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Biostar TH55B HD LGA1156 motherboard review

Alan Lu
22 Mar 2010
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Biostar TH55B HD LGA1156 motherboard
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
68
inc VAT

A great-value microATX LGA1156 motherboard that's good for both low-cost PCs and media centre systems alike.

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Specifications

LGA1156, microATX, Intel H55 chipset, supports: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7

At just under £70, Biostar's TH55B HD means you can build an LGA1156 PC for little more than an old LGA775-based one. You might appreciate its eye-catching black and red colour scheme if you're fitting it into a case with a transparent side panel. More practical are the power and reset buttons, which are useful for testing the board during installation without having to connect your case's front panel buttons.

It's a compact microATX model that's well suited for use in a media centre PC. It supports the integrated graphics chips built into Intel's latest Core i3 and i5 processors and has a HDMI port so you only need one cable to output audio and video. If you want to connect an older surround-sound amplifier, there's an S/PDIF header but no actual output.

If you want to add an internal TV tuner or sound card, there are two PCI slots as well as a PCI Express x1 slot. A dedicated graphics card can be plugged into the PCI Express x16 graphics card slot, but the slot is located close to the passively cooled Northbridge. The tight spacing can make fitting an especially chunky card a little tricky.

There are six SATA ports for connecting storage devices. There's no RAID controller to join multiple internal hard disks together for enhanced speed or reliability, but this is forgivable at this price. In addition to the four USB ports, there are three headers which can also be turned into ports using backplates. There are also headers for adding parallel and serial ports for using legacy peripherals, but more USB or SATA headers, or perhaps FireWire headers, would have been more useful for more people.

Biostar's TH55B HD isn't without its flaws, but they're forgivable at this price. This is a great choice for building a LGA1156 PC on a budget.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketLGA1156
Form factormicroATX
Size244x244mm
Processor supportCore i3, Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Chipset north bridgeIntel H55
Chipset south bridgeIntel H55
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsYes
Supported memory typeDDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800/2000
Maximum memory speedPC3-16000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£68
Supplierhttp://www.cclonline.com
Detailswww.biostar.com.tw

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots1
Dual graphics architecturenone
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots2
Fan headers2
Floppy ports0
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)none

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC662 (3x analogue out, S/PDIF header)
USB2 ports / headers4/3
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports1x PS/2, parallel header, serial header
Other portsHDMI, DVI, VGA
Cables included3x SATA, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment800MHz

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