Biostar are coming up to their 30th anniversary as a manufacturer of components. Today they have provided us with a board that could prove a good basis for either an HTPC or a budget system in the form of the Biostar TA785GE.
Many elements of this have been designed so as to ensure that the cost of an entire system based upon this board is as low as possible, which is especially important if it is to be used as an HTPC because most people won't be willing to spend a vast sum of money to provide them with the ability to play HD content.
Time to take a look at the specifications before we move on to take a close look a the board and packaging.
Biostars website is very well designed providing a good amount of information upon all their products, and it is from there that we have taken the specifications listed here.
* Supported Socket AM3 processors AMD Phenom II X4 / Phenom II X3 / Phenom II X2 processor
* Support latest AMD Phenom X4 , X3 / Athlon /Sempron processors
* AMD 125W processor support
* AMD 785G Chipset with ATI Radeon HD 4200 Graphics
* 4 DIMM supported DDR2-1200/1066
* On Board 128MB DDR2 Side-Port memory
* ATI Hybrid Graphics Support
* Supported 1080P HD Video Experience by optional DVI to HDMI adapter
* BIOSTAR G.P.U (Green Power Utility ) Technology
* Micro ATX Form-factor
As you can see from the specifications this is a very highly capable board supporting all of the latest AMD processors ensuring that even 1080p video will have enough grunt behind it and with an add-on video card it could prove to be a very cost-effective gaming machine.
One of the slightly curious choices is the use of DDR2 memory implementation. DDR3 prices have dropped sufficiently this year that there isn't much to be saved by sticking with the older format, however it you are going the upgrade route it could prove a valuable addition.
Time for a look at the packaging.