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Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review

Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 motherboard packs quite a lot into a microATX platform; top of the line integrated graphics, PCI Express, networking, SATA and IDE hard drive support, and integrated sound card.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: BIOstar Jun 02 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > BIOstar TForce 6100 AM2

nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content

High definition is the future entertainment standard of tomorrow's video's. Playing high definition content on current generation PCs can bog down even the fastest processors because there is more data to handle. Similar to the need for DVD accelerators a few years ago, nVIDIA PureVideo enables computer users to view MPEG-2/DVD and WMV High Definition formats on the monitor without slowing the whole PC to a crawl.

The PureVideo standard incorporates a hardware accelerator for the afore mentioned MPEG-2/DVD, and Microsoft Windows Media High Definition Video standards (WMV HD). According to nVIDIA's documentation on PureVideo, the GPU (GeForce 6 and 7 series GPUs) takes on video decoding tasks from the CPU, and the end result is smoother, shutter free High Definition playback. nVIDIA PureVideo also supports most current and future high definition formats. The system seems to be built with a good degree of future proofing for upcoming standards.

PureVideo is more than just a media accelerator; it also includes features to improve video picture quality. DVD, cable and satellite video provide poor crispness, clearness and smoothness that consumers have been desperate to be "saved from." nVIDIA's PureVideo technology applies spatial temporal de-interlacing to apparently deliver a better image than traditional de-interlacing can muster. PureVideo also fixes the 3:2 pull down problem that can arise from 24 fps video being converted to 30 fps for viewing on TVs or monitors. By recovering the original 24 frame content, PureVideo allows for a clear crisper image.

Another neat feature of PureVideo is its ability to scale videos to any resolution, while maintaining a relatively detailed picture. This means users can view lower resolution videos at a high resolution without suffering too much from blocky or blurry pictures.

Experts Tip: PureVideo is a hardware feature, no driver necessary

A few people have written in asking whether PureVideo requires standalone drivers, so let me clear the air by saying... no, it doesn't. To enable PureVideo, install the latest nVidia Forceware drivers and use a program like Windows Media Player 10 which supports hardware acceleration and you're set. Just remember to enable 'hardware acceleration' within the program that you're using. If you can't find that option, check the developer's website for the latest patches. CyberLink, WinDVD and the rest of the media playing software have stated that the latest software versions will support hardware acceleration of different types of media.

Comments and Feedback? Suggest a Tweak.

Examining CPU Load with PureVideo

To test PureVideo's High Definition accelerating capabilities, we'll playback a video downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase through Windows Media Player 10 on the Biostar TForce 6100 AM2. "The Discoverers" (IMAX) video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats, though since we're testing a motherboard based on the Geforce 6100 chipset and not the Geforce 6150 that shouldn't matter - everything will be dropped back to standard 4:3 definition. Socket AM2 processor utilization will be monitored via Task Manager.

When running the 720P version of the Discoverers video, CPU usage on both cores hovered between 20-26%. On a single core platform, CPU usage usually hovers around the same mark, in any case the Athlon64 FX-62 we're using certainly has a lot of CPU resources to go around.

Interestingly enough, CPU usage numbers stayed the same when running the 1080P version of the Discoverers video on the Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 motherboard. Running the 1080P version of this video usually makes CPU usage jump into the 60% mark, here each core has less than 25% usage.

nVIDIA PureVideo Decoder Software

Sold separately is nVIDIA's PureVideo Decoder software (retails for between $20-$50 US) which functions with any GeForceFX/6/7 series videocard. The software essentially turns a desktop PC into a home entertainment center with the ability to watch DVD movies or other computer related videos, listen to music or view pictures.

The look and feel of nStant Media is very similar to Microsoft WindowsXP Media Center's media browser. Under the 'Watch Movies' category, users can watch videos stored on the hard drive or on disc. 'Listen to Music' has the same options as does 'View Pictures.' The 'Settings' options allow users to change language, when the nVIDIA screen saver kicks in, parental control, closed captioning, display formats (Standard definition or high), etc. Overall the look and feel of nStant Media is nice and the program is extremely easy to use.

Next up, PCSTATS will see if this Biostar motherboard has any overclocking capabilities worth getting excited over. H'mm, I wonder.....

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Contents of Article: BIOstar TForce 6100 AM2
 Pg 1.  Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 3.  The GeForce 6100 Chipset and AM2
 Pg 4.  — nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content
 Pg 5.  Overclocking on a microATX
 Pg 6.  Prelude to Benchmarks / Sysmark 2004 Results
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 9.  3DMark06, FarCry, X3: Reunion
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 11.  Compact socket AM2/Geforce 6100 Board

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