Biostar X470GTA placa de baza AM4 cu sloturi PCI clasice

April 21, 2020

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An AM4 high end motherboard with 2 classic PCI slots? Yes, it is possible, and it is codenamed: Biostar X470GTA.

Biostar brand is more associated with low end boards, generally very cheap ones. If in the past you bought a computer from a retailer like Altex, you may have come across a Biostar board. Otherwise, Biostar is a company with a tradition – founded in 1986 – and when it comes to motherboards, they also have advanced models at good prices. At the time I bought this motherboard (11.2019), it was the cheapest with the X470 chipset and had exactly what I was most interested in – two classic PCI slots, which leave room for nostalgic dual boot configurations. All we need is a compatible PCI video card, possibly a sound card and we can run on a top system from 2019/2020 – Windows 3.x or Windows 98 with everything we need. (LAN, audio, video and USB for Win 9x)

AMD X470 chipset

The X470 chipset was launched in March 2018, and on its business card it says that it is good at overclocking and that it supports two PCI-E 3.0 video cards. The X470 was replaced in 2019 with the X570 chipset with support for PCI-E 4.0, which offers double speed: 64Gb / s compared to 32Gb / s. Well, PCI 4.0 support is implemented right in the processor and the 3000 series processors have this major upgrade on their side. Theoretically, support for PCI-E 4.0 can also be activated on the X470 on which we mount a 3000 series processor, Gigabyte even released a BIOS for one of their cards with X470 chipset to provide PCI-E 4.0 support , but the basic idea is that these cards were not designed for PCI-E 4.0 and will live in the PCI-E 3.0 world.

Connectivity

We don’t lack slots: we have two 16x PCI-E slots, plus two other useful 1x PCI-E slots. In one of the 1x slots I installed a gigabit network card from Intel and in the second a PCI-E card with VIA 6212L chipset for USB support in Windows 9x. (this chipset is supported by native Windows 98SE) Let’s not forget the two 32bit PCI slots that make this card special being, in principle, the newest card from AMD with legacy support.

In terms of I / O we do not find anything very interesting, the back seems a bit desolate and depopulated. The PS / 2 port is to be welcomed!

Legacy configurations tested on this board:

I. Windows 3.1 / 3.11

Windows 3.x has no problem with the 12 cores on the Ryzen 3900X @ 3.8Ghz. In principle, the operating system works with only one core. The 32GB DDR4 RAM is not very intimidating either. Elegantly, Windows 3.1 is limited to how much it can carry, namely 256MB. However, we must make a statement on our own responsibility in system.inisection [386Enh] where we enter PageOverCommit=1, if we want to enter Enhanced mode.

In standard mode Windows 3.x gets along well with the SSD and SATA chipset in AHCI mode. For enhanced mode, I had to resort to a SATA expansion card with VIA 6421 chipset. This is after a lot of hassle, because the system does not boot in enhanced mode, and when you try to install a 1993/94 operating system on released in the year of grace 2019 all subassemblies are suspicious!

Intel GPUs do very well in this regard. Intel HD 4000 on an i7 Haswell, renders the image perfectly in Windows 3.x.

But if I still glorified the classic PCI slots, I brilliantly installed a 3dfx VooDoo3 PCI . The secret is some VooDoo Velocity 100 drivers that work perfectly in Windows 3.x and provide us with resolutions of 1280 × 1024 x 256 or 1024 × 768 x 64K.

The Realtek gigabit on-board network card is recognized by DOS NDIS2 drivers , provided by Realtek and regularly updated (c) sept 2019. Personally, I prefer to use a dedicated network card from Intel that offers the best drivers for DOS.

Intel Gigabit drivers on Windows 3.11 NDIS

II. Windows 95A

Windows 95A is the edition launched in 1995 and is notable for not supporting FAT32 and USB. Windows 95 OSR2 also addresses these issues. Otherwise, the original edition is a native 32bit operating system and runs 32bit programs without any restraint – I even installed the latest Total Commander downloaded from the net. If we have hardware compatible with Windows 98 we will not lack technical support, the matching .vxd drivers are perfectly compatible in Windows 95 as well. I installed Windows 95 over Windows 3.11, upgrade version, and everything went clockwise – without any error.

II. Windows 95C OSR2

This more advanced version of Windows 95 supports the FAT32 file system and has some support for USB. You can also install Windows 95C on this motherboard, but it requires more hassle. First you have to use a patch at the first restart, otherwise Windows will generate a fatal error due to the 3.8Ggz of the processor.

III. Windows 98SE ? Of course!

In both Windows 3.11 and Windows 98SE , the USB mouse and keyboard are recognized without hassle, because they are emulated from the BIOS as being on the PS / 2 port. In Windows 98, even if it is recognized, the mouse will behave strangely and we have to change the driver with the one in Windows 3.11 which, even if it dates from 15.03.1994, knows how to get along perfectly with the mouse.

The generic USB drivers are still being tested , so far I haven’t been able to get results with the USB ports on the motherboard and I used a USB expansion card in Windows 98. Let’s not forget that on a single USB port you can add up to on 127 devices, just have enough HUBs.

