My Biostar TF7025-M2 Review: Biostar Raises the Bar

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aristide1
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Post by aristide1 » Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:10 pm

Visivicous,

OK, what does it do without the video card installed? And if there are "chipset" drivers are there newer ones available? Check for updates SATA drivers as well, and of course video drivers.

I would also raise my DIMM voltage to 1.9 as the slot will probably measure a little bit less. As an alternative remove 1 stick of memory and boot up and see how it does. If it behaves you probably need a little bit more VDIMM voltage. If not you won't kill anything.

Other alternative is to boot in safe mode and see if it behaves any better.
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Visivicous
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Post by Visivicous » Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:13 pm

I believe that I have found the problem. I forgot about the MemTest86 program. I downloaded the MemTest86 and the MemTest86+ v.1.70 ISO's onto my spare computer, then burned them to cds and ran them on my new computer. Many errors were revealed. This was the first time that I encountered a memory problem quite like this. It really did seem like a hard drive problem :-)

I got a RMA from NewEgg.com and shipped the memory back yesterday. Once I get the new ram I will run MemTest86 again and post back about what happens.

To answer the questions: the voltage for the ram is already set to 1.95 by default. This is the lowest setting in the bios. As for the drivers, I could only load from the driver cds. Anything that I download becomes corrupt, with only a couple of exceptions, so I cannot try newer drivers. As for compatibility, Kingston reported that they do not know if it is compatible. But this board and the 7050 version are almost the same, and the 7050 is listed on the Kingston website as being compatible with this memory. I have also found posts on several website by users who have this memory/motherboard combo and they have reported it to work well.

Thanks for the reply to my post!

aristide1
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Post by aristide1 » Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:42 pm

Pity, I wonder how it would have operated at 2 or 2.1 volts.
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kentc
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Post by kentc » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:58 am

I just ran ye olde power-meter on my setup:

Biostar TF7050-M2
Athlon64 X2 3800+ (0.9v/1.0GHz, 1.075v/2.0GHz)
2x1GB 667MHz DDR2
Samsung HD080HJ
Panasonic UJ-845-B Slimline Slot-in
Nexus 92mm, Nexus 120mm, HSF AMD 70mm fans
USB Keyboard, Wireless USB Mouse
Seasonic SS-300SFD 80+

Idle: 26w
Playing 1080p: 38w (average)

I am truly amazed by the powerconsumption of this board, gotta love it and gotta love those AMD CPUs.

Best regards,
Kent.
what did you do today? http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/

ninethirty
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Post by ninethirty » Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:20 am

I just ran ye olde power-meter on my setup:

Biostar TF7050-M2
Athlon64 X2 3800+ (0.9v/1.0GHz, 1.075v/2.0GHz)
2x1GB 667MHz DDR2
Samsung HD080HJ
Panasonic UJ-845-B Slimline Slot-in
Nexus 92mm, Nexus 120mm, HSF AMD 70mm fans
USB Keyboard, Wireless USB Mouse
Seasonic SS-300SFD 80+

Idle: 26w
Playing 1080p: 38w (average)

I am truly amazed by the powerconsumption of this board, gotta love it and gotta love those AMD CPUs.
You measured 38w from the wall? Surely not... that's incredible. Non-mobile/non-low-voltage chip and 3.5" drive, too.
I guess I have a new build to copy.

aristide1
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Post by aristide1 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:41 am

Well, look at how much he's undervolted the cpu. He should try one stick of RAM and no fans.
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Felger Carbon
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Post by Felger Carbon » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:22 am

kentc wrote:I just ran ye olde power-meter on my setup...
Could you tell us what "ye olde power-meter" is?

kentc
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Post by kentc » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:25 pm

aristide1 wrote:Well, look at how much he's undervolted the cpu. He should try one stick of RAM and no fans.
Done:

Image

CD and all but CPU-fan unplugged. RAM and NB on lowest voltage available in BIOS.

Power off:

Image

Is this reasonable?
Felger Carbon wrote:Could you tell us what "ye olde power-meter" is?
Image

When I measure other things around the house it gives my sensible values, remember I am on 230v which gives me a very high efficiency on the 80+-PSU. I sure hope it's correct! Powermeter is sold at a couple of shops in Sweden and it costs around $35, if that's anything to go by?

Regards,
Kent.
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aristide1
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Post by aristide1 » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:22 pm

Is 3 watts at shut off reasonable? Well there's a 5 volt standby on all the time, even when the system is off. I would call it normal. I have no use for it, I'd try to shut it off in the BIOS as well, if it's there.

