The BIOSTAR GAMING H170T is available for £83.99 from online UK retailer, eBuyer.com. Apart from that, it’s almost impossible to acquire the motherboard from any other leading store. In theory, this means the price is unlikely to fall as a result of market competition. Even worse, US customers can only purchase the product through BIOSTAR’S eBay store which involves a lengthy delivery period because the item is sent directly from Hong Kong. The total cost in this region is $119.99 plus $44.90 shipping. In terms of value, the GAMING H170T is dangerously close to affordable Z170 motherboards which feature full multiplier overclocking and unlimited frequency DDR4 memory support. For example, the Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P retails for £89.99 and provides much better value for money. That’s not to say the GAMING H170T is poor value, but I honestly believe the price needs to be around the £70 mark.
BIOSTAR’S product line traditionally revolves around a military theme which emphasizes the durable qualities we all come to expect. This colour scheme is often misinterpreted and can appear quite unpleasant which doesn’t fit in with the spectacular designs seen throughout the gaming market. The GAMING H170T is far from being heralded as a beautiful motherboard, but I honestly believe it’s the best visual design BIOSTAR have created by a considerable margin. As a result, this sets a good foundation for the motherboard vendor to formulate more ostentatious design ideas and really innovate in the aesthetics department. They need to catch people’s attention by creating something unique which acts as a marketing tool in western territories. It’s important to find a balance though as a wacky finish could ruin the sense of professionalism.
The motherboard incorporates extremely high-end components such as a 9-phase power delivery, 10K rated capacitors, MoistureProof PCB, dedicated audio path and much more! Furthermore, the overall layout is absolutely fantastic which makes cable management and the initial setup process a breeze. For example, there are two easily accessible CPU headers towards the top section of the motherboard to connect water cooling hardware. While this might seem a little unnecessary considering Intel’s H170 overclocking restrictions, it’s a welcome addition which might become useful in the future if BCLK adjustments are allowed. On another note, the integrated touch control panel is fascinating and works alongside the LED read out to conduct fault checking, However, it seems like a result of over engineering as mechanical buttons would have sufficed. Similarly, the blinking power LED and inability to change the panel’s brightness began to distract me very quickly. I’m also baffled by the LN2 switch, which just doesn’t make any sense on an H170 motherboard.
Sadly, the BIOS’s user-interface requires a comprehensive visual overhaul and doesn’t leave a good first impression. The low-resolution assets, and dated graphical style pales in comparison to the slick menus I’m accustomed to. Despite this, the BIOS is functional and includes detailed categories to tweak system settings. BIOSTAR also need to work on a brand new software package because the current offering is lacking in functionality and once again looks like sort some of antique from a computer history museum. In many cases, consumers dismiss the bundled software and prefer to run an operating system with reduced memory utilization. Nevertheless, it’s important to have the option and choose from a wide range of utilities which enhance the product’s value proposition.
In terms of performance, the motherboard attained excellent results across the board and excelled in linear read testing. I was absolutely stunning by the M.2 read speeds which set a new bench record by a huge amount. On another note, the DDR3 memory support did prove to be a determining factor in certain benchmarks and impacted on the final scores. It’s not a huge deal though and at least it allows the end-user to upgrade while utilizing their older memory kits. To conclude, the GAMING H170T managed to compete with other H170 alternatives in the majority of usage scenarios and only really struggled during our memory testing procedure.
- Ample supply of SATA3 and SATA Express ports
- Breathtaking linear read speeds especially with an M.2 drive
- Excellent audio
- Elite grade 9 phase power delivery, and eXtreme Durable Capacitors
- Great motherboard layout
- Low network CPU utilization
- Moistureproof PCB
- Perfectly positioned 4-pin fan headers
- Rear I/O offers marvellous display connectivity options
- Clunky BIOS design
- Currently unavailable in the USA
- Software package is sorely lacking in both functionality and visual polish
- Z170 motherboards are within a similar price range
- Aesthetics could be improved, but it’s far from being an unattractive colour scheme
“The BIOSTAR GAMING H170T is a reliable motherboard featuring great connectivity and high-end power delivery, making it a great choice for gaming systems, although it faces tough competition from super cheap Z170 motherboards.”
BIOSTAR GAMING H170T (LGA1151) Motherboard Review
Thank you BIOSTAR for providing us with this sample.