Biostar A880G+ AMD Motherboard
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-10-2010
Provided by: Geeks

Biostar's version of AMI BIOS divides the various screens by menu heading along the top, as opposed to a single main menu with two columns of subheadings. The first menu to appear is titled Main, and includes such basics as BIOS build version and date, system date and time, and detected floppy, IDE and SATA drives.

The next section Advanced contains many subheadings such as CPU, Smart Fan, Health, Power and other onboard hardware configurations. Strangely enough, the power throttling setting is referred to as PowerNow rather than Cool'n'Quiet, although the effect is the same. Advanced Clock Calibration or ACC can be enabled to potentially unlock disabled processor cores if your CPU comes so equipped, however our test Athlon-II 240 isn't.

The Smart Fan configuration includes a calibration feature that automatically determines your PWM-supported fan's minimum and maximum speeds, then recommends optimum settings for best performance with the least amount of noise. Hardware Health gives a whole page of readings, from current fan speeds to temperatures and voltages. You can also set an automatic shutdown temperature to prevent processor overheating.

The PCI/PnP and Boot screens have to do with onboard hardware resources and startup selections. While most modern operating systems handle all this automatically now, the options are still there to manually set controls for these devices if needed. Probably the only option you'll need to access here is the boot order for detected drives.

The Chipset section is split into two subheadings, NorthBridge and SouthBridge. Contrary to what you might think, the NorthBridge section does not deal with memory settings or communication between the CPU and RAM, but rather contains all of the configuration for the onboard graphics or attached PCI-e video if used. All new AMD 800-series integrated graphics have more advanced power savings and speed throttling capabilities, similar to their Cool'n'Quiet feature for the CPU.

The SouthBridge subheading of the Chipset section deals mainly with the SATA and onboard RAID configuration if enabled. The AMD SB710 includes support for RAID0/1/10 and AHCI as well as offering a Native IDE interface. The last section Performance contains the overclocking and overvolting options available on the A880G+ as well as memory speed and timings. Despite the A880G+ being tailored more for mainstream or entry-level users, it does offer a decent set of overclocking options.

Speaking of overclocking, let's perform some testing next.

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