My Biostar TF7025-M2 Review: Biostar Raises the Bar

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jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:41 am

What are the differences between the 7050 and 7025 ?, is it only that the 7050 carries an HDMI conection ?

ist.martin
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TF7050-M2 with a picoPSU?

Post by ist.martin » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:05 pm

I saw in an earlier post that someone was planning to use this board, I assume undervolted, with a picoPSU. Can anyone report on that?

I have been recommended this MB for use in a 0 dB passive system. I am considering using it with an Athlon 64 X2 3600+, a picoPSU and a Super Talent 8 GB IDE flash drive for the main drive holding OS/mail/office/media players.

Ccould I cool the CPU passively with a Ninja or similar? Would I need a passive Northbridge chipset cooler?

Any suggestions on a good case for using with a passive cooling solution, a picoPSU and a FLASH drive? (I don't care too much about the size or shape.)

Thank you.

Felger Carbon
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Post by Felger Carbon » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:12 pm

jones_r wrote:What are the differences between the 7050 and 7025 ?, is it only that the 7050 carries an HDMI conection ?
Basicly, the 7050 is a further, one-chip development of the 6150 and the 7025 is a further development of the 6100. The 7050-6150 is for folks who want to do lotsa TV stuff on their computer.

jones_r
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Post by jones_r » Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:27 pm

Thanks Felger.

ist.martin,
You are wasting money with the flash drive. For the same amount of money, you can get 10X the storage with a 2.5" laptop drive. Differences in power consumption will be negligible.

rpsgc
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Post by rpsgc » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:32 pm

jones_r wrote:What are the differences between the 7050 and 7025 ?, is it only that the 7050 carries an HDMI conection ?
Off the top of my head... Pure Video and HDMI.
Here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/mobo_gpu_tech_specs.html
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ist.martin
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Post by ist.martin » Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:49 pm

jones_r wrote:Thanks Felger.

ist.martin,
You are wasting money with the flash drive. For the same amount of money, you can get 10X the storage with a 2.5" laptop drive. Differences in power consumption will be negligible.
I wasn't thinking flash for power consumption, but for noise. I currently have one of the Samsung 2.5" hard drives, that I connect via USB when I need more storage. My room is so live acoustically that it is a relief to unplug it, even though it was meant to be the quietest drive available when I got it. Off course, it is in an external aluminum enclosure.

For 95% of my time on the computer, my current system doesn't make a peep. That is what I am trying to get to. 'Inaudible' from 2 feet away would be fine too, but I've never experienced that with fans or spinning drives. Keep in mind that I have none of the experience or skills that most people here have.

AlpineCarver
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Re: TF7050-M2 with a picoPSU?

Post by AlpineCarver » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:46 pm

ist.martin wrote:I have been recommended this MB for use in a 0 dB passive system.
i'm no expert in "zero-moving-parts" systems, but i'd think it would be hard to build one around this board, unless you were using a case specifically designed for it, like Zalman TNN-300.

i think when many of us use the term, "passive," we really mean the cpu or other components have a passive heatsink, but with some amount of airflow provided by case fans.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:55 pm

i'm no expert in "zero-moving-parts" systems, but i'd think it would be hard to build one around this board, unless you were using a case specifically designed for it, like Zalman TNN-300.
i recommended this board to ist.martin because it is said to have a very small power consumption (=heat generation). yes, in a normal ATX case with no fans, this wouldn't work, but simply laying the case on its side and leaving off the side panel, it might work (I have done this succesfully before. not pretty, but functional).

kentc
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Post by kentc » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:11 pm

ist.martin wrote:I wasn't thinking flash for power consumption, but for noise. I currently have one of the Samsung 2.5" hard drives, that I connect via USB when I need more storage. My room is so live acoustically that it is a relief to unplug it, even though it was meant to be the quietest drive available when I got it. Off course, it is in an external aluminum enclosure.
An enclosed (Smart Drive 2002 or Scythe) 2.5" suspended will not be audible in a case, even if you live in a castle hall! I concur with jones_r that you will be more satisfied with a proper HD. SSD's are too expensive and not yet there performancewise.

The TNN's are nice cases but you'll get a powersupply that isn't as efficient as the Pico even if as silent. How about an Antec NSK3400, sell the PSU and replace the Tricool with a Yate or a Nexus and you'll have an inaudible cool enough running system?

Reagrds,
Kent.
what did you do today? http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/

papakoo
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Post by papakoo » Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:08 pm

Biostar' s mobos have one big drawback for HTPCs.

