Intel's 865/875 Superior Performance Song Remains the Same

Biostar P4TCA Pro

BIOS version : 1217bf

Biostar ships the P4TCA Pro in an extra-wide box with a small carry handle. We can’t help but think of a rifle case when looking at it. But don’t worry, the contents aren’t dangerous.

The motherboard is based on Intel’s 875P chipset but has been trimmed down in a number of ways. The manual talks about Gigabit Ethernet and a sound system, but unfortunately none of that is present. Biostar didn’t cut any corners with the other interfaces though, providing an extra IDE RAID controller from VIA (VT6410) along with two UltraATA/100 channels and the two SATA ports (no RAID support). An almost identical-looking chip sits next to it ; this VT6307 has two 1394a interfaces. There is also a small daughter board included that features a WLAN module (802.11b).

A convenient feature is that the BIOS can be flashed directly from the BIOS menu by using the source file on diskette without needing to run any software program. However, it’s easy to get confused when looking for updated BIOS versions on the manufacturer’s Website - the oldest versions are listed right at the top of the page, and the latest are way down at the bottom.

Like many other boards, the P4TCO Pro only addressed our Corsair memory with CL2.5-3-2-6, sacrificing a bit of performance. We were able to switch manually to CL 2.0 and tested the motherboard in that setting.