Abstract: The AMD 990FX chipset has been out for a while now, yet Biostar's TA990FXE motherboard still gets you in the game with plenty of PCI Express lanes for Crossfire/SLI, and more SATA III connectivity than rival Intel's Z77 platform.|
Overclocking and BIOS Features
|Overclocking Results: |
PCSTATS started off the Biostar
TA990FXE overclocking tests by disabling features like Cool'n'quiet and CPU C1E power states for the
AMD FX-8150 test processor. A set of DDR3-1600MHz memory modules were set to
run at DDR3-800 mode so the RAM wouldn't hold the CPU back.
The bus speed of
the TA990FXE motherboard was increased from the stock setting of 200MHz, in
increments of a few MHz. The board had no problems with 205MHz
and 215MHz, so we proceeded quickly 225MHz and then things got a
little dicy. A bus speed of 245MHz caused the board to crash at POST.
Dropping bus down to 230MHz didn't really help either, so in the end
PCSTATS settled for a maximum motherboard bus speed overclock of
bus speed overclock of 225MHz is hardly earth shattering, particularly
considering some of the previous socket AM3 AMD Phenom CPUs could easily
handle +260MHz. It's a good
thing the socket AM3+ AMD FX-8150 'Bulldozer' core processor is also
multiplier unlocked. As always, your results may vary
from system to system.
Next up, a
quick look at the Biostar TA990FXE UEFI BIOS and PCSTATS test system specs, then it's
on to the benchmarks!
The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) BIOS is a long overdue
upgrade to the standard blue-screen BIOS we're all familiar with. There aren't a
huge amount of surprises to be found in the Biostar TA990FXE's BIOS, but it does
give you the ability to tweak and tune most of the major system settings if
you're an overclocker. PCSTATS has seen many bad UEFI BIOS user interfaces,
we're very happy with the way BIOSTAR have largely kept the text format of legacy
BIOS' with the TA990FXE. Navigation is quick and the UEFI BIOS is pretty
The overclock navigator lets you decide on the level of overclocking
you want. Biostar uses an engine analogy for its tuning which may not be totally
accurate for CPU overclocking, but I'm not going to complain as long as it
increases system speed.
If you own an AMD triple core
processor (based on a four-core design) or an AMD four core processor (based on
a six-core design), you may be able to unlock the hidden processor cores using
Biostar's Bio-unlocKING tool. Obviously the success of this tool will vary from chip to chip, but if you can
get some easy and free performance out of a less expensive AMD processor,
more power to you!
To do serious overclocking it's often
necessary to adjust system voltages manually, and the TA990FXE allows for this
in its 'Over Voltage Configuration' window. Finally, you can manually set CPU
settings and voltages if you're overclocking directly from the BIOS. If you have
a Black Edition processor you can also overclock by adjusting the system
Now let's move on with the benchmarks!
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