I was looking for them (TA690G, TF7050) but the lack of firewire is a dead end. One of the main uses of HTPC is connecting a DV camcorder on it.
Not many manufacturers gone with 7050 wich looks a nice chipset, and this is bad (November is coming the next generation NF8 chipsets with HD hardware acceleration and other big improvements and waiting 1-2 months to have 7050 takes you closed to wait one more month for next generation).

An other (better, it has firewire) option is Asrock ALiveNF7G-HDready. It undervolts from 0,8 from what i've read and has the same low power consumption.

matt_garman
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Post by matt_garman » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:57 am

FWIW...

I just rebuilt my fiancee's computer with this motherboard and a BE-2350.

Voltages are stock (since I can't undervolt in the BIOS). Cool'n'Quiet is enabled. The machine has 2x1GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800 memory, and a single 120 GB Samsung PATA hard drive. Power supply is the Fortron Source "Bluestorm" 400 Watt.

At idle, under Ubuntu, the processor's voltage drops to 1.07 V, and CPU speed is 1000 GHz. Total system AC draw: 45 W.

Under load, CPU voltage jumps to 1.17 V, frequency to 2.1 GHz. Total system AC draw: 85 W.

Temps are kinda irrelevant right now, since I'm using the stock cooler (waiting on an AM2 Ninja to be delivered).

I'm guessing that this power supply is at most 60% efficient at such a light load, so real power draw by this system is much less. I've got a PicoPSU on order. Assuming 90% efficiency of the PicoPSU, idle/load AC power draw should be 30/57. That's approaching laptop-like levels! Performance is well above and beyond my fiancee's needs.

Now the only question I have is this: I read Anandtech's BE-2350 Review, where they compared BE-2350 power consumption against the Intel E4300. Intel came out lower, but of course, the major difference is chipset.

I'm wondering if the Intel G33 chipset has similar low power consumption? If so, it would be possible to build a system with still lower power.

Matt

Palindroman
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Post by Palindroman » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:34 am

matt_garman wrote:FWIW...

I'm wondering if the Intel G33 chipset has similar low power consumption? If so, it would be possible to build a system with still lower power.
As far as I'm aware the AMD combination of CPU and mobo is far more efficient than Intel's.

I can vouch for the low power consumption of the Asrock Alive NF7G-HDready. I just built a system with a Sempron 3200+, a Samsung 2.5" drive and dvd-rewriter, one strip of 1 GB RAM (533 mhz). The system idles at 18.8 watts, measured at the wall. That's undervolted with RMClock. At Orthos load it consumes 35W. Without RMClock the figures are 23W (C 'n Q), 27W (idle) and 47W (load).

Only problem with this board is that Quiet Fan doesn't work properly, so I can't get the CPU fan below 2500 rpm. But Asrock just sent me a test BIOS, so maybe that helps.

Oh, and Matt, I think you will see a huge improvement in the power consumption of your system after replacing that Fortron PSU. It should probably idle at around 30W.

a1bert
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Post by a1bert » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:56 am

Palindroman wrote:
I can vouch for the low power consumption of the Asrock Alive NF7G-HDready. I just built a system with a Sempron 3200+, a Samsung 2.5" drive and dvd-rewriter, one strip of 1 GB RAM (533 mhz). The system idles at 18.8 watts, measured at the wall.
Great! What is your PSU?

Palindroman
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Post by Palindroman » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:57 am

This kind of result can only be obtained with a PicoPSU.

The BIOS Asrock sent me works and now the CPU fan spins at 1100 rpm, which is acceptable. I guess the Gigabyte boards with their dynamic fan control (which make a quasi-fanless system possible) have spoilt me a bit. :)

matt_garman
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Post by matt_garman » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:08 am

Palindroman wrote:Oh, and Matt, I think you will see a huge improvement in the power consumption of your system after replacing that Fortron PSU. It should probably idle at around 30W.
I definitely expect to see an improvement with the PicoPSU over the Fortron, however, I think my initial figures were a bit too optimistic. I was guessing that the Fortron was doing about 60% at this wattage level. However, I forgot that SPCR actually reviewed the 500 W version of the PSU I have (I have the 400 W version). Based on the linked table, I'm guessing my Fortron is 70 to 75% efficient at these lower power levels.

Also, too, I overestimated the PicoPSU's efficiency; when combined with the power AC-DC power brick, looks like I can expect about 85% efficiency. I don't know where I got 90%.

Anyway, an improvement is certain, but probably not as good as I originally imagined. I didn't realize the 4 pin 12 V AUX connector had to be ordered separately, so I'm waiting on that.

Matt

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Post by matt_garman » Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:47 am

FYI... My fiancee's computer is all but finished (it's running on a single 1 GB RAM stick; had to RMA the 2x1 GB Ballistix because one stick was DOA).