Hey, now you're only 22 watts away from becoming a multi-billionaire.
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Post by Lawrence Lee » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:32 pm

kentc, that's the exact same power meter I used. But I got mine for $20CDN. :D

Anyway I don't have the setup any more. I built the system for my cousin and played around with it a bit for fun before giving it to him. In hindsight it would've been cool to see just how low I could've gotten the power consumption, but that wasn't my main objective. I'm not surprised it could go lower.

walkingjohn
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Post by walkingjohn » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:18 pm

Has anyone replaced the chipset heatsink on this board? I'm hoping to put on an HR-05 or similar, along with a Ninja for the cpu, but I haven't done that sort of thing before--I'm hoping they'll fit okay.

Palindroman
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Post by Palindroman » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:15 am

I'm seriously thinking of switching to this board for my low power system design (or perhaps an Asrock). How is Biostar in terms of quality? I'm reading left and right that it's not so fantastic.

@ Kentc: According to Samsung your hard drive is 3.5" but it has the same power specifications as a 2.5" HD. This page can't be right, right?

vg30et
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Post by vg30et » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:29 am

[quote="Palindroman"]I'm seriously thinking of switching to this board for my low power system design (or perhaps an Asrock). How is Biostar in terms of quality? I'm reading left and right that it's not so fantastic.[quote]

I just sent my TF7050 board back to newegg for a replacement. I had a SATA timeout issue that was getting progressively worse and Biostar determined the issue was with 2 bad SATA ports. I've seen some reports of reliability issues on newegg reviews too.
[size=75]P180B | Asus M4A785-M | BE-2350 @ 0.912V to 1.056V | Ninja | 4GB DDR2-800 | Morex 150W Brick | OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD| 1x Scythe SFF21D + 1x Nexus 120mm | 29W Idle, 60W Max
[/size]

Lawrence Lee
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Post by Lawrence Lee » Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:05 am

Biostar has been around for a long time (though not in North America) and is IRC a 2nd tier manufacturer. I felt more confident buying it since it came from a local shop with good warranty service and customer support.

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Post by RedAE102 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:11 am

I thought I would update my previous post... I installed the latest BIOS from the www.biostar.cn site, and lo and behold, my temperatures are now what I expect. I am now at a stable 2.4 GHz overclock (CPU freq. 253 MHz x 9.5) at 1.175V nominal, and I use CrystalCPUID to idle at 4.5x or 1138 MHz at 0.850V. Idle temperature is usually around 28°C at 1138 MHz or 33°C at 2403 MHz on a passive Ninja in a Solo case. Under full load, I reach a stable 48°C. When I last checked my power consumption, I was idling at 58W according to the Kill-A-Watt power meter, but that was with all 3 hard drives running. I have yet to obtain a revised power reading with the spare two drives unplugged, as I won't have the power meter back for a while.

Edit: I just re-checked the www.biostar.com.tw site and it seems the updated BIOS was recently posted. On a side note, the new BIOS removes the ability to run a 3-pin CPU fan with automatically varied speed, but it did for the first time allow me to adjust the fan speed in SpeedFan. The updated BIOS also adds AMD Virtualisation support. I'm sure this is a welcome addition for those that will use it.

Another note: I should probably mention that I'm running a Seasonic S12-330 PSU.

kentc
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Post by kentc » Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:10 pm

Palindroman wrote:@ Kentc: According to Samsung your hard drive is 3.5" but it has the same power specifications as a 2.5" HD. This page can't be right, right?
Well considering I only get a 22w idle, it's probably a very low power HD. 22w wouldn't be possible otherwise I think...

Regards,
Kent.
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Post by AlpineCarver » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:31 pm

walkingjohn wrote:Has anyone replaced the chipset heatsink on this board? I'm hoping to put on an HR-05 or similar, along with a Ninja for the cpu, but I haven't done that sort of thing before--I'm hoping they'll fit okay.
i have both installed and running happily in a TF7050-M2, which i think has exactly the same spacing as a TF7025-M2.

i'll post a write-up with photos in the general gallery in a few days.

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Post by dvdmonster » Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:19 pm

AlpineCarver wrote: i'll post a write-up with photos in the general gallery in a few days.
Great. I'm looking forward to that.

Can you fit the HR-05 without any extra fittings besides what comes with the kit? I'm using a ninja on the CPU but the chipset gets way hotter than the CPU even at load.

Visivicous
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Post by Visivicous » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:36 pm

I RMA'd the RAM mentioned above and the computer works now. I have experienced an odd problem with this motherboard, however. I have my computer setup in a room with an ambient temp. of around 70F. I have updated the bios to the latest posted on the American Biostar website, http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdownloads. ... 0TF7025-M2
Now my cpu temp. under bios reads at 160C after initial startup! WTF is up with this board!?!

