The other offering from Biostar comes in the form of a micro-ATX board and the TH67XE.  This board has visually changed since Computex, sporting less SATA 3Gb/s ports, smaller heatsinks and a different position of the 24-pin power connector.  The PCB itself is a little busier than the P67 variant, but it comes with a few video out connectors.  There’s still a few flaws to point out though.

Click to enlarge

 
First of which is the positioning of the SATA 6Gb/s ports.  Because they’re coming out of the board, rather than 90º to it, the minute a user decides to stick in a long card into the second PCIe slot , both of those ports will be covered by the card, leaving only three SATA 3Gb/s ports available.  Using both the large PCIe slots with dual slot cards will result in the PCIe x1 and the PCI being unavailable.
 
If you use only single slot PCIe, this motherboard could probably cater for your needs.  A similar back panel arrangement to the P67, though with a few less USB 2.0 ports in exchange for your D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI connectors.  USB 3.0 via the NEC controller is still there, along with onboard 7.1 HD Audio, gigabit ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, firewire and e-SATA.  On the board itself, there’s enough headers for six more USB 2.0 ports, (again) a sole non-CPU fan header as well as easy power/reset switches.  No debug error code display this time though, but with this board, we wouldn’t really expect it.

Click to enlarge

 
Kudos to Biostar for giving the community something to dissect.  If these are indeed final production boards, we look forward to seeing improved layouts over future iterations over the socket lifetime. Then we’ll come and tackle your BIOS and performance.
The TP67XE - That’s ‘P’ for ‘Performance’
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  • Pneumothorax - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    As far as I'm concerned this is a 1156 board with 3rd party USB thrown in. Intel could've easily made SB backwards compatible without a performance hit Reply
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Trust me, you're far from the only one who feels that way. Myself and a lot of people who I talk to feel like Intel are robbing whoever bought a 1156 board.

    Was this new socket/chipset made necessary by the new IGP and/or new CPU? I don't know. What I know though, is that a lot of people would have gladly upgraded their 1156 PC if SB was backward compatible and that quite a few of them don't want/need a new motherboard already.

    Then again, I have a feeling that this was done as a business decision by Intel, simply to sell more of their chipsets and to make their motherboard partners happy to sell more motherboards.

    My 2 cents.
    Reply
  • icrf - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Sandy Bridge uses a new 1155-pin socket that is not compatible with the previous generation Arrandale and Clarkdale processors. One reason is that clock generation has changed. Rather than having a discrete clock generator on the motherboard, Intel’s 6-Series chipset feeds a single base clock through DMI to the processor, where it is multiplied and distributed across the die. This is another example of integration, although the clock generator is a smaller part of the system than the GPU or memory controllers.


    http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?ArticleID=RW...
    Reply
  • Wieland - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    That isn't something most of us necessarily wanted to be changed or something that (from what I understand) necessarily had to to be changed. Reply
  • SteelCity1981 - Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - link

    Still with that said the Sandy Bridge Cpu's could have been backwards compatible with the Intel 5 series motherboards. Nothing in that whole artical indicated that Sandy Bridge couldn't be ran on an Intel 5 series socket. All it was displaying is the internal cpu changes of Sandy Bridge itself. Reply
  • arubino99 - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    Sorry, but you are HIGHLY mistaken.
    The current SB archtecture will NOT work with current MBs, as the linked article states clearly.

    You'd also be upset if Intel released a backwards compatible chip that offered minimal upgrades. "oh, it's another Intel chip I don't need for marginal performance upgrade"

    Let's face, innovation requires a different line of thinking. There's only so far you could push the 775 architecture, and there's only so far you can push the 1156. Have you seen Anand's very own OC of the 1155 chips? 5 Ghz... on AIR.

    If you had read this and looked at HOW DIFFERENT these chips actually are (other than herp derp pin count), you wouldn't be making comments like this.
    Reply
  • nbjknk - Thursday, November 25, 2010 - link


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  • Mathieu Bourgie - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Second paragraph, last word:

    " No matter how hard you try and jam a card into the wrong slot, something will end up braking."

    I'm pretty sure that you meant "breaking" there.

    Good article otherwise, thanks for the preview. Looks like Biostar is coming out with more interesting products.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Thanks Mathieu, correction made!

    Ian
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    " No matter how hard you try and jam a card into the wrong slot, something will end up breaking."

    ...that's what she said...

    Seriously though, doesn't that sentence sound wrong? Wouldn't it be something like... "no matter how delicately you try to place a card into the wrong slot, something will end up breaking?"

    -----------------------------------

    Good article, the USBs on the board look sexy.
    Reply

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