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Biostar TA990FXE AMD 990FX Motherboard Review

Biostar TA990FXE AMD 990FX Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
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.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Biostar May 31 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Biostar TA990FXE

Overclocking and BIOS Features

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Motherboard Bus Speed: 200 MHz 225 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

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 225MHz.

A motherboard 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!

BIOS Options:

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 responsive.

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 multiplier upwards.

Now let's move on with the benchmarks!

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Contents of Article: Biostar TA990FXE
 Pg 1.  Biostar TA990FXE AMD 990FX Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery Continued
 Pg 3.  AMD 990FX Core Logic
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking and BIOS Features
 Pg 5.  Test System Hardware & Specs
 Pg 6.  Sysmark 2007 - Workstation Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 7.  SiSoft Sandra - CPU Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 8.  Sandra: Memory - Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  PCMark Vantage - System Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  3DMark 11 - Gaming Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 11.  3DMark Vantage - Gaming Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  3DMark06 - Gaming Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  System Power Draw and Conclusions

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