New platforms, chipsets, processor sockets and processors do not appear too often. After every announcement like that we try to test as many processor and mainboard models as we possibly can, so that our readers could have the most extensive info at their disposal and hence could make a thought-through reasonable choice. For example, you can read the reviews of LGA1366 mainboards from ASRock, Asus, DFI, EVGA, Foxconn, Gigabyte, Intel, MSI. In some cases we even reviewed several different mainboard models from the same manufacturer. Unfortunately, Biostar solutions didn’t get included into this list for the reasons that were beyond our control. However, now that the new LGA1156 platform has just been launched things have changed and we are glad to offer you one of the first reviews of the flagship solution from Biostar – TPower I55 mainboard.
Our today’s review will talk about packaging, accessories and software bundle, strengths and weaknesses of the Biostar mainboard, its functionality in terms of system configuring and overclocking, performance level and power consumption compared with the already tested solutions. We will also talk about the features that sometimes make us exclaim: “OMG”!
Package and Accessories
The board is shipped in a golden colored box, which is of about the same thickness as the boxes of other mainboards, although it is much longer and wider.
However, the mainboard itself is of pretty standard size and this large box is mostly determined by the peculiarities of the packaging. There is an external thin slip-cover box that serves informational and decorative purposes. Beneath it, there is a box of thick white cardboard. Besides a traditional antistatic plastic bag the board is additionally protected with a frame made of some porous material. This frame is the reason why the box had to be made larger.
Besides the actual mainboard, there is a smaller two-sectional box inside that holds all the accessories:
- PATA cable;
- Six SATA cables with metal connector locks wrapped with a Biostar logo tie;
- Six power adapters for SATA devices wrapped with an identical tie;
- Two bridges for ATI CrossFire or Nvidia SLI configurations;
- Retention bracket that holds the connecting bridge;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- User manual;
- CD disk with drivers and software.