While we were benchmarking our test system, there were two things which became increasingly apparent. Firstly, out of the box, the Biostar 6100-M9 will never make a good gaming rig. The graphics adaptor just doesn't allow for it. Secondly, it's one of the most stable systems (overall) that we've seen recently.
We've tested some graphics cards which would simply crash when the going got too tough. This one didn't - in spite of some ultra low framerates and very poor 3D performance, it didn't skip a beat. In Half Life 2, it reached a point where it was ailed to render some of the in-game objects, but it still carried on. This sort of stability is extremely impressive, and as the basis of a decent workstation, you couldn't ask for much more.
Unfortunately, without a dedicated graphics card, a workstation is all that this motherboard is good for. The GeForce 6100 would also make an adequate basis for a media center, but as it only supports VGA output, its use is fairly limited (it would have been nice to see DVI as well). Having said that, decent graphics cards with the full array of multimedia outputs are quite affordable, and with the stability and overclocking capabilities of the 6100-M9, not to mention 5.1 audio support and the micro-ATX form factor, you could end up with quite a decent system, especially for your HTPC.
Considering that it IS a micro-ATX motherboard, Biostar have done very well to pack so much in, and to make it so customisable. As the basis of a slimline workstation or a media center PC, it's well worth considering and will not cost you an arm and a leg, either. According to our price comparison website, it'll only cost you between $63 - $74 USD which makes it a very affordable motherboard.
Excellent features for a micro-ATX board
Great in-BIOS overclocking support
Operationally extremely stable
Very affordable, under $75 USD
Good foundation for HTPC
Woeful 3D performance
Some in-OS overclocking instability
Requires dedicated graphics cards for real modern gaming
- Latest Pricing
Rating - 8 out of 10
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