Okay, I lied a little.  Biostar announce their new tech as ‘BIO-unlocKING’, a feature on their latest 8xx series motherboard to unlock the quad core Thuban based processors (such as the Phenom II X4 960T) to their hexacore variants.  Biostar cover themselves by noting that not all quad core Thubans will unlock.  This feature will also help with unlockable dual core chips.

However, this is their new TA890FXE board.  Premiered at CeBIT earlier this year and upgraded since with a new (and better) color scheme, the ubiquitous combination of the 890FX and SB850 chipset will feature a 5+1 phase VRM, four PCI-E x 16 2.0 slots (x16, x16, x4, x1) for quad CrossfireX support, SATA 6Gb/s, Realtek Gigabit Ethernet, e-SATA, 7.1 Channel audio, support for dual channel DDR3 and 6 USB2.0 slots. 

We're not entirely sure which segments of the market Biostar are aiming the board at, but the absence of USB3.0 may cause people upgrading to look elsewhere.  The lack of VRMs will discourage overclockers.  Gamers with two card CrossfireX setups will be amazed to find the layout feature 2 PCI slots at the bottom.  Ideally, Biostar should have spaced the PCI-E slots out, to help people using dual CrossfireX setups to deal with temperatures.

I can only hope the lack of USB3.0 and so few VRMs will result in Biostar marketing this as a low end 890FX board.  Maybe a board for folders and BOINC crunchers?  Drop in an unlockable quad core Thuban and some GPUs, and they may be onto a winner if the price is right.  It’s just a shame about that PCI-E spacing...

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  • Earthmonger - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    I saw the color scheme and thought, "Hey, that's pretty attractive", then noticed the slot layout as you mentioned. What were they thinking? Those extra PCI-E slots are effectively useless because of it. And anyone running three or four GPUs is going to buy a board with balls, so this Biostar isn't even a consideration. Which leads me back to wondering why they bothered with the extra PCI-Es at all.

    It's a pretty doorstop.
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    Seems to be a common trend with Biostar. The last two boards we reviewed also suffered from odd slot layout syndrome.

  • Etern205 - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    Which is why they are at the bottom of the food chain...
  • leptonsoup337 - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    The second I noticed that they put all four PCI-E slots side by side, I thought to myself, "what the hell are they thinking?! Or were they just NOT thinking?" Talk about taking careful aim and shooting yourself in the foot.
  • ochentay4 - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    it all comes down to the price. 890amd motherboards are not cheap. i want to get the cheapest mb and it could be this one. crossfire its not my interest. best mb chipset is (and price.)
  • Taft12 - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    Agreed, this will surely be the least expensive 890FX board on the market - not likely to see many buyers of this thing shelling out for dual-5850s.

    We need some USB 3.0 devices before it's time to start caring about the lack of a USB 3.0 controller and by that time, we'll have a new generation of CPUs and chipsets from AMD anyway.
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - link

    MSRP is $159
  • mygrillz - Monday, May 3, 2010 - link

    the # of VRMS doesn't matter as long as they are designed to handle
    the load. 6 big VRMS can handle more power than 18 smaller VRMS
    on this board Maximum CPU TDP (Thermal Design Power) : 140Watt

    PCIe Slots are configured as follows:

    PEX16_1/PEX16_3: PCI-Express Gen2 x16 Slots
    - PEX16_1 & PEX16_3 slots are reserved for graphic or video cards.
    PEX16_4: PCI-Express Gen2 x4 Slot
    PEX16_2: PCI-Express Gen2 x1 Slot

    So disk controllers etc will fit in just fine. And CFX at less than 16x speed
    is a big no on amd chipsets for those dreaming of triple.

    Nice to see ACC unlock supported this is new for BIOSTAR.
  • simple_inhibition - Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - link

    if its priced right, i might pick one up for an inexpensive folding board and pair it with 4x 9800GTs
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - link

    MSRP is around $159 I'm told. So you'd need to look at what other vendors are offering at the same price point in terms of layout and features.


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