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Biostar TA75M+ AMD A75 socket FM1 Motherboard Review

Biostar TA75M+ AMD A75 socket FM1 Motherboard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: Biostar's TA75M+ motherboard is a micro-ATX entry level platform with relatively robust onboard graphics care of the AMD Fusion APU processor and thorough storage options via AMDs A75 chipset. Built around the AMD Fusion A75 chipset, the board supports socket FM1 AMD A8/A6-series processors which feature integrated graphics in the form of a Radeon HD 6550D/6530D graphics core.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Biostar Jun 05 2012   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Biostar TA75M+

Overclocking the Biostar TA75M+

Overclocking Results:
Stock Max. OC
Processor Speed: 2.9 GHz 3.625 GHz
Multiplier / Bus Speed: 29x 100MHz

29x 125MHz

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

Overclocking an AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU turns out to be a little more complicated then the easy ride we've been accustomed to with AMD's fantastically tweakable Black Edition chips. The integration that makes the Fusion A8-3850 such a wonderful mainstream processor also makes it a bloody stubborn mule when it comes to pushing clock speeds faster.

Here's why; the A8-3850 APU is multiplier locked so it can only be overclocked by increasing the motherboard bus speed. Ordinarily this isn't a big deal, PCSTATS has overclocked countless multiplier locked processors this way.

What's different with the socket FM1 AMD A8-3850 APU is that the Northbridge, graphics and a few other devices are tied directly to the board's 100MHz bus speed. If we overclock the motherboard bus to 150MHz (for example), we're indirectly overclocking EVERYTHING that's tied to it. There are clear benefits to overclocking a CPU for sure, but the same isn't necessarily true for the northbridge, PCIe lanes or devices like hard drives.

Port 80 card and physical power/reset buttons to ensure easy tweaking outside the box.

AMD A8-3850 APU Pre-Overclocking Warm up...

To give this 2.9GHz quad-core processor a fighting chance at overclocking to its best, a sweet set of Crucial Ballistic DDR3-1600 memory was locked into the AMD A75 based Biostar TA75M+ motherboard and set to run in DDR3-800 MHz mode. This way the memory won't hold things back as motheboard bus speed increases. A stock AVC Z7U7414001heatsink will be used for cooling the processor (the latest and greatest socket AM2/AM3 compatible heat sinks can be found at Frostytech.com).

For good luck, an Intel Core i5 processor was sacrificed to the gods of overclocking in the usual way, whist Moore's law was chanted three times. ;-) Now onto the results...

AMD's Fusion A8-3850 APU operates with a 29x multiplier that cannot be changed, despite an annoying bug on early AMD A75 motherboards that made it seem as though you could. PCSTATS set about overclocking the processor by increasing motherboard bus speed from it's 100MHz default.

In the BIOS, the Biostar TA75M+ motherboard bus speed was increased to 133MHz - a modest increase to start - but then nothing... the system just wouldn't POST. Round two; the boards' bus speed was dropped to 115MHz and the system POSTed at 3.33GHz without issue. The bus speed was then overclocked to 120MHz.... so far so good... then 125MHz... good still... and 130MHz which caused the system to crash shortly after POST. Higher bus speeds were tried, but the mpst PCSTATS could squeeze from the 2.9GHz AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU was 3.625 GHz (29x multiplier, 125MHz motherboard bus speed). Where mainstream multiplier locked processors are concerned 725MHz is not a bad overclock, right?

AMD Radeon HD 6550D Integrated Graphics Overclocking

Biostar TA75M+ motherboard allows direct control of the AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU's integrated graphics clock speed, so it can be boosted up from the stock speed of 600MHz in the BIOS. Overclocking integrated graphics isn't typically worth the effort, nevertheless PCSTATS gave the Radeon HD 6550D a go.

Overclocking seemed to proceed really smoothly as the IGPs clock speed rapidly rose from 600MHz to 700MHz, then 800MHz without any glitches. However, it just as quickly became evident that despite the apparent IGP clock speed changes in the BIOS, nothing was actually changing. The Radeon HD 6550D managed a score of 6356 in 3DMark06 at 600MHz, and 6339 when purportedly overclocked 300MHz faster. So, that's a bust. Time to cut our losses and move on.

make a long overclocking story short; the AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU can overclocked a modest amount above its 2.9GHz stock speed, but due to the level of system integration a lot of the fun is taken out of it. PCSTATS was not able to successfully overclock the IGP.

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Contents of Article: Biostar TA75M+
 Pg 1.  Biostar TA75M+ AMD A75 socket FM1 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  AMD A75/A8 Fusion Platform & Socket FM1
 Pg 3.  360-Degree Motherboard Gallery: Biostar A75M+
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking the Biostar TA75M+
 Pg 5.  Test System Hardware & BIOS
 Pg 6.  Sysmark 2007 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 7.  SiSoft Sandra: CPU Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 8.  Sandra: Memory Motherboard Benchmarks:
 Pg 9.  PCMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  3DMark 11 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 11.  3DMark Vantage Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 12.  3DMark 06 Motherboard Benchmarks
 Pg 13.  IGP vs. IGP DX11 Gaming: 3DMark 11, Stalker, Heaven 2.0
 Pg 14.  IGP vs. IGP Synthetic Gaming: 3DMark 06, 3DMark Vantage Benchmarks
 Pg 15.  IGP vs. IGP Synthetic Gaming: Call of Juarez, Crysis, FEAR
 Pg 16.  IGP vs IGP Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 17.  System Power Draw and Final Conclusions

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