Thursday, September 29th 2011

BIOSTAR TA990FXE Socket AM3+ Motherboard Pictured

BIOSTAR is ready with its new performance-segment socket AM3+ motherboard based on the AMD 990FX + SB950 chipset, the TA990FXE. It carries on with the design elements and component choices for some of BIOSTAR's recent Intel Z68 motherboards, it's likely that the board will carry a sweet-spot price. The CPU is powered by a 5-phase VRM, it is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR3-2000 MHz memory.

Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x16/x16/x4), a PCIe x1, and two PCI. Five of the six SATA 6 Gb/s port from the southbridge are internal ports, with the sixth one being assigned as an eSATA. The connectivity loadout covers essentials: 8-channel HD audio, USB 3.0, gigabit Ethernet, and FireWire, apart from USB 2.0 and PS/2. The board is driven by AMI UEFI firmware, with BIOSTAR's own GUI setup program.

Source: TechConnect Magazine
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22 Comments on BIOSTAR TA990FXE Socket AM3+ Motherboard Pictured

#1
DrunkenMafia
I have heard a lot of good things about biostar but unfortunately they are not readily available in Aus. :(

Not to sure on the 5 phase vrm though
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#2
micropage7
wow i love the red on this board looks pretty attractive
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#3
random
the white slots don't really go with the rest of the board O_o, but past the looks its not PCIE Gen3 ready either although I reckon the price will be pretty good.
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#4
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
even the BOX looks like Asus's mobos. I hope they dont get nto trouble :p
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#5
Volkszorn88
Biostar has never really caught my eye. I've only owned Asus and ASRock boards.

Are they actually decent?
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#6
twicksisted
hmmm, brown PCB with loads of cheap red and white plastic ... not for me ;)
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#7
Therion_I
by: de.das.dude
even the BOX looks like Asus's mobos. I hope they dont get nto trouble :p
Agreed! This looks far too close to the ASUS ROG edition boards to be coincidence.
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#8
Thassodar
Any word on a possible price? This is a sexy looking board, if it's reasonably priced it may be my first step towards BD.
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#9
Volkszorn88
by: Thassodar
Any word on a possible price? This is a sexy looking board, if it's reasonably priced it may be my first step towards BD.
If you want to go w/ BD definitely go Asus, ASRock or Gigabyte. In that order.
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#10
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
by: twicksisted
hmmm, brown PCB with loads of cheap red and white plastic ... not for me ;)
Pretty hard to tell if thats brown from those small pictures. If it is it's very dark, I thought it was black. And I doubt that plastic is cheaper than any of the other brands plastic :p

by: Volkszorn88
If you want to go w/ BD definitely go Asus, ASRock or Gigabyte. In that order.
What about MSI?
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#11
Casecutter
I could see myself considering a Foxconn before a Biostar... at least based on the old days!

I haven’t heard if Biostar is better today, but I heard so many horror stories from 2-3 years back I just don't even consider them. I had a MSI "Business Class" that bubble a capacitor, and that was pretty much after the "bad cap" time.
ASUS > Gigabyte ≥ AsRock. The last AMD builds where 870 Gigabyte and AsRock, both have been perfect.
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#12
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
What ever happened to the higher phase motherboards? like 12 or 18 phases or 24 phase?
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#13
suraswami
by: Casecutter
I could see myself considering a Foxconn before a Biostar... at least based on the old days!

I haven’t heard if Biostar is better today, but I heard so many horror stories from 2-3 years back I just don't even consider them. I had a MSI "Business Class" that bubble a capacitor, and that was pretty much after the "bad cap" time.
ASUS > Gigabyte ≥ AsRock. The last AMD builds where 870 Gigabyte and AsRock, both have been perfect.
Every company has its own issues, I see lots of returns on Asus boards vs Biostar boards, but Asus is supposed to be a better product manufacturing company.

