Contemporary IT market is distinguished by the rising competition between companies-manufacturers of computer components, accessories and various devices. Motherboard segment is not exclusion and many companies try their luck by producing ever newer products. Of course, motherboards destined for the average customers with average needs gain prime popularity, however the success of the brand and product line depends basically on flagman high-end models. Biostar does not lag behind the competitors and regularly replenishes its line of motherboards by new products. Biostar TPower X79 is a worthy sample of design, performance and layout which serve the steam engine and create the positive image of the company.
Design and Layout
Motherboard Biostar TPower X79 goes in a standard ATX form-factor to allow the availability of multiple controllers and the complicity of the framework. Despite this fact, the textolite is not overloaded due to the implemented up-to-date element base, absence of solid radiators and joint localization of internal connectors. Expansion slots for the graphics card installation are introduced by the two PCIEx16 wires and a single PCIEx8 wire in x16 format. Being the high-end product, this motherboard supports CrossFireX and SLI configurations.
TPower X79 is equipped with only six expansion slots; this enlarges the distance between the processor and the first slot, and facilitates the compatibility with the massive coolers and large fans. Four slots are assigned for the installation of DDR3 memory. The maximal RAM volume capacity reaches up 32 GB. The edge of the motherboard is traditionally assigned to the SATA sockets; all other sockets are located at the lower edge of the board: S/PDIF output, audio connector, infrared port, a single socket for two USB 3.0 ports, and a couple of sockets for four USB 2.0 ports.
Upon the whole, Biostar TPower X79 layout is supposed to be successful due to the free access to any integrated component and unimpeded installation of expansion cards. In addition, the motherboard has got a few red LEDs called to signalize about the activity of separate circuits.
Power and Cooling Circuits
Processor power circuit is based on ISL6366 chip which is able to realize 6 phases for processor and one for SA. Each phase consists of three unipolar transistors which ensure the stability of operation. The implementation of solid-state capacitors in all power circuits heightens the power reliability. It should be mentioned that the activation of processor power is accomplished due to a couple of eight-contact sockets. Each pair of memory modules employs dual-link power circuits to comply with the spoken about configuration. Testing of operation stability showed that power components are able to cope with the servicing under the Intel Core i7-3960X load in Turbo Boost mode.
To continue, motherboard Biostar TPower X79 employs rather unpretentious cooling system due to the efficient power circuit and moderate chip power consumption. There are three dedicated sockets destined exactly for the fans connection; cooler destined for processor uses a four-contact slot, while the other two slots are three-contact.
TPower X79 BIOS is represented by the UEFI version of AMI. The motherboard gets rather handy interface which can be easily controlled by means of the mouse; some digital parameters are enabled only from the keyboard. It should be mentioned that the interface involves all necessary standard sections: voltage and temperature monitoring, peripheral controllers and drives control, processor working mode setup, stacking order control, etc. The major peculiarity of BIOS is that it can be updated due to the USB drive without the OS. There is a dedicated section O.N.E. which is used for the setup of RAM and processor operational parameters. It’s also used to monitor and switch the voltage. TPower X79 has an integrated section description system which facilitates the installation and connection of the components. For example, the availability of SATA ports numbering corresponds to the motherboard socket names.
Delivery Set and Brand Applets
The nominal delivery set of motherboard TPower X79 includes a user manual, a solid SLI bridge for the graphics cards installation, a flexible bridge CrossFire, six SATA cables, and a back plate stub. In addition, the delivery set embraces programs from brand Biostar applets among which are:
— Biostar Flash: applet for BIOS update from Windows environment;
— G.P.U.: applet for control over the work of processor power controller;
— eHot-Line: applet for system information gathering used to address the technical support;
— TOverlocker: applet for system overclocking and monitoring;
— BIOScreen: applet for the switch of BIOS upload backdrop.