Let’s take a look at the TA880GB+, an entry-level microATX socket AM3 motherboard from Biostar for AMD processors, based on the AMD 880G chipset, featuring four memory sockets and HDMI output.

We have already posted a detailed comparison between AMD chipsets with integrated video. In summary, the AMD 880G chipset is based on the Radeon HD 4250 graphics engine, which is a slower version of the graphics engine used on the AMD 890GX (Radeon HD 4290). Usually, the AMD 890GX uses the SB850 south bridge chip (which supports SATA-600 ports), while the AMD 880G uses the SB710 south bridge, which supports only SATA-300 ports. Although some motherboards combine the AMD 880G north bridge with the SB850 south bridge, the TA880GB+ uses the standard SB710 south bridge.

As you may know by now, on systems with integrated video the video memory is achieved by stealing part of the main RAM. Chipsets from AMD have a feature called SidePort, which is an optional memory chip soldered on the motherboard in order to provide dedicated video memory to the graphics chip. The portrayed motherboard doesn’t have this feature.

In Figure 1, you have an overall look at the Biostar TA880GB+ motherboard.

Biostar TA880GB+Figure 1: The Biostar TA880GB+ motherboard

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.