Biostar TForce 6100 Motherboard
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 06-13-2006
Closer Look

Before we crack open the box, here are the 6100 Specifications taken directly from Biostar's website. The entire T-series line of products has it's own section, you won't find them listed under Biostar's standard motherboard offerings.

# CPU AMD Athlon 64/Sempron™ Processor
# Supports HyperTransport Technology up to 1600MT/s
# Socket 754
# CHIPSET NVIDIA® GeForce6100 + nForce 410
# MEMORY Supports DDR.333/400 MHz
# 2DDR DIMM memory slots ( up to 2GB memory)
# 1 x PCI-Express x 16
# 1 x PCI-Express x 1
# I/O 1 x FDD connector
# 2 x IDE Connector Support to ATA 100/133
# 1 x CD-In Connector
# 2 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s Connectors
# 1 S/PDIF-Out connector
# 1 x Front Audio Header
# 1 x Parallel , 1 x Serial Port Connector
# 1 x VGA Port
# 1 x RJ-45 LAN Jack
# 8 x USB 2.0 Ports (4 x Rear USB 2.0 , 4 x Front USB 2.0 )
# 1 x Lin-out/Lin-in/Mic
# 1 x PS/2 mouse, 1 x PS/2 keyboard
# INTEGRATED AUDIO Realtek® ALC655 6 Channel Audio Codec
# LAN Realtek® RTL8210B/RTL8201BL
---Integrated 10/100 transceiver
# DIMENSIONS Micro ATX Form Factor: 21.86cm (L) x 24.4cm (W)

The back side of the retail box details several branded features such as ONE (Overclocking Navigator Engine) CRP (CMOS Reloading Program) SRS (Self Recovery System) MIT (Memory Integration Test) and IFP (Integrated Flash Program) all of which we'll cover in more detail in a bit.

Inside we find individually wrapped accessories on top of a cardboard divider, with the board packaged underneath.

The accessories include a driver/software CD, overclock guide, user's manual, 2 SATA cables, IDE and Floppy ribbon cables, SPDIF/TV-OUT riser plate and an I/O shield. The cables are done in black, a nice touch. I believe this is the first motherboard I've seen that came with a printed guide from the manufacturer on how to overclock their product. Biostar is obviously taking their TForce line seriously.

The board itself is quite colorful, ala DFI LanParty-style. The PCB is blue with slots and connectors using bright neons. Personally, I'm not crazy about the color scheme, but if nothing else it makes finding the major components on the board easier.

The external I/O connectors are in a standard layout, with the onboard video 15-pin connector replacing one of the COM ports.

Since Socket 754 doesn't support dual-channel memory, there are only 2 DIMM slots available. The 24-pin ATX and IDE connectors are both located along the front edge of the board where they should be within easy reach. Two fan headers are tucked away on either side of the memory slots, close enough to make them difficult to access once memory has been installed. There are 4 diagnostic LEDs along the front edge of the board, and the User's Manual details the meaning of their status in the event the system doesn't boot. Finally there is a bright red jumper located beside a cap at the end of the ATX connector that is used for overvolting the memory. When moved to the other 2 pins, the jumper overrides the BIOS memory voltage setting and sends a fixed 3.3v to the DIMM slots. This can be very useful for voltage-hungry memory chips.

The opposite front corner of the board is very busy, with power LED indicator, onboard power/reset switch, 2 SATA-II ports, CMOS jumper, front panel headers, BIOS chip and battery, and 2 USB and 1 more fan header crammed into a fairly small section of real estate. The front panel headers are color-coded and clearly labeled. This is one of the few boards I've used that I could connect those jumpers without having to consult the user's manual.

The rear bottom corner contains 2 PCI slots, 1 PCIe 16x, 1 PCIe 1x, and floppy and audio connectors. The position of the floppy and audio connectors can be a very long reach for cables coming from the front of a case.

The last quarter of the board contains the CPU socket, caps and VRMs, I/O connectors, and +12v power connector.

Next let's look at installation.

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