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Biostar TA890GXE AMD 890GX Motherboard Review
Biostar TA890GXE AMD 890GX Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Biostar's TA890GXE motherboard is a no-frills approach to the AMD 890GX chipset. It's a microATX form-factor motherboard so it can fit into nearly any case, it has robust graphics and storage options and most importantly it's affordable.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Biostar May 03 2010   J. Apong  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Biostar TA890GXE

Overclocking CPU/IGP, Power Draw, Test Specs

Overclocking Results:
stock max. oc
motherboard speed: 200 mhz 250 mhz
igp video speed: 700 mhz

975 mhz

if you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Before the overclocking tests can begin PCSTATS first prepares the field by dropping the CPU multiplier from 16x to 8x, and disabling clock speed throttling features like Cool'n'quiet, CPU C1E power states, etc.

A set of DDR3-1600MHz modules from Corsair were installed into the Biostar TA890GXE motherboard and the memory set to run at DDR3-800 mode - this is done so the RAM won't hold the CPU back.

Now to find out how far the Biostar TA890GXE motherboard will overclock! The bus speed was rapidly bumped up from 200MHz to 235MHz, then 245... 255... and 260MHz which caused the PC to fail to POST. After a hard reboot, we dialed things back to 250MHz and sure enough Windows 7 booted up just fine. A maximum overclock of 250MHz on the AMD 890GX chipset is okay, but far from the best overclock PCSTATS achieved on the 890GX platform - 285MHz.

Radeon HD 4290 Overclocking

After finishing with the CPU, PCSTATS turned its attention to overclocking the Radeon HD 4290 IGP. The ability to overclock an integrated video chipset is fun way to grab a few extra frames per second, but if you're finding the IGP graphics too slow you really need to install a discrete graphics card.

BIOS options allow you to overclock the Radeon HD 4290 GPU from its default clock speed of 700MHz to at least 1000MHz on the Biostar TA890GXE motherboard. After each speed bump the stability of the IGP was tested with a round of 3DMark06. To make a long story short, PCSTATS had no problem overclocking the Biostar TA890GXE's HD 4290 IGP to 975MHz.

Next up, power draw measurements and PCSTATS test system specs... then it's on to benchmarks!

Measuring Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient computers are a good thing, so it helps to know how power efficient, or power hungry different parts of a computer are when stressed with different tasks. Since it is very difficult to isolate a videocard or CPU and measure power draw separately, PCSTATS measures total system power draw with the aid of an Extech 380803 AC Power Analyzer and A-PFC compliant PC Power and Cooling 750W power supply. The meter is placed between the 120V AC outlet and the PC power supply. By stressing the test platform's graphics solution or processor, it's then possible to measure power draw relative to the PC at an idle state.

The test system is measured at Idle (Windows desktop), Graphics Loaded (3Dmark06) and CPU Loaded (Prime 95) states.

Total System Power Draw
Biostar TA890GXE

Graphics Solution

Idle Graphics Loaded CPU Loaded

AMD HD 4290
(Integrated Graphics)




nVidia Geforce GTS250
(Discrete Graphics)

115w 246w 206w
(At desktop) (via 3Dmark 06) (via Prime95)

Even though the AMD 890GX chipset bumps the speed of the graphics core to 700Mhz, the system draws relatively little power under load on IGP alone. Idle power draw is just 60 Watts on IGP graphics!

HD Tach V3.0.4.0 Source: TCD Labs Inc.

HD Tach is a physical performance hard drive test for Windows. In Windows 9X/ME it uses a special kernel mode VXD to get maximum accuracy by bypassing the file system. A similar mechanism is used in Windows NT/2000/XP. HD Tach reads from areas all over the hard drive and reports an average speed. It also logs the read speeds to a text file that you can load into a spreadsheet and graph to visually read the results of the test.

HD Tach
Burst Random Access Average Read
AMD 890GX / SB850 SATA 6Gb/s
(Biostar TA890GXE)
214.9 MB/s 17 ms 115.1 MB/s
AMD 890GX / SB850 SATA 6Gb/s
( ASUS M4A89GTD-Pro/USB3 )
333.9 MB/s 17 ms

114.4 MB/s

Intel P55 / Marvell SE9128 SATA 6Gb/s
(Gigabyte P55A-UD6)
291.5 MB/s 17 ms 115.5 MB/s

The native AMD SB850 implementation seems to be a touch faster in the Burst test than the Marvell-to-Intel P55 Express implementation used on the Gigabyte P55A-UD6 motherboard.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Biostar TA890GXE motherboard test system was configured for benchmarking; the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions is indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this AMD 890GX based motherboard is to be compared against.

Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results on the next page.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
test system reference system #1 reference system #2
processor: amd Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (AM3)

AMD Phenom X3 720 BE (AM3)

AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ (AM2) Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (775)
Clock Speed: 16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz 14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz 13 x 200 MHz = 2.6 GHz 8 x 333 = 2.66GHz
Motherboard: Biostar TA890GXE (890GX)
ASUS M4A89GTD-Pro (890GX)
Gigabyte GA-MA785G-UD3H (785G)
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H (785G)
MSI 785GM-E65* (785G)
ASUS M4A785TD-V Evo (785G)
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P (790FX)

ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX / AM3)
ASUS M3A78-T (AMD 790GX / AM2+)

ECS A780GM-A (AMD 780G)
Biostar TF8200 A2+ (Geforce 8200)
Foxconn A690GM2MA (AMD 690G)
Foxconn A7DA-S (AMD 790GX)
Biostar Tpower N750 (NF 750a)

Intel DG45ID (Intel G45)
ASUS P5Q-EM (Intel G45)



Memory: 2x 2GB Corsair XMS3-1600C9 (DDR3)
2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4

2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-6400C4
2x 1024MB Patriot PDC32G1600LLK

2x 1024MB Corsair Twin2X2048-8888C4DF

Hard Drive:

74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740


ASUS BC-1205PT-BD Blu-Ray Drive

Monitor (1080p):



PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 750W


AMD socket AM2 Reference Heatsink

Intel Reference
Software Setup:

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
ATI Catalyst 10.3 Preview
nVIDIA Forceware 195.62

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
ATi Catalyst 9.1
nVIDIA Forceware 169.25


SYSMark 2007 Preview
SiSoft Sandra 2009
PCMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage
Call of Juarez

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Contents of Article: Biostar TA890GXE
 Pg 1.  Biostar TA890GXE AMD 890GX Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Motherboard Highlights Photo Gallery
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking CPU/IGP, Power Draw, Test Specs
 Pg 4.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 5.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sandra 2009
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 7.  IGP Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 8.  IGP Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 9.  IGP Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 10.  DX10 Motherboard IGP Benchmarks: Call of Juarez, Crysis
 Pg 11.  HD Playback CPU Load Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  Conclusions: Budget 890GX for MicroATX

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