a bat out of hell. The Biostar TZ68A+ reminds me very much of that.
It's no frills to be sure, but you're getting a motherboard with HD3000 graphics, USB3.0, SATA 6Gbp/s, IRST and a UEFI BIOS. You're getting a motherboard that can overclock to 4.7GHz for the price of a decent night out.
If you're the kind of person who thinks that all those artistic touches like coloured heatsinks in the shape of Sydney Opera House are needless flash and that what you want is the maximum bang for your buck, then the Biostar TZ68A+ is the board for you. Sure it stretches the 'all go no show' mantra to the edge of breaking, but it doesn't break.
Performance and looks are average enough but take into account that price tag and the TZ68A+ definitely makes it one of the most deserving Value For Money award winners we've ever had and equally deserving of our Silver Award.