Biostar unveils AMD Thuban retail branding

Details its own 890GX board early

IT SEEMS LIKE Biostar jumped the press release gun as the company posted details of its upcoming TA890GXE motherboard based on the AMD 890GX chipset on its website. The press release has since been taken down, but it has already spread all over the web. However, what makes it interesting is the fact that it includes the retail name for AMD’s upcoming hexa-core CPUs.

Biostar was never one of the big motherboard players, although it had a short glory time with its iDeq line of SFF systems at one stage and the company has made some claim to fame thanks to overclockers finding a few of its models to be very capable. The TA890GX might not be a big seller, but at least Biostar has gained some free press by including the retail branding of AMD’s Thuban processors on the press release.

Please put your bets in. AMD’s hexa-core CPUs will be called… Phenom II X6. Well, that’s what Biostar is saying anyhow and in this case we think we can trust it to not have gotten it wrong. Not exactly a new exciting product name, but then again, we didn’t really expect AMD to come up with an entirely new branding scheme for these processors.

So what about Biostar’s motherboard then? Well, the press release didn’t include a picture, so we don’t know what it looks like, but it’s a micro-ATX board and it has AMD’s 890GX northbridge and SB850 southbridge. It supports asymmetric CrossFire, so in other words the IGP should work with a wide range of cards, although we’ll have to wait until the launch to find out exactly which cards it’ll work with.

Speaking of the IGP, AMD hasn’t upped the clock speed, so the 890GX will operate at the same 700MHz as the 790GX. The upgrades as we’ve mentioned before include DX10.1 graphics and UVD 2.0 support. The SB850 brings with it full support for SATA3 6Gbps on all ports. Other features on the TA890GXE of interest include 128MB of DDR3 side port memory and Blu-ray audio support. The rest is pretty standard fare such as an eSATA port, HDMI and DVI ports, FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet. It should make for a decent HTPC board or a great system for those that don’t require high-end gaming graphics.

We will of course be seeing some full-size ATX boards based on the 890GX chipset as well, such as the ones from Asus and Gigabyte that we’ve had sneak peeks of already. We’re not sure that the target market for an IGP motherboard is really considering a hexa-core CPU, but at least it’s good to know that the support is there. It will be interesting to see what AMD has done to improve on the CrossFire side of things as the current generation of IGP boards from AMD is a bit limited when it comes to graphics cards that will play nicely in combination with the IGP in CrossFire mode.S|A

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