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Biostar TH55XE review

Kat Orphanides
18 Aug 2010
Biostar TH55XE
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
67
inc VAT

It's not a bad budget motherboard, but you can get higher performance for less.

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Specifications

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

We’ve been impressed by the increasingly low prices of LGA1156 motherboards. At just £67, Biostar’s TH55XE could easily be paired with an inexpensive Core i3 or i5 processor to build a powerful low-cost computer.

It lacks the latest features, such as USB3 and SATA III, but is fairly well equipped with expansion slots, with two PCI and one PCI-E x4 in addition to the usual PCI-E x16 slot - double-height cards will block the PCI-E x4 slot below, though. It’s generally well laid out and easy to build on, though. There are five SATA II connectors and the IDE connector. Between them, four memory slots can take a maximum of 16GB of overclocked DDR3 RAM rated up to 2,000MHz.

There are just four USB ports on the back, along with FireWire and eSATA ports. There are three USB headers on the board, plus a FireWire header, along with the usual, largely redundant, serial header and a rare parallel header.

Biostar TH55XE

Two PS/2 connectors on the backplane allow you to spare a couple of USB ports if you use a PS/2 keyboard and mouse. The motherboard can output graphics provided by your Intel processor via DVI, VGA and HDMI. There are also 7.1 analogue stereo outputs and an optical S/PDIF.

Scant USB ports notwithstanding, theTH55XE has a decent range of features and its low price is certainly appealing. Unfortunately, the motherboard’s performance in our benchmark tests weren't as impressive as we'd hoped for. Our Budget Buy winner, Gigabyte’s GA-H55-S2, is a bargain LGA1156 motherboard with high-end performance to boot – it's much better value for money.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
Processor socketLGA1156
Form factormicroATX
Size244x244mm
Processor supportCore i3, Core i5, Core i7
Chipset north bridgeIntel H55
Chipset south bridgeIntel H55
Integrated graphicsYes
Supported memory typeDDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800/2000
Maximum memory speedPC3-16000
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£67
Supplierhttp://www.cube247.co.uk
Detailswww.biostar.com.tw

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots1
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots1
PCI-E x1 slots0
PCI slots2
Fan headers3
Floppy ports0
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports5
RAID chipset (max disks)none

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC888 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers4/3
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2, parallel header, serial header
Other ports1x eSATA, VGA, DVI, HDMI
Cables included3x SATA, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets includednone
Software includeddrivers only

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment800MHz

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