Today we get to take a look at another Biostar motherboard. After the last review, I was wondering how the next motherboard from Biostar would turn out. This time it's the TA690G, a very different motherboard, so Iím hoping for very different results.
The TA690G is a mATX motherboard, which means it's smaller than your typical ATX motherboard. It is definitely not your typical gaming motherboard, but it still boasts some great features that should encourage many gamers to take a look at this board.
I'm going to jump right into the board and skip the extras. There is nothing to talk about, really, just the standard stuff you would expect to get with any motherboard. As I stated earlier, this is a mATX motherboard. If you are not in the market for a mATX motherboard for the size, you might be for the features. Typically, mATX motherboards have all the vitals of the bigger ATX motherboards and are almost always found with onboard graphics of some sort -- a nice feature for nongamers.
The AMD 690 chipset is under the heatsink. It helps run the computer and all the parts together. This is the reason I chose this motherboard. AMD isn't hitting the marks with their graphics cards or CPUs lately, but their chipsets seem to be doing well. There are multiple features that make this chipset stand out from the competition, so let's take a quick look at it.
This is AMD's first attempt at a chipset, but it looks like they are off to a good start. I'm sure they got help from their acquisition of ATI a few years back. A huge selling point for this chipset was the native support for HDMI onboard. Not very many motherboards come with this, but the AMD 690 chipsets come with HDMI native along with DVI and VGA. The HDMI and DVI are independent, so you can run one connection to your TV and the other to your monitor.
With such an abundant array of video options, what kind of core is in this chipset? It's the Radeon X1250, which is based off of the X700. This was the low end graphics card a few years back, so now it certainly isn't going to be playing Crysis at any settings. This core should be able to handle Far Cry acceptably, but don't look for anything more advanced than this.
The big downside I see as far as specs is that this core only supports DX 9.0b. This is years old. I know that 9.0c doesn't add very much, but I think that it should have been supported; hell, we're on DX 10 now and this core is two generations behind.
With all the display options and a decent gaming performance, it's not far-fetched that AMD would include the Avivo video processing engine. First seen in mid-range and high-end cards, AMD has dropped this technology into their integrated chips. This is a great feature for those who will be using this motherboard in an HTPC. Avivo handles lots of video playback features, such as 3:2 pulldown, video scaling, decode acceleration, and more. Spec wise, this is looking like an amazing chipset for HTPCs.
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