Biostar TP67XE Motherboard Review

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Biostar has been a major contender in the budget motherboard category for years and their TP67XE aims to keep that tradition alive. Offering many cutting edge features at a low to mid-range price, this board appears to be a option for overclockers looking to build a new Sandy Bridge rig while not going fully broke in the process. Biostar was nice enough to send one over for us to get an in depth look.

The retail box

The retail box

More features listed on the back

More features listed on the back

The board

The board

SATA3 and USB3 included

SATA3 and USB3 included

Backside

Backside

Alternate view

Alternate view

I/O ports

I/O ports

CPU socket area close up

CPU socket area close up

The TP67XE has an EFI BIOS, which is new and common to this generation of motherboards. There are quite a few revisions floating around, but the official ones on Biostar’s website all have the look and feel of the old BIOS we are all used to. Some of them, however, are more like other EFI BIOSs in that they have a more modern GUI that even allow you to use your mouse to navigate and make selections, like the 126 Beta BIOS. The 126 Beta BIOS also allows for storing profiles, while other revisions like the current 414 Beta do not. It’s also notable that the 414 Beta was released to ensure compatibility for PCI-e SSD drives like the Revodrive X2. This release is in part due to my review of the Revodrive, when I informed Biostar that the drive would not work in their board. They then worked quickly with OCZ to fix the issue, so kudos to Biostar and OCZ for their great support.

Overclocking settings

Overclocking settings

Bottom of the page

Bottom of the page

Specifications and Features

The TP67XE is Biostar’s top of the line P67 motherboard and includes all the features you’d expect to find in a modern computer.

Highlights

  • Intel P67 single chip architecture
  • 10 Phase Power Design
  • Support 4-DIMM DDR3-2200(OC)/2133(OC)/2000(OC)/1600(OC)/1333 up to 16G maximum capacity
  • Support ATI crossfireX and NVIDIA SLI technology
  • Support SATA 6Gb/s 2X speed than current SATA 3G
  • Support USB 3.0
  • THX(TruStudio Pro) Technology for true studio audio experience
  • 100% X.D.C solid capacitors
  • BIOSTAR G.P.U (Green Power Utility) Technology for Energy Saving
  • BIOSTAR Toverclocker utility included on the driver disc

More Specifics

CPU SUPPORT

  • 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
  • 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor
  • 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i3 Processor

MEMORY

  • Support Dual Channel DDR3 2200(OC)/2133(OC)/2000(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066 MHz
  • 4 x DDR3 DIMM Memory Slot
  • Max. Supports up to 16GB Memory
  • It is recommended to install memory module on the red DDR3 DIMM slot (DDR3_A2 or DDR3_B2) to boot the system.

EXPANSION SLOT

  • 2 x PCI Slots
  • 2 x PCI-E x1 2.0 Slot
  • 2 x PCI-E x16 2.0 Slot (CFX x8)

STORAGE

  • 2 x SATA3 6Gb/s Connector
  • 3 x SATA2 3Gb/s Connector
  • 1 x eSATA2 3Gb/s Connector
  • Support SATA RAID: 0,1,5,10

USB

  • 2 x USB 3.0 Port
  • 6 x USB 2.0 Port
  • 3 x USB 2.0 Header

IEEE 1394

  • VIA VT6315N
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a Port
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a Header
GbE 

  • Realtek RTL8111E – 10/100/1000 Controller

CODEC

  • Realtek ALC892 8-Channel HD Audio

REAR I/O

  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
  • 1 x eSATA2 3Gb/s Connector
  • 1 x FireWire IEEE 1394a Port
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Port
  • 6 x USB 2.0 Port
  • 1 x RJ-45 Port
  • 6 x Audio Connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out Port

INTERNAL I/O

  • 3 x USB 2.0 Header
  • 2 x SATA3 6Gb/s Connector
  • 3 x SATA2 3Gb/s Connector
  • 1 x Front Audio Header
  • 1 x Front Panel Header
  • 1 x S/PDIF-OUT Header
  • 1 x CPU FAN Header
  • 2 x System FAN Header
  • 1 x Serial Header
  • 1 x FireWire IEEE 1394 Header
  • 1 x CIR Header

DIMENSION

  • ATX Form Factor Dimension: 30.5 cm X 24.4 cm ( W x L )

OS SUPPORT

  • Support Windows XP / Vista / 7

ACCESSORIES

  • 3 x SATA Cable
  • 1 x SATA Power Cable
  • 1 x SLI Connector
  • 1 x CrossFire Connector
  • 1 x I/O Shield
  • 1 x CD Driver
  • 1 x User Manual

Another feature that Biostar is rolling out with it’s current line of motherboards is the BIO-Remote2 application which allows you to control the media on your computer using your Android or iOS device. You can download the app for free from the Android Market or iTunes. I’m not a huge fan of the GUI but it did work and wasn’t too difficult to get around. However, I do believe there are other, better options out there so pick the one that is right for you. Also on the software side is the included TOverclocker Utility which is more or less exactly the same as it has been for all of their recent motherboards. It is, of course, limited to P67 specific settings and does include screens to view all of your hardware information and temperatures. For a more in depth view of the software, check out my review of the TA890FXE.

