3. The Package
The Biostar TA690GAM2 costs around €74, making it a very affordable for entry level users:
All included accessories are well packaged:
Below we show what's included in the retail package.
There are not many cables included:
The board itself is well laid out and all parts can be identified easily:
Let's zoom in on the CPU area.
The yellow base clearly indicates where to place AMD's stock fan. The nearby chipsets are low profile so there shouldn't be any problems with larger cooling solutions. The Northbridge uses a small aluminium heatsink.
The motherboard has four banks for the memory modules, accommodating a maximum memory capacity of 4GB (4x1GB). The memory banks are colour coded for Dual Channel operating mode:
Moving to the southbridge on the board, we can see the passive heatsink and the 4x SATA2 connections. The power/reset buttons located in the corner, are very welcome:
The Biostar TA690GAM2 supports one PCI-E x16 slot. Of course, the embedded ATI X1250 should be enough for everyday use, but just in case you want more performance, there is this possibility:
There are several I/O internal slots available for extra USB, Front Panel connectors, however they are not included in the retail package. The back I/O panel has the usual connections:
- 1 x PS/2 Mouse
- 1x PS/2 Keyboard Port
- 1 x VGA Port
- 1 x TV-OUT Port
- 1xDVI-D port 9 (support digital signal output only)
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 6 x Audio Ports
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Jack