Published in Motherboards
Biostar goes after the high-end market
Cebit 08: T-Power is the word
Somewhat by chance, we posted information about the first board in the T-Power series yesterday when we wrote about the TPower N750, but it turns it it's more than just one board, it's a whole new concept from Biostar. The second board in the series has already been announced, and it's a slightly lower-end model which, at the moment, goes under the name of TF8200 A2+.
As the name suggests, this board is based on the Nvidia GeForce 8200 chipset, but for some reason it seems as if Biostar has decided to add this chipset to its performance range of boards. Biostar has implemented a wide range of unusual features, to say the least, to its T-Power series and both boards share the peculiar chipset heatpipe cooling. However, the TF8200 A2+ doesn't seem to vent the air out the back of the I/O shield in the same way it appears to work with the TPower N750.
What we didn't know yesterday was that the fan on the picture is an optional extra and both of the boards seem to have a fan option, although the TF8200 A2+ doesn't seem to get the extra heatpipe sticking out of the heatisink behind the fan. Another odd feature we found out about with regard to the TPower N750 is that there's an add-on module for at least the first graphics card to be connected to the optional fan via another heatpipe. We're not sure how practical this all really is, but at least it's a novel feature.
But let's get back to the TF8200 A2+, as it also has a rather strange feature which we can't really figure out what it's good for, or quite how it works for that matter. Biostar's engineers have implemented what they call Multi-Digital-View to the TF8200 A2+, and as you can see from the picture below, this appears to be a PCIe x1 card which has a DVI and HDMI connector on it. So far not so strange, but when you factor in that the board already has a DVI and HDMI connector onboard, as well as a D-sub connector just for good measures, then things get odd.
From what we have managed to gather, this extra card is somehow, magically if you want, taking the single link DVI signal from the GeForce 8200 chipset and splitting it into two. But as we're not sure to what extent it does this, we can't really comment on the matter of this being a good idea or not. This would allow for two DVI or HDMI devices to be connected to the board at once, which we're sure someone somewhere is going to find really usefull and if it's you, please let us know why.
Nonetheless, you can find the product page for the TF8200 A2+ with slightly better overview pictures of the board as well as the full specifications here; but it doesn't mention anything about the MDV card, as we've decided to call it. You can also find out a bit more about Biostar's T-Power series here, as well as a bunch more info and several pictures of the TPower N750 board. We like innovation, but please explain what it is you're doing. Adding a strange new feature like the MDV card without explaining how it works really messes with our minds.