Biostar has come long way, their customer support is far better than any tech company, RMA system is easy, turn around time is 7 to 14 days. When they receive a 'defective' product they really test it and if possible fix it and ship it back not like the dead 'Abit' brand. I would defenitely look into this board if the price is right.
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#14
Casecutter
by: suraswami
Every company has its own issues
And how is that drive up the 55Frwy to the City of Industry anymore?
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#15
GLD
Biostar is my brand of choice. Both of my rigs are Biostar. Quality motherboards for sure.
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#16
Inceptor
by: brandonwh64
What ever happened to the higher phase motherboards? like 12 or 18 phases or 24 phase?
I've only ever seen those on boards with Intel chipsets.
The best you can get on a 990FX board is 8 phase, as far as I know. And it ranges from 4 to 8 depending on the board and manufacturer. I'm assuming that's part of the AMD chipset spec.(?)
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#18
Inceptor
That board is a little light on features. Flashy and red with chunky heatsinks connected by a heat pipe.
All that screams 'buy me you dumbass overclocker!" and "More Sata ports? 8 phase? These aren't the features you're looking for...move along."
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#19
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: DrunkenMafia
I have heard a lot of good things about biostar but unfortunately they are not readily available in Aus. :(

Not to sure on the 5 phase vrm though
Why thats what AMD spec's there is no difference between 4 or 8 phases adding up to 90A's other than heat output.
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#20
Inceptor
by: cdawall
Why thats what AMD spec's there is no difference between 4 or 8 phases adding up to 90A's other than heat output.
Well, not exactly.
There's no difference in normal operation. More phases mean more power and more heat, yes.
More phases allow for stable operation if there is a spike in power draw; something that can happen with an overclocked cpu. 4 phases operate normally, but when there is a power spike, the others kick in to provide power.

That's pretty basic stuff, but maybe I misunderstood your sentence.

I still don't understand why some Intel boards are tricked out with 12/16/18/24 phases... other than to guarantee longer term reliability with crazy overclocks?
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#21
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Inceptor
Well, not exactly.
There's no difference in normal operation. More phases mean more power and more heat, yes.
More phases allow for stable operation if there is a spike in power draw; something that can happen with an overclocked cpu. 4 phases operate normally, but when there is a power spike, the others kick in to provide power.

That's pretty basic stuff, but maybe I misunderstood your sentence.

I still don't understand why some Intel boards are tricked out with 12/16/18/24 phases... other than to guarantee longer term reliability with crazy overclocks?
They only provide extra power if there is extra power to give they are not shut off under the current controllers on most boards. they will operate at whatever spec is with all 4, 8 or 12 phases running normally under a 8 or 12 phase board they will use smaller mosfets but more of them. there is not going to be any difference to any end user between 4 25A mosefets, 8 12.5A mosfets or 12 8.3A mosfets. All three setups will still supply the full 100A's however most larger mosfets have less stability than the smaller ones hence why they are used. That being said if biostar used high quality mosfets that wont be an issue and they could very well outperform the 12 phase setup on the asrock board.
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#22
Inceptor
In some cases, you're right, but not all motherboard manufacturers do something that simple for all their boards. Especially when we're talking about boards designed with overclocking in mind. More phases, especially more 'quality' phases, are beneficial for overclocking and durability. It all comes down to what kind of parts the manufacturer can source and their MSRP price target for the board.
Biostar boards are relatively cheap, and although this 990FX board is being marketed at gamers, there's no guarantee that the 5 phase VRM is quality parts. Also 5 phase would mean 4+1, 4 for cpu and 1 for IMC.

Either way you look at it, many low quality phases vs few high quality, or higher quality phases in larger number for better overclock stability and performance, 4+1 phase power is a cost cutting measure. You're losing reliability, because there's no guarantee that you won't have a faulty component(s) that might fail and cause instability.

Edit 1:
In addition, I know that ASUS does use a VRM setup like I described, in their Sandy Bridge boards; 4 phases in normal usage, additional phases kicking in when needed. They even have an option in their UEFI that allows for rotating usage in blocks of 4, so that components do not wear out.

Now, in general, I agree with you, but since board manufacturers don't advertise (in detail) how their VRM functions (unless you ask or talk to a knowledgeable product rep...) and since high end AMD boards always come with 8+2 phases (or more?), there has to be more to it than that. I'm not saying that the boards are using higher than spec. current... a cpu isn't going to be constantly drawing max power unless you're dumb enough to turn off everything in the bios and run megagigahertz 24/7...

Edit 2:
Further reading suggests to me that the 8+2 phase designs are 4+4+2; 4+1 redundancy or 4 phase cpu redundancy +2 phase IMC. Reliability.
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