To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Biostar TP55 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £82
inc VAT

The cheapest P55 board we've seen - it's a no-frills affair, but it has everything that most users are likely to need.


LGA1156, ATX, Intel P55 Express chipset, supports: Core i5, Core i7

When it was first launched, Intel’s powerful Core i5-750 processor was hampered by high motherboard prices. Thankfully, some reasonably priced boards are now available, such the MSI P55M-GD45 and the Biostar TP55. With processor prices also dropping, you can now buy a chip and motherboard for around £220.

The TP55 is a slender ATX form-factor motherboard. It’s the cheapest board we’ve seen based on the P55 Express chipset – the only chipset to support the new Core i5 and Core i7 processors. As you would expect, it’s not bursting with features, but all the basics are covered.

Like all P55 boards we’ve seen, the TP55 supports dual-channel DDR3 memory, including overclocked modules up to 2000MHz. There are still no Core i5 boards with integrated graphics, so you’ll need to fit a graphics card. There’s only a single PCI Express x16 slot on this board, but that’s not a disaster considering how few people actually want twin graphic cards. There are also two PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI slots, giving you plenty of options for adding WiFi cards or TV tuners.

Internal storage is well catered for; there are six SATA ports and a RAID controller with support for all the usual modes. There are floppy and IDE connectors for older devices. This board has no FireWire or eSATA ports, but you could always buy an eSATA bracket and daisy-chain the board’s SATA connectors to it.

The six USB ports should be sufficient for most users, and two PS/2 connectors make it possible to attach older input devices. We rarely see a board without Gigabit Ethernet now, and the TP55 is no exception. There are only three audio jacks; this limits you to 5.1 surround sound, and you can’t plug in a microphone at the same time. This won’t bother anyone using only stereo speakers or headphones, though.

The TP55 is just as fast in our benchmarks as more expensive models. If you want to build a Core-i5 based PC, this is a good choice for those who only need the basics, or who want a lot of expansion slots. However, for £8 more you can get MSI’s better-equipped P55M-GD45.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor socket LGA1156
Form factor ATX
Size 294x210mm
Processor support Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus 133MHz (2.0GB/s Direct Media Interface)
Chipset north bridge Intel P55 Express
Chipset south bridge Intel P55 Express
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1866(OC)/2000(OC)
Maximum memory speed PC3-16000
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £82

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 2
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 3
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 6
RAID chipset (max disks) Intel Express P55 (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC662 (3x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/2
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 2x PS/2
Other ports none
Cables included 2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included none
Software included N/A

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 800MHz

Read more

Reviews | PCs