Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7 Motherboard Review

We’ve all heard of Biostar. Biostar has been around since the mid 80’s. Providing a full coverage of motherboards for the budget minded. You purchased a Biostar motherboard, when you had a tight budget and needed to get the job done. Biostar built solid, mainstream motherboards that did what you needed them to do.

In recent years Biostar has also pursued the embedded processor market (mainboards with CPUs on board). I have used many a Biostar motherboard with an AMD e350, Intel Atom or VIA CPU firmly soldered (BGA) directly onto the mainboard. These CPU laden boards were primarily used for Home Theatre PCs, with features like HDMI and digital audio outputs (S/PDIF).

Well, today Biostar is aiming for the savy, computer gamer, with a new line of gaming motherboards. These boards use better components, better chipsets and carry features that rival the top selling gaming motherboards. This “Hi-Fi” line of motherboards also carries improved audio circuitry for enhanced sound quality.

Today we are going to peek at their Z97 entry from this new Hi-Fi line of Motherboards.
Motherboard Specifications from the Biostar Website.
Technical Specifications:

Chipset

  • Intel Z97

CPU Support

  • Intel® Core™ i7 LGA 1150 Processor
  • Intel® Core™ i5 LGA 1150 Processor
  • Intel® Core™ i3 LGA 1150 Processor
  • Intel® Pentium® LGA 1150 Processor
  • Ready for Intel 4th Gen. unclocked CPU (codename Devil’s Canyon)
  • Ready for Intel next enthusiast-class CPU(codename Broadwell)
  • Supports CPU Bclk overclock

Memory

  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 Memory
    • 2800 MHz (OC)
    • 2600 MHz (OC)
    • 2400 MHz (OC)
    • 2200 MHz (OC)
    • 2133 MHz (OC)
    • 1866 MHz (OC)
    • 1800 MHz (OC)
    • 1600 MHz
    • 1333 MHz
    • 1066 MHz
  • Supports non-ECC memory modules
  • Supports Extreme Memory Profile(XMP)
  • 4 x DDR3 DIMM Memory Slots
  • Max. Supports up to 32GB Memory

Expansion Slots

  • 1 x PCI-E x16 3.0 Slot
    • Supports CrosfireX
  • 1 x PCI-E x16 2.0 Slot (x4)
  • 2 x PCI-E x1 2.0 Slot
  • 2 x PCI Slot

Storage

  • 4 x SATA3 Connector
  • 1 x SATA Express Connector
    • Supports 1x SATA Express 10Gb/s Device
    • or supports 2x SATA3 6Gb/s Devices
  • Support SATA RAID: 0,1,5,10
  • Support both Legacy and AHCI Mode
  • Support Hot-Plug in AHCI mode
  • Support Intel Smart Response Technology
  • 1 x M.2(N.G.F.F.) Connector up to 1000MB/s
    • Supports both PCIE NAND for PCIE SSD
    • and SATA NAND for SATA SSD

USB

  • 4 x USB 3.0 Port
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Header
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Header

LAN

  • Realtek RTL8111GR – 10/100/1000 Controller
  • Supports Wake-On-LAN
  • Supports PXE Booting

Multi Graphics

  • AMD CrossFireX

Integrated Video

  • By CPU model
  • Supports DX 11.1/ 11/ 10.1/ 10/ 9
  • Supports HDCP
  • Support DirectX Video Acceleration(DXVA)
  • —Full AVC/VC1/MPEG2 HW Decode
  • Support Advanced Scheduler 2.0, 1.0, XPDM
  • Support OpenGL 4.0
  • Support HDMI, 1.4a specification compliant with 3D
  • Support 3 Displays(HDMI + DVI + VGA)

CODEC

  • Realtek ALC892 8-Channel Blu-ray Audio
  • Support Blu-ray Audio
  • Support HD Audio
  • Support 2/4/6/8-channel
  • Support Biostar Hi-Fi

Rear I/O

  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Port
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Port
  • 1 x HDMI Connector
    • resolution up to 4096×2160@24Hz, 24bpp
    • resolution up to 2560×1600@60Hz, 24bpp
    • resolution up to 1920×1080@60Hz, 36bpp
  • 1 x DVI Connector
    • resolution up to 1920×2000@60Hz, 24bpp
  • 1 x VGA Port
    • resolution up to 1920×2000@60Hz, 24bpp
  • 1 x RJ-45 Port
  • 6 x Audio Connector

Internal I/O

  • 1 x USB 3.0 Header
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Header
  • 4 x SATA3 6Gb/s Connector
  • 1 x SATA Express Connector
    • 1 x SATA Express 10Gb/s Devices
    • or 2 x SATA3 6Gb/s Devices
  • 1 x M.2(N.G.F.F.) Connector
    • Supports both PCIE NAND for PCIE SSD
    • and SATA NAND for SATA SSD
  • 1 x Front Audio Header
  • 1 x Front Panel Header
  • 1 x S/PDIF-OUT Header
  • 2 x CPU FAN Header
  • 3 x System FAN Header
  • 1 x Serial Header
  • 1 x CIR Header
  • 1 x TPM Header(TPM V1.2)

H/W Monitoring

  • CPU System Temperature Monitoring
  • CPU System Fan Monitoring
  • Smart / Manual CPU / System Fan Control
  • System Voltage Monitoring
  • Overvoltage Monitoring

Dimensions

  • ATX Form Factor Dimension: 30.5cm x 24.4cm ( W x L )

OS Support

  • Supports Windows 7
  • Supports Windows 8
  • Supports Windows 8.1

Bundle Software

  • BullGuard
  • Smart Ear headphone Utility
  • BIO-Remote2
  • BIO-Remote
  • Biostar MAGIX Multimedia Software Suite
  • Smart Speed LAN
  • Intel Rapid Start Technology
  • Intel Smart Connect Technology
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology
  • Intel Smart Response Technology

Accesories

  • 4 x SATA Cable
  • 1 x I/O Shield
  • 1 x DVD Driver
  • 1 x User Manual

Features

  • Supports PURO Hi-Fi
  • Supports 100% Solid capacitor
  • Supports Rapid Switch2
  • Supports Rapid Debug3
  • Supports Charger Booster
  • Supports BIOS Online Update

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