Toverclocker FSB settings

Toverclocker FSB settings

Toverclocker voltage settings

Toverclocker voltage settings

Inside the box

Inside the box

Accessories

Accessories

Possibly the best features that overclockers will love are the included on board BIOS debug LCD, power switch, and reset switch. You can see where the “value engineering” takes place: fewer SATA ports and fewer PCI-E slots just to name a few. Still, the board has a lot to offer with USB3, SATA3, RAID, HD Audio, SLI and Crossfire support, solid capacitors, and 10-phase power design. Another area where value engineering took over is with the heatsinks on the VRM and north bridge. They do not include heatpipes like you will find on other more expensive boards. However, this isn’t instantly a drawback unless you plan on pushing extremely high voltages to the processor which are typically only seen while running extreme cooling like liquid nitrogen. For the masses that are simply overclocking on air cooling, these heatsinks should be more than adequate for the voltage loads.

Overclocking and Benchmarks

Unfortunately, the 2600k I have isn’t the strongest of overclockers and could not go above 5.3 GHz no matter what I tried.  I even ran it with dry ice but no amount of voltage or tweaking would push it further.  However, the TP67XE took everything I threw at it.  The only issue I ran into while overclocking is that the voltage droop on the core was quite severe under load even with LLC enabled.  I’d have to set the Vcore to 1.56 V to keep the chip stable for benching at 4.9 GHz.  This would result in a Vcore around 1.45 V when under load. When pushing the FSB, I was able to reach a maximum of 105.1 MHz which seems to be about the average for this chipset if you look around the ‘net a little.

Performance graph

Performance graph

Wprime

Wprime

Superpi 32m

Superpi 32m

Superpi 1m

Superpi 1m

PiFast

PiFast

Maxxmem

Maxxmem

Max FSB

Max FSB

Cinebench 11.5

Cinebench 11.5

Cinebench 10

Cinebench 10

7zip

7zip

3DMark Vantage CPU

3DMark Vantage CPU

3DMark 06 CPU

3DMark 06 CPU

Conclusion

For an overclocker on a budget, the Biostar TP67XE a decent choice.  It overclocked relatively well and allowed me to run benchmarks at 4.9GHz without any problems. It comes with all the features of a modern motherboard like SPDIF out, USB3, SATA3, and two PCI-E x16 slots.  The downside is that there are only three SATA2 and 2 SATA3 ports so this board won’t work for anyone with a wealth of hard drives. The lack of a 3rd or even 4th full size PCI-E port also limits what you can plug into this board; dual GPUs and a PCI-E based SSD are out of the question along with tri- or quad- GPUs for gaming.

Even though the TP67Xe is Biostar’s top of the line motherboard, it is still meant to be a “bang for the buck” option for the budget conscious consumer and is retailing at Newegg for $140 right now.  That price places it firmly in the low to mid-range and fits the features well.  Taking this all into consideration, I wouldn’t have a problem suggesting this to a friend looking to save a few bucks and still have great overclocking ability, so I’m marking the TP67Xe Overclockers Approved.

– splat

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Discussion
  1. Great review Brett:thup:
    I have one of these in my 24/7 rig running a 2500k at 4.5Ghz and 1.3vcore. The board has a fantastic price/value ratio and I can really recommend it to people looking for a great mid range bench/gaming board, has some great features, it could do with a few more SATA ports.
    great review, and this thing has 2x 8pin sockets? i know its fairly pointless but still, there are only a few single socket boards with that out there, i hope it doesn't become a norm as i dont like having power sockets no matter how pointless they are unused.
    Excellent review, and it looks like a great board!
    Im really curious as to why it does have 2x 8pin power as well. Even a high end giga board (UD7) only has one.
    thanks guys. yeah not sure why it has two 8pin power plugs since i've seen other boards with only one. it certainly didn't help the vdroop.
    This is a solid board at a competitive price. I've had mine since SB first went on sale back in January and I've benched with it up to 55x... (chip dependent). I'm now looking forward to getting my original B2 revision exchanged for a new B3.