Biostar TA890FXE Review
All in all, we were impressed with the TA890FXE's performance. Error margins permitted, the motherboard performs near enough on par with our previously tested 890GX/890FX motherboards, including the ASRock 890GX Extreme3 that we pitched it against in the graphs.
Also while this happens to be Biostar's flagship AM3 product it boasts a price tag that is more in line with mid range offerings; at just £106 it is the cheapest 890FX motherboard around. This is great for those who want to drop two high end graphics cards into their systems and enjoy the merits of full 16x lane bandwidth. Sadly there are a few flaws...
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!
Next is the placement of expansion slots. If you plan on using more than two graphics cards, you can simply forget about it unless they sport single slot coolers. Its a shame really as Biostar had even included two Crossfire bridges as though it was made for three way CrossfireX. On the basis that dearer motherboards including the Asus M4A89TD PRO physically lack a third (let alone fourth) PCI-Express 16x port, Biostar had the potential to offer a rather unique selling point within the board's price segment. This doesn't make the product any worse than its competitors, but it was a feature that could have given it a significant edge.
So to conclude, we would have no trouble recommending the TA890FXE to less eager overclockers (or Black Edition owners) and to those who want Dual 16x Lane Crossfire for as little as possible. To just about everyone else however, it seems to us that the ideal motherboard either lies with similarly priced or cheaper 890GX motherboards or slightly more expensive 890FX (M4A89TD PRO) equipment.
- Price; currently the cheapest 890FX Motherboard
- Performance in line with competitors
- Overclocking Performance; Average Max HTT / Boot Recovery