Anyway, specs:

Code: Select all

Case		Lian Li PC-A05B	
PSU		picoPSU-120 DC-DC + EDac 110W AC-DC brick	
Motherboard		Biostar Tforce TF7025-M2	
CPU		AMD Athlon 64 BE-2350	
HSF		Scythe "Ninja" SCNJ-1100 (fanless)	
Fans		2x Yate Loon D12SL	
Video		Integrated GeForce 7025	
RAM		Crucial Ballistix 2x1GB DDR2-800	
HD2		Samsung 160GB PATA
With the PicoPSU in place, AC power draw is 33/75 W idle/load. CPU temps are about 31/40 degrees C idle/load.

I'm quite happy!

Matt

wwcameron
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Post by wwcameron » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:32 am

Thanks to the OP for the original post which motivated me to build the following

Biostar 7025
AMD X2 4000+ with stock HSF ( set at 60% with speedfan )
2 x 1GB Ballistix 6400
WD 3.5" 160GB IDE HDD
Salvaged Dell CDRW IDE
Sonata II with 1 Tri-cool fan ( lowest setting )
Antec Earthwatts 380W PSU

Idle ( using crystalcpuid ): 1GHz/ .825V 36-37 Watts
Orthos Load: 2.1GHz/ 1.10V 66 Watts

I guess this is getting to be old news around here, but I am quite impressed with the power consumption of this combo.

I do have a question. I am only getting 3 "working" temp readings
using speedfan.

1) Temp 1 on the IT8712F chip --> CPU temp
2) A core temp, which reads way too low, but is normal i guess
3) An HD temp

Is this normal? I would expect the other two temp readings on the IT8712F chip to work and give me a case temperature and a chipset temperature.
Are mine broken?

I updated the bios using a link to the chinese website in this thread,

old bios: N68SM601
new bios N68SM702

but saw no improvement.

Thanks

judd.tracy
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Post by judd.tracy » Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:10 pm

Did it take anything special to get the PicoPSU working with the TF7025-M2? Did you have to add a four pin cable to attach to the processor power plug?

Judd

matt_garman
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Post by matt_garman » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:26 am

judd.tracy wrote:Did it take anything special to get the PicoPSU working with the TF7025-M2? Did you have to add a four pin cable to attach to the processor power plug?
I did have to buy a four pin 12 V AUX cable. It's basically an adapter cable that converts a four-pin molex connector to the four pin P4 12 V AUX. In other words, one of these.

I was under the impression that this adapter came with the PicoPSU, but it does not.

Note also that the PicoPSU is for a 20-pin ATX header, and the TF7025-M2 (like most newer motherboards) has a 24-pin ATX header. You can buy a 20 to 24 pin adapter, but it's not necessary. Just plug the 20-pin PicoPSU straight into the 24 pin ATX port on the motherboard and you'll be fine. (That's how I'm running mine.)

Matt

Edit: note you'll also have to buy a 4-pin molex to SATA adapter cable if you have SATA drives.

HReality
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Post by HReality » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:14 am

Just for curiosity is anybody runninglinux and do they have an xorg they could post with both the DVI-I and VGA ports listed?

AlpineCarver
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Post by AlpineCarver » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:44 pm

HReality wrote:Just for curiosity is anybody runninglinux and do they have an xorg they could post with both the DVI-I and VGA ports listed?
i just posted it here. (in response to you, i think :wink: ).

actually, i'm only using the DVI, haven't used the VGA port.

HReality
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Post by HReality » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:25 am

Great! now if I has a linux driver for nForce PCI System Management I'd be set!

Najai
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Does this board support dual monitor?

Post by Najai » Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:06 am

Does the Onboard Video Options support dual monitor option?

or do I have to purchase a new PCIe Graphic to set up a Dual Monitor Setting?


Please help, I need to know A.S.A.P

I need advice on which Graphic Card or Video Card will work with this board...

Thanks

Han

wwcameron
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Post by wwcameron » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:36 am

Yes, the 7025 supports dual monitors. However I have read a couple reviews that the VGA does not work when trying to hook up two 1600x1200 resolution monitors ( one to DVI, one to VGA ) .One of the reviews is at Newegg, but I can't confirm this in general.

HReality
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Post by HReality » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:53 am

Yes, the 7025 does in fact support 2 monitors however typically the DVI output does both digital and analog. In the case of the 7025 its a digital output only, so even though you have a DVI adapter if your monitor has no digital input your SOL.

Najai
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thanks guys for clear this out

Post by Najai » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:00 pm

Thanks for this quick repose of the Dual Monitor Option...