The LAN on board connection will work perfectly via NDIS drivers for DOS (we can also find specific drivers for Windows 98 if we have a dedicated network card).

The 3Dfx VooDoo 3 video card has excellent support for all weather games. For the sound I used an Aureal AU8220 card, but Windows 98SE comes with USB audio support, so you can use USB headphones or all kinds of USB cards. I used an ESI U24XL that I use on SPDIF in Windows 10 and I was very surprised to see it working from the first and in the old Windows 98SE.

The SSD runs perfectly in AHCI mode.

IV. Windows ME (Millennium Edition)

Based on the same DNA as Windows 98SE, ME is the older and fitter brother of the Win 9x family. The installation is done following the same recipe as for Windows 98. At the time, its Windows ME was criticized for instability and, indeed, until we fix things we will have various error messages that do not appear in Windows 98SE

Once we have managed to install the drivers and disable the utilities that come with the package and that confuse more, ME will do honorably. StateMgr will give you the most headaches, being the utility that deals with System Restore, a new functionality introduced in Me.

V. Windows 2000

Windows 2000 installs without much hassle, provided you have a SATA driver. If you install Windows 2000 / XP in AHCI mode you will receive a beautiful blue screen. Therefore, you must provide a driver that loads from the floppy disk with F6 or that you integrate into the original ISO with a utility such as nLite. I used a VIA SATA 6421 card that I already had installed from Windows 3.1. The VIA driver did not work with nLite, so I had to manually modify txtsetup.sif and copy the SATA drivers to the installation kit.

After integrating the SATA driver into the installation instead of F6 press F7, otherwise you will get a BSOD generated by a misunderstanding about ACPI, the power management interface. If you press F7 the installation will continue without ACPI support beats and you will reach the part where you select the disc. You also need a PS2 keyboard.

DirectX 9.0C can be installed on Windows 2000

VI. Windows XP

Because it was a business product but also for the rest of the world, Windows XP is much more compatible than Windows 2000 when it comes to drivers and support, especially for gaming. Games such as League of Legends or the STEAM platform have provided support for Windos XP until 2019. We can also install video cards such as an nVidia GeForce GTX960 and with the drivers we can complete it for most components, including on-board sound and network card.

I installed XP over Windows 2000, through the upgrade method and everything went clockwise, in a few minutes the transition was made without any errors.

VII. Windows Vista / 7?

Given that Windows 7 was officially supported until January 2020, there is no question of not finding drivers for this motherboard. The X470 chipset is officially supported by AMD in Windows 7 and has 64-bit drivers up to date, May 2020. I haven’t tried Vista, but the drivers part is basically compatible with Windows 7.

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Comentarii

Avem 4 comentarii la articolul “Biostar X470GTA placa de baza AM4 cu sloturi PCI clasice”

  1. BobOC on May 24th, 2020 7:15 pm

    Hei! Am cautat placa asta peste tot dar apare numai in oferte din Republica Moldova si la noi nu mai are nimeni pe stoc. Stii daca au fost probleme cu ea sau de ce a disparut din oferta mai ales ca e o placa relativ noua?

  2. pinzaru on May 29th, 2020 2:34 pm

    Buna, nu stiu de ce a disparut din oferte. Placa a fost lansata in iulie 2019, odata cu procesoarele din seria Zen 2 (Ryzen 3xxxx) având suport din fabrica pentru aceasta serie. De obicei, un model de placa de baza poate sta pe piata si 2-3 ani lejer. Unele modele din seria 775 au fost produse pentru 10 ani și încă se mai găsesc de cumpat si noi. E posibil sa aiba legătura cu seria viitoarea serie 4000 de la AMD care necesita niste extra efort ca sa poata fi compatibile cu placi din seria 4xx. Vezi aici: https://www.pinzaru.ro/7833/amd-s-a-razgandit-si-va-suporta-arhitectura-zen-3-ryzen-4xxx-pe-placi-de-baza-b450-si-x470/

  3. Maxx on July 3rd, 2020 4:28 pm

    Am o placa tot cu X470 respectiv MSI X470 GAMING PRO MAX, nu are sloturi PCI (nu sunt oricum pentru mine) dar am senzatia ca-mi tine procesorul in temeparatura prea mare, ajunge in 80-90 de grade daca fac ceva mai serios. E normal? Procesorul e tot Ryzen 3900x. Am citit undeva ca anumite placi baga mai mult curent in CPU ca sa iasa mai bine in bench-uri.

  4. pinzaru on July 3rd, 2020 4:34 pm

    Ryzen 3900x e fierbinte, n-ai ce sa-i faci. Asa e modelul. Chiar daca e pe 7nm, sunt totusi 12 core-uri acolo ingramadite pe o suprafata destul de mica care face contact cu cooler putin subdimensionat. Fiecare core trebuie sa consume sub 10W ca sa se incadreze in TDP-ul de 105W, dar chiar si asa procesorul meu ajunge in 90 de grade fara nicio strabatere. Acuma vara mi se incalzeste si tabla de la carcasa zici ca am calorifer de ala pe rotile. (am 4 vent-uri de 12 in carcasa)

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