Biostar TA890FXE Review
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 Factor||ATX, 12" x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)|
|Processor Support||AMD Socket AM3 Sempron 100/Athlon II X2/X3/X4 and Phenom II X2/X3/X4/X6 Processors|
|Chipset||AMD 890FX / SB850 |
|Memory||4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB 1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory|
Dual Channel memory architecture
4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (16x/16x Dual CrossfireX)
|Multi-GPU Support||ATi CrossfireX Supported|
AMD SB850 Southbridge
|LAN||One Realtek RTL8111DL 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN|
|Audio||Realtek ALC892 8-Channel HD Audio|
|USB ||AMD SB850 Southbridge|
- 9 x USB 2.0 ports (6 x Rear, 3 x Internal)
|Firewire||2 x 1394a ports (1x Rear I/O, 1x Internal)|
|Back Panel I/O||1 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.