So, what are my options here?

Dump My Old Monitor Get a new Flat Panel (Digital Input)...

Or Get a Graphic Card add-in????

Which one is a better option?


Which one is cheap... to resolve this problem?

Any idea, which monitor should I get?

Or

Which reliable video card will work best with this MB?


Looks like I am gonna have to go over my budget now..

Thanks

Han

RedAE102
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Post by RedAE102 » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:15 pm

wwcameron wrote: I do have a question. I am only getting 3 "working" temp readings
using speedfan.

1) Temp 1 on the IT8712F chip --> CPU temp
2) A core temp, which reads way too low, but is normal i guess
3) An HD temp

Is this normal? I would expect the other two temp readings on the IT8712F chip to work and give me a case temperature and a chipset temperature.
Are mine broken?

I updated the bios using a link to the chinese website in this thread,

old bios: N68SM601
new bios N68SM702

but saw no improvement.

Thanks
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, but here goes... In Speedfan, the "Temp1" on the IT8712F chip does indeed agree with the CPU temperature in the BIOS as well as the CPU temperature in the Biostar monitoring software. It also has a K8 Core temperature, as well as the HDD and an ACPI temperature. Everest displays the DTS temperature as "AUX", as well as two core temperatures (Core #1 and Core#2). Core #2's absurdly low number agrees with Core in Speedfan. The aforementioned DTS temperature has always read the same across all 4 sources, but before the BIOS upgrade (to the N68SM702 on the Chinese site), they were regularly quite high for my setup. Current temperature readings are as follows:

Ambient air temperature (according to the thermostat reading in this room as well as another thermometer): 23-24°C

DTS: 27°C (Prior to the BIOS update, this was around 40 with exactly the same setup)
Core#1: -4°C (I don't remember installing refrigeration equipment in this computer!) :lol:
Core#2: 4°C, momentarily bouncing up to a sweltering 9°C at seemingly random intervals
HDD: 34°C (It's always been a warm running drive)
ACPI: 34°C (Judging by the barely warmed air coming out the back of the case, this has to be the chipset temp and not the case temp)

Hope this helps!

EDIT: Just added my setup in my signature, and I'd like to add my power consumption results measured with my Kill-A-Watt meter that I just got back. I use CrystalCPUID for dynamic over/underclocking of my Brisbane 3600+ with the following P-states: 0.850V @ 4.5x 1138 MHz, 1.000V @ 7.0x 1771 MHz, and 1.175V @ 9.5x 2403 MHz.

Idle, 1138 MHz: 43W
Load 1, 2.4 GHz: 83W
Load 2, 2.4 GHz: 87W

Load 1 is simply 2x CPUBurn, Load 2 is running Everest's integrated System Stability Test, in which all the options are enabled: Stress CPU, Stress FPU, Stress Cache, Stress System Memory, Stress Local Disks.

On another note entirely, if I had it all to do over again, I would spend the extra $10 or so for the 7050. The H.264 hardware acceleration alone is well worth the extra cost, not to mention the option for HDMI connectivity (it includes an HDMI-to-DVI adapter IIRC).
Desktop: Athlon II X2 250 | MSI 785GT-E63 | Scythe Ninja | 6GB DDR2-800 | 2xWD6400AAKS & HD154UI | HIS HD4670 512MB | Solo | S12-330 | Win7 Pro x64
HTPC: Athlon II X2 245 | GB MA785GM-US2H | AC Alpine64 Pro | 2GB DDR2-800 | WD5000AAJS | NSK4480 | EA-380 | Win7 HP x86

wwcameron
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Post by wwcameron » Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:34 am

vg30et wrote:
I just sent my TF7050 board back to newegg for a replacement. I had a SATA timeout issue that was getting progressively worse and Biostar determined the issue was with 2 bad SATA ports. I've seen some reports of reliability issues on newegg reviews too.
What were the symptoms of the SATA timeout problem? Which ports were bad? In which mode were you using the sata ports ( AHCI, RAID, or IDE ) ?

My 7025 has some issues with long boot times, and not waking up from suspend after I moved the OS to a SATA drive. Trying to diagnose. Thanks

clamrade
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TF7050 and SpeedFan

Post by clamrade » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:22 pm

Does SpeedFan work correctly with the TF7050? I cannot get it to display CPU temperature correctly. More importantly, I cannot get it to control fan speed. The fan speed option disappeared from BIOS after I installed SpeedFan!

Help. My new build is very LOUD!

BTW, I am running 32-bit Vista on Brisbane 4000+.

Kato
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Post by Kato » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:47 am

Hi has anybody gotten the HDMI audio to work, and if so how?

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