IntroductionBIOSTAR K8NHA Grand nForce3 250Gb Motherboard
BIOSTAR has carved out a niche market in producing budget boards based on most currently available chipsets. Stability, decent performance, and, usually, a sub-£70 asking price has made them a genuine alternative to other companies' boards that often retail at the wrong side of £100. Their associated bundles may not be as esoteric as DFI's and the BIOS often lacks fine-tuning available with, say, ABIT boards, but with S462, S478, and S754 now enjoying true budget processors, BIOSTAR reckons there's a significant market for feature-rich boards that don't break the bank.
The latest BIOSTAR budget wonder takes S754's NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb chipset as its performance base. Ryszard took a look at what makes it tick, here. Decent feature integration in the form of on-chip SATA, Gigabit Ethernet, and a hardware firewall closed the feature gap between it and VIA's rival K8T800 Pro. A supposed working AGP/PCI lock was also seen as a bonus, although it still appears to be a hit-and-miss affair. And now with Athlon 64 power available from just £85, there's never been a better time to build a powerful budget PC. BIOSTAR, then, may have a winner on its hands. Time to take a closer look.