Biostar TA890FXE Review

Introduction

Biostar TA890FXE

Introduction

 

So it would seem that the release of AMD's Hex Core processors have helped the underdog Socket AM3 platform gain popularity amongst performance users. Further refinements in the 45nm process has shifted the overclocking goal post to the sunny side of 4.00GHz and even operating power consumption has been improved. This combined with competitive price tags have made AMD a reasonable alternative for a number of users; but what do we make of today's Socket AM3 motherboards?

Alongside the computer chassis and power supply unit, a motherboard purchase is one where corners should never be cut. Let's face it, who would actively choose to replace the base of a jigsaw puzzle on a regular basis? In an ideal world, a motherboard should last through multiple CPU, Graphics Card and Memory upgrades. So with that in mind, we're constantly on the lookout for quality motherboards that meet the demands of performance users. We've already had a play with AMD 890 series boards from Asus and ASRock, but what about Biostar? Today we'll be taking their range topping TA890FXE 890FX Motherboard for a spin.

OK, so Biostar doesn't tend to be on the top of most people's lists of motherboard brands, but one must not lose sight of the fact that they have created some very capable equipment in the past. Given how easily products can be placed in the shadow of better known competitors over crude perception, we are keen to see what exactly the TA890FXE has to offer. To begin with however, let's quickly run through its specifications.

Form FactorATX, 12" x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)
Processor SupportAMD Socket AM3 Sempron 100/Athlon II X2/X3/X4 and Phenom II X2/X3/X4/X6 Processors
ChipsetAMD 890FX / SB850
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB 1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
Expansion Slots

4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (16x/16x Dual CrossfireX)
2 x PCI

Multi-GPU SupportATi CrossfireX Supported
Onboard VideoN/A
Storage

AMD SB850 Southbridge
5 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1x e-SATA 3.0Gb/s

LANOne Realtek RTL8111DL 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN
AudioRealtek ALC892 8-Channel HD Audio
USB
AMD SB850 Southbridge
- 9 x USB 2.0 ports (6 x Rear, 3 x Internal) 

Firewire2 x 1394a ports (1x Rear I/O, 1x Internal) 
Back Panel I/O1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x e-SATA
1 x LAN
6 x USB2.0/1.1 ports
1 x IEEE1394a port
6 x Audio
1 x SPDIF


The feature set and brand/model of internal components are strikingly similar to many other AMD 890 series motherboards available today. The TA890FXE may seem competitive on paper, but physical design also plays an important role. 

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Most Recent Comments

14-09-2010, 05:20:11

tinytomlogan
Can Biostar keep up with the big guns as they unleash their flagship AMD motherboard?

Continue Reading

14-09-2010, 05:49:34

Alicarve

14-09-2010, 06:32:46

tinytomlogan
Edited, although the link is the same, it is working now

14-09-2010, 06:49:44

Alicarve
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Edited, although the link is the same, it is working now
ok just thought i should warn you it is weird with the pcie slots all being together though

14-09-2010, 07:05:25

F-alienware
Tis a bit Richard that one.

Firstly the colour scheme is horrid. Red and black? win. Red black and white? lose.

The slot layout is absolutely awful meaning you could (as has been pointed out) only get away with dual double slotters, meaning the whole excercise is a bit pointless.

And the price? 'sa bad kitty.. The MSI fuzion thing reviewed last week costs less, looks a metric ton of poo better and is an MSI. I know it only had two PCIE slots (full size) but you ain't giving up anything considering this one here is laid out so that you can only use two at once any way.

I mean, who would want to fit single slot cards into a high performance PC?

So the MSI wins the day here for me. It also has Lucid and costs less (though arguably not by much) but when you consider that Lucid chip and the royalties cost a pretty penny? It just packs the mud down even harder over the grave of the Biostar's sealed fate.

14-09-2010, 13:26:48

silenthill
(lack of ability to recover from failed overclocks) now that is a big problem and I don't recommend buying this board only if there is a solution with a later BIOS update.

14-09-2010, 13:28:47

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenthill View Post

(lack of ability to recover from failed overclocks) now that is a big problem and I don't recommend buying this board only if there is a solution with a later BIOS update.
Even EVGAs do that. You have to reset the cmos to get them back to life. It's totally not cool. In the one instant my Crosshair 2 failed to post all I needed to do was press the cmos clear on the back plane, then load back up my saved profile.

15-09-2010, 09:50:47

El Gappo

Our biggest gripe about the TA890FXE was its overclocking performance. Whilst ~265MHz HTT is far from abysmal, it doesn't offer as much headroom for non Black Edition CPUs as we would have liked. Granted, it is most likely that the end user would buy a Black Edition CPU to start off with, but no one can underplay the flexibility of having a board that is capable of high base frequencies. Even if we were to turn a blind eye on this, we remain particularly disappointed by the TA890FXE's (lack of) ability to recover from failed overclocks. We hope that a later BIOS update will solve this!



Change your ram slots and it will recover Not sure how you only got that htt... 320htt stable is *easy* on air.

13-08-2011, 02:21:40

Que Quotion
How can you change the reference clock?

The menu says "Enter Update" but pressing enter does nothing but refresh the screen.

Side note:

This board recovers quite well from failure.

It even has 10 slots to back up your BIOS settings built in, plus a method to recover the BIOS by USB memory stick.

It doesn't have a convenient switch so you can reset the CMOS without getting your hands dirty.

13-08-2011, 07:01:17

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Que Quotion View Post

How can you change the reference clock?

The menu says "Enter Update" but pressing enter does nothing but refresh the screen.

Side note:

This board recovers quite well from failure.It even has 10 slots to back up your BIOS settings built in, plus a method to recover the BIOS by USB memory stick.

It doesn't have a convenient switch so you can reset the CMOS without getting your hands dirty.
You missed the point. When you push an overclock too far *most* motherboards will sort it out and return back to stock settings an allow the system to post.

This didnt.

13-08-2011, 07:55:56

Ya93sin
Is that common for failed RAM OC's too?

My board will reset itself if the CPU goes wrong, but when I did the RAM OC and went too far, then I had to reset CMOS
Reply
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