Biostar has pretty well got a work of art here for our first board we have been graced with by them. While not as well known as ASUS, GIGABYTE or MSI, Biostars board looks like it is up there in the top ranks with its design.
The PCB is a full ATX layout on a dark brown PCB to give it a little bit of flair. The basic colour scheme is bright yellow and white slots, a rather attractive setup for case modders out there who want something to show off.
On the layout front, Biostar has a great setup. The 24-pin power connector along with a yellow FDD connector is located behind the four DDR3 memory slots on the top right side of the board. This keeps all the large cables in one spot avoiding a huge air flow restriction over the entire board, this way there is only a small dead spot.
The 4/8 pin CPU power connector is placed at the top left hand corner of the board behind the PS/2 ports, this is the most preferred spot for it apart from putting it behind the memory slots which isn't always possible. The cable is then kept as far away from the CPU heatsink to allow best air flow, nice to see Biostar starting off on the right foot. You may also see a 4-pin Molex power connector just above the top PCI Express x1 slot, this is designed to give the PCI Express slot extra power for certain video cards that don't provide a power port on the back of the card, though you don't have to use this if your card has its own power connector.
Down to the CPU area, things are a bit tight with the heatpipe assembly cooling the power regulation system, but large heatsinks do fit, though be it a bit tight. The heatpipe system that Biostar uses cools the top and side mosfets, northbridge and southbridge.
Voltage supply to the CPU comes from the 8 phase onboard voltage regulator system which uses solid state capacitors and voltage coils. While it's not digital, it's just about as good.
Biostar's rear I/O port arrangement is extremely good with plenty of space between the ports. Gone are the parallel and serial ports, honestly I don't think you will miss them these days. On the back you get two e.SATA ports which run off the JMicron SATA/PATA combo chip used to give the board its IDE channel. Two Gigabit Ethernet ports are included on the board for dual networking configurations, though I find it personally hard to use the second one, especially with Gigabit routers these days.
Finally down to the expansion slots on the board. While the P35 does have Crossfire certifications, Biostar's board doesn't put that to use but rather goes towards the single card setup like an 8800GTX or HD2900XT. A single PCI Express x16 slot is in place for the graphics card along with three PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI legacy slots.
As we mentioned just before, a JMicron PCI Express SATA/PATA chip gives the board its two e.SATA ports and its single IDE port since the ICH9 series (like the ICH8 series) does not have any IDE channels. Two Marvell PCI Express LAN chips also give the board its Dual Gigabit LAN setup.