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Biostar TH55B HD LGA1156 motherboard review

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.

Specifications

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

http://www.cclonline.com

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 socket LGA1156
Form factor microATX
Size 244x244mm
Processor support Core i3, Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus 133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Chipset north bridge Intel H55
Chipset south bridge Intel H55
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800/2000
Maximum memory speed PC3-16000
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £68
Supplier http://www.cclonline.com
Details www.biostar.com.tw

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 2
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 6
RAID chipset (max disks) none

Features

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC662 (3x analogue out, S/PDIF header)
USB2 ports / headers 4/3
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 1x PS/2, parallel header, serial header
Other ports HDMI, DVI, VGA
Cables included 3x SATA, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 800MHz

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