Biostar TForce 965PT: Feature Set

Biostar TForce 965PT
Market Segment: Budget Performance - $104.99
CPU Interface: Socket T (Socket 775)
CPU Support: LGA775-based Pentium 4, Celeron D, Pentium D, Pentium EE, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme
Chipset: Intel P965 + ICH8
Bus Speeds: 100 to 600 in 1MHz Increments
Memory Speeds: Auto, 533, 667, 800
PCIe Speeds: Auto, CPU Linked, Fixed at 100MHz, 100MHz~200MHz
PCI: Fixed at 33.33MHz
Core Voltage: Startup, 1.10000V to 1.80000V in 0.00625V increments
CPU Clock Multiplier: Auto, 6x-11x in 1X increments for Core 2 Duo
DRAM Voltage: 1.8V, 2.0V, 2.1V, 2.2V
DRAM Timing Control: SPD, 8 DRAM Timing Options
NB Voltage: Auto,1.25V, 1.35V, 1.45V, 1.55V
FSB Voltage: 1.2V, 1.3V, 1.4V, 1.5V
Memory Slots: Four 240-pin DDR2 DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 8GB Total
Expansion Slots: 1 - PCIe X16
1 - PCIe X4
1 - PCIe X1
3 - PCI Slot 2.3
Onboard SATA/RAID: 4 SATA 3Gbps Ports - Intel ICH8
No RAID Capability
Onboard IDE: 1 Standard ATA133/100/66/33 Port (2 drives) - VIA VT6410
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394: 10 USB 2.0 Ports - 6 I/O Panel - 4 via Headers
No Firewire Support
Onboard LAN: Gigabit Ethernet Controller - PCI Express Interface
Realtek RTL 8110SC
Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC883 HD-Audio 8-channel CODEC
Power Connectors: ATX 24-pin, 4-pin EATX 12V
Fan Connectors: 3 - CPU, Chassis, System
I/O Panel: 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Serial
1 x Audio Panel
1 x RJ45
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
BIOS Revision: AWARD P96CA914BS

The Biostar TForce P965 Deluxe motherboard has been one of our favorite boards in the labs as we think it has one of the best blend of performance, options, and price. However, Biostar has not been able to supply the board due to Intel ICH8R chipset shortages. This problem seems to be easing currently and we expect the board to be available in volume later this month. Faced with this supply issue Biostar decided to offer the P965PT with the only differences being the ICH8 chipset is used instead of the ICH8R and a few minor BIOS changes. The BIOS does not offer the same MCH voltages nor can you change the multiplier downward with it.



Biostar includes several software utilities with the board: an Overclock Program, Hardware Monitoring application, Smart Fan Utility, and an online BIOS update applet. The overclock utility allows for limited changes to the FSB and basic system voltages. The smart fan utility allows control of the CPU and main system fan header within Windows, although the BIOS options are more significant in regards to temperature control. The Hardware monitoring utility allows for real-time monitoring of CPU temperature, CPU fan speeds, and basic system voltages. Biostar includes an automatic overclocking utility in their BIOS that offers three different settings named V6, V8, and V12.

We once again selected the V12 setting in the BIOS and after a quick reboot our speeds increased to Ford Escort performance this time around. The asphalt ripping speeds of our V12 equipped Escort netted us a 2037MHz CPU speed via a 7x291FSB and DDR2-723 memory speed. However, the system was smart enough (unlike our other boards) to actually set the memory timings at something other than an ultra safe 5-5-5-15 setting with actual timings at 4-4-4-10. This is unusual as this BIOS will default to DDR2-667 (4:5) settings with timings at 5-5-5-15 when left on auto settings. Overall, the automatic overclocking worked without any issues and provided an increase in speed just as Biostar intended, although we expected a little more from a beefy V12.

Index Biostar TForce 965PT: Board Layout and Features
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  • Zak - Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - link

    Yeah, WTF with the software design? Did they hire someone fired from FisherPrice or what? It's ugly and dysfunctional, even Asus AI Booster isn't THIS ugly.

    <Z>
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Monday, November 13, 2006 - link

    Regarding the article comment about the floppy connector,
    "We would just as well have this connector disappear at this time."
    you might want to clarify who "we" is, since there are plenty of people who want a floppy connector even if they don't have a constant use for a floppy drive.

    Remember that one person's use of a system does not equal entire world. Many legacy apps and even some emergency bios recovery routines require a floppy drive. If this were a reduced form factor board, it stands to reason that more features requiring connectors need to be left out, but to give up functionality on a whim is hardly useful, it's not as though you would have to grand replacement feature on that bottom edge, cubic inch of space otherwise.
    Reply
  • Larso - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    Oh my, do those motherboard monitoring/tuning applications look ugly... Ugly as in grotesque swollen blobs rather than functional design.

    A shame, I really liked the biostar board until the accompanying software utility appeared before for my eyes, aww... The gigabyte software is not pretty either... Can you switch the GUI to something less graphical and more standard windows widgets -like?

    Do all software accompanying motherboards look like this??
    Reply
  • Avalon - Saturday, November 11, 2006 - link

    You mean you actually use software to overclock? Do it the manly way and use the BIOS. Reply
  • Larso - Saturday, November 11, 2006 - link

    Its not about overclocking, the problem is if the motherboard software has some specific monitoring/adjusting features not available in freeware monitoring applications. Then you would have to use that monstrous software if you want the feature.

    Another problem is quality impression of the product as a whole. That software's user interface simply turns me off. Why don't they make the interface look like PRO tools, instead of plastic hell!
    Reply
  • bullfrawg - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    I think it's great that, as mentioned in the first article, you are checking out the manufacturer's tech support by pretending to be regular joes rather than review sites. So I want to express interest in seeing more detail about how tech support treats you. ASUS seems to have gotten a bad reputation lately for tech support -- is this justified in your experience? I see that you say Gigabyte has been good so far. Thanks! Reply
  • Staples - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    The 965 performs very well no matter what board it is on. I will be waiting till you get a 650i Ultra board to review. I am holding out on a Core Duo and my next purchase will be between these two chipsets. Reply
  • Kensei - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    Nice old school reference back to the double-mint twins. You definitely dated yourself with that one Gary.

    Kensei
    Reply
  • Hikari - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    Not really, I saw a double mint advertisement on TV with twins the other day... Reply
  • Kensei - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    Really! I didn't know they had done a remake of that commercial.

    Ken
    Reply

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