Biostar TPower i55 Review
This has been a curious review to do.
On the one hand we review so much hardware at OC3D Towers that you get a feel for the kind of score you should be getting on a set of hardware. By keeping our test setups identical and then just altering whatever is up for test it helps give a feel for a product.
Naturally therefore after every benchmark we came away from the Biostar feeling a little disappointed. When at stock it doesn't really keep up with other P55s we've tested.
Easily the most disappointing aspect though was the overclocking. With so many options available either using the Toverclock utility, or the BIOS, or the built in "V" settings we were hoping to at least get as much from our system as we've seen in similar ones. But yet, for whatever reason, the Biostar TPower I55 refused to play ball. Once we'd got it booted at 4.2GHz with over 2GHz on the Memory we were really hopeful it would settle about 4GHz stable. Or 3.9. 3.8. 3.7. Even 3.6GHz required quite a bit of voltage before it would make it through all of our tests. The Toverclock utility barely managed anything and was as stable as the board itself appeared to be.
However, if you step back a moment away from your preconceived notions of what should be achievable and what you would expect, it all becomes a lot clearer. Forget any other boards and just focus on what is before us.
We have a motherboard that is well built and with good compatibility for almost any hardware you could choose to throw at it. Definitely the colour scheme is a little, shall we say, different. But once you've populated it or got it in your tower you wont really notice. The cooling solution employed is very attractive in the flesh and definitely keeps everything at a decent low temperature. The room around the CPU is enough for nearly any cooler we could think of apart from some huge ones, and some strange square designs.
Although synthetic testing leaves the I55 lagging behind, once in "normal" use those differences are negligible. Certainly you wouldn't want to use this as the basis of a rendering farm, but for your everyday home PC it acquits itself with aplomb.
The age old adage stands firm, you get what you pay for. With the Biostar TPower I55 you're paying just over a hundred pounds and getting a very good value motherboard that isn't at the cutting edge, wont win any extreme speed prizes, wont break any overclocking records, but will serve you very well as a step on the ladder of a LGA1156 system.
For being a lot of motherboard for not a lot of cash, the Biostar TPower I55 wins the OC3D Value For Money award.