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Post by RedAE102 » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:15 am

Visivicous wrote:I RMA'd the RAM mentioned above and the computer works now. I have experienced an odd problem with this motherboard, however. I have my computer setup in a room with an ambient temp. of around 70F. I have updated the bios to the latest posted on the American Biostar website, http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdownloads. ... 0TF7025-M2
Now my cpu temp. under bios reads at 160C after initial startup! WTF is up with this board!?!
The BIOS I downloaded that fixed my temperature readings to levels that seem reasonable to me is the second one on the list here:
http://www.biostar.cn/supports/BIOS.asp ... &Value=561

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Post by AlpineCarver » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:22 pm

dvdmonster wrote:Can you fit the HR-05 without any extra fittings besides what comes with the kit? I'm using a ninja on the CPU but the chipset gets way hotter than the CPU even at load.
yes. the stock fittings work fine. the HS is held in place by a small metal bar. the HR-05 package includes 3 different versions of this bar. choose the bar with hole spacing closest to the spacing of the mounting holes in the motherboard. they don't have to match exactly; they just need to be close.

SPIKY
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Post by SPIKY » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:14 pm

How hot is the NB heatsink on this mainboard?

I currently have an Asus m2a-vm, and its NB gets hot like hell... so I'm searching another one which doens't run quite as hot.

kentc
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Post by kentc » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:26 pm

SPIKY wrote:How hot is the NB heatsink on this mainboard?
I currently have an Asus m2a-vm, and its NB gets hot like hell... so I'm searching another one which doens't run quite as hot.
Hot. Mine is not yet in a case (being modded ofcourse :) but flat on the desk and with the original AMD HSF which doesn't give the NB HS any airflow what so ever it runs hot. Well I can hold my finger on it for like 10 seconds and with just a tiny bit of airflow it gets cool to the touch. This is with original HS!
I have though taken of the original Biostar-logo because that was just stupid.

Again, a motherboard with this low power consumption, it can't really run hot, it just isn't using enough power to run hot! :)

Reagrds,
Kent.
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SPIKY
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Post by SPIKY » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:27 am

kentc wrote: Hot. Mine is not yet in a case (being modded ofcourse :) but flat on the desk and with the original AMD HSF which doesn't give the NB HS any airflow what so ever it runs hot. Well I can hold my finger on it for like 10 seconds and with just a tiny bit of airflow it gets cool to the touch. This is with original HS!
I have though taken of the original Biostar-logo because that was just stupid.

Again, a motherboard with this low power consumption, it can't really run hot, it just isn't using enough power to run hot! :)

Reagrds,
Kent.
Thanks, that sound pretty good :)

If you hold your finger 10 second on the m2a-vm's NB it will burn your finger right off, honestly.

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Post by aristide1 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:38 am

Has anybody gotten Ubuntu to run on this mobo?
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AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:17 am

SPIKY wrote:How hot is the NB heatsink on this mainboard?

I currently have an Asus m2a-vm, and its NB gets hot like hell... so I'm searching another one which doens't run quite as hot.
i highly recommend the thermalright HR-05 heatsink. with it installed, the northbridge is barely warm to the touch!

i started with an ASUS M2NPV-VM, but it's NB was incredibly hot (pushing 100C), and it can't easily take a 3rd-party heatsink. so NB cooling was foremost in my mind when i chose this biostar board. i'm very pleased with it.

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Post by jones_r » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:01 am

i started with an ASUS M2NPV-VM, but it's NB was incredibly hot (pushing 100C), and it can't easily take a 3rd-party heatsink. so NB cooling was foremost in my mind when i chose this biostar board. i'm very pleased with it.
I don't understand, is theBiostar 7025's NB cool, or is it just easier to fit a heatsink on it ?

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Post by AlpineCarver » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:23 am

aristide1 wrote:Has anybody gotten Ubuntu to run on this mobo?
yes. had some issues getting it working, mostly solved now:
  • (1) at the beginning of installation, my usb keyboard/mouse didn't work. i had to use a PS2 keyboard/mouse. after the initial setup, i switched back.

    (2) initially, you have to start the system in "safe graphics mode".

    (3) ubuntu complained about buffer overflow on device fd0. in the BIOS, set “drive Aâ€
Last edited by AlpineCarver on Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

aristide1
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Post by aristide1 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:27 am

(4) ubuntu's system / restricted drivers installer doesn't give you a usable graphics driver. you have to download and install a driver manually.
What a surprise!
Yeah, right.

Glad I got a T-Force 6100. No rush building another folding machine.
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AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:29 am

jones_r wrote:
i started with an ASUS M2NPV-VM, but it's NB was incredibly hot (pushing 100C), and it can't easily take a 3rd-party heatsink. so NB cooling was foremost in my mind when i chose this biostar board. i'm very pleased with it.
I don't understand, is theBiostar 7025's NB cool, or is it just easier to fit a heatsink on it ?
i can't speak from experience about the stock heatsink's performace, since i installed the HR-05 immediately, before the first power-on.

i've read reports from others that the NB with stock heatsink runs hot.

i can attest that, with the HR-05, it's very cool. at idle, it's barely warm to the touch.

unfortunately, i know of no way to get precise temp from the chip itself.

btw, i have a 7050FV, not a 7025. i suspect their thermal characteristics are very similar, but i don't have any direct experience with the 7025.

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