BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


BIOSTAR might not be the most recognizable motherboard brand in western markets but their pedigree for creating reliable products is worthy of praise. When compared to MSI, Gigabyte and ASUS, the company struggles to entice consumers with unique aesthetic designs. Furthermore, the BIOS and software package has been sorely lacking and in dire need of change. Thankfully, BIOSTAR have acknowledged these criticisms and decided to forge a brand new range based upon a racing theme to please petrolheads with an avid interest in enthusiast hardware. Each RACING motherboard sports a chequered flag PCB and stylish LED illumination while introducing a new BIOS layout. Clearly, this is a major departure from BIOSTAR’s previous products which evoked a fairly mundane appearance.

The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 is based on the mATX form factor and supports up to 64GB DDR4 with a maximum speed of 2133MHz. Intel’s H170 chipset blocks multiplier overclocking which means you have to resort to your processor’s default turbo frequency. Of course, there’s been some controversy surrounding BCLK overclocking on H170 and B150 motherboards to unofficially achieve boosts fairly close to traditional multiplier overclocking. Sadly, Intel has voiced their displeasure regarding this phenomenon and pressurized manufacturers to disable BCLK overclocking via a BIOS update. As a result, we have to rely on stock figures to determine the motherboard’s performance. Previously, I’ve seen some astounding results when it comes to storage with BIOSTAR products, and I’m interested to see if this trend continues.

Specifications

Packing and Accessories

Here we can see the absolutely stunning packaging which contains a carbon fibre inspired cover and vibrant text. This coincides with the RACING focus and feels quite reminiscent of a luxury sports car’s interior.

On the opposite side, there’s a detailed diagram showing the motherboard’s layout and explanation of its unique selling features. Once again, this is presented a superb manner and makes you inquisitive about the product’s specification.

In terms of accessories, the motherboard includes a user’s manual, Vivid LED DJ instructions guide, SATA cables, driver disk, and I/O shield.

BIOSTAR Announces H110MD PRO Motherboard


BIOSTAR expands its broad portfolio of motherboards with the new H110MD PRO. The BIOSTAR H110MD PRO supports the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors and uses the H110 chipset. Memory wise you’ll find support for older DDR3 standard on the H1110MD rather than the newer DDR4 standard.

The new series of motherboards is designed for the budget minded system builder that still wants some great features while not blowing the whole budget on just the motherboard. It features BIOSTAR’s Tough Power Enhanced power design for improved stability and AudioArt capacitors guaranteeing a whole different listening experience versus similar motherboards.

The Audio Art Capacitors are high-end Japanese Nichicon audio capacitors that bring audio to life and make a lot of difference in your experience. Behind the Tough Power Enhanced feature is a high-endurance power design that allows the BIOSTAR PRO series motherboards to endure high-current with consistent full energy output without additional energy loss.

The H110MD PRO also features the Iron Heart as BIOSTAR calls it. The Iron Heart is a reinforced CPU backplate found on these PRO-series motherboards and help prevent bending and stress caused by heavy CPU coolers. This protects the motherboard from potential damage as well as the double feature of adding further cooling to the CPU and VRM area. Next to these three features, the H110MD also features BIOSTAR’s 6+ experience that includes Speed+, Audio+, Video+, Durable+, Protection+ and DIY+.

Specifications wise the board is relatively simple and that was to be expected. That doesn’t mean that the board can’t be very useful. As mentioned previously, the H110MD comes with an LGA 1151 socket for the latest Intel 6th generation CPUs while using a 5-phase power design and the H110 chipset. The board is entirely built with solid capacitors which should increase the overall life expectancy. Next to a Skylake CPU, you can add up to 16GB DDR3L-1600 memory in the two DIMM slots. Expansion wise you won’t find a lot, but the basics are covered with one PCI-e 3.0 x16 and two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, a Gigabit Ethernet connection powered by a Realtek chip, and four SATA3 ports.

The new BIOSTAR H110MD Pro motherboard has an MSRP of $54.99 and is expected to be available shortly. A simple board with solid features at a decent price, looks like it’s all a match.

BIOSTAR Announce RACING H170GT3 Motherboard

BIOSTAR’s new racing series adopts a really intriguing chequered-flag PCB design and looks fantastic! In the past, I’ve been fairly critical of their consumer motherboards due to the fairly outdated appearance. Thankfully, the company has significantly improved in this area and I’m sure it will help them to become more successful in western markets. The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 is based on Intel’s H170 chipset and supports Skylake processors. Please note, the H170 chipset cannot in theory support overclocking or DDR4 DIMMs beyond 2133MHz. On the other hand, unofficial BCLK overclocking might be possible even with a locked multiplier providing the BIOS provides this functionality.

The motherboard also features a 32Gb/s M.2 slot for high-speed drives and SATA Express. Another highlight is the VIVID LED DJ and 5050 LED FUN which allows the user to customize lighting embedded on the PCB and heatsinks. As you might expect, there’s a high-end audio solution and decided section of the PCB to eliminate EMI. In terms of discrete expansion options, you can use two AMD GPUs in crossfire, although I’d strongly recommend using a single GPU solution on any H170 product. Furthermore, there’s two PCI-E x1 slots to add a sound card, or similar device. BIOSTAR opted for a 7-phase power delivery which is very impressive given the lack of overclocking on H170. As a result, the motherboard should remain perfectly stable and exhibit a great lifespan.

On the rear I/O, there are PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, DVI-D, two HDMI, four USB 3.0, RJ45, two USB 2.0 and 8 channel audio. The motherboard has a recommended retail price of $94.40. In the coming weeks, we should be receiving a sample and will compare the motherboard to similar H170 alternatives, B150 products and the higher-end Z170 options. So far, I’m really impressed with the aesthetic design, and BIOSTAR are renowned for using premium components. 

BIOSTAR Unveils New Pro Series FM2+ Motherboards

BIOSTAR has just announced its brand new Pro Series FM2+ lineup of motherboards designed specifically for AMD FM2+ processors. These new motherboards are aimed at those of you who are looking to build cheap and relatively powerful PCs based on AMD’s FM2+ socket CPUs. What makes them stand out among other similar offerings is the fact that they feature an enhanced power design that ensures increased durability and stability. Moreover, they are equipped with reinforced metal CPU retention backplates, and with improved audio solutions based on high-quality capacitors from Japanese manufacturer Nichicon. The Iron Heart Protect CPU backplate definitely deserves a closer look, as it prevents bending caused by heavy CPU coolers thus ensuring that the board does not suffer any circuit damage. The plate also draws away heat from the CPU and VRM areas, which is always a big plus.

The models included in the new lineup are the A70MD PRO, A70MG PRO and A68MD PRO, all of which support DDR3 RAM of up to 2600 MHz (OC). Other highlights include 5-phase VRMs, USB 3.0 connectors and BIOSTAR-specific features such as BIO-Relife, BIO-Flasher and BIO-Watch. Clearly, these are not the most feature-rich BIOSTAR motherboards out there, but considering the fact that they are aimed at more budget-friendly users, they’ll definitely get the job done without issues.

BIOSTAR Introduces Racing Series Motherboards

We’ve mostly seen BIOSTAR motherboards in the HiFi series lately with their characteristic piano styled heatsinks, but BIOSTAR’s next generation of motherboards come with a new theme: Racing. The first motherboards in the new BIOSTAR Racing series are the Z170GT7, H170GT3, and B150GT5 where the names already reveal the chipsets used: Z170, H170, and B150 respectively.

BIOSTAR is mostly known as a budget manufacturer, but they use some high-quality components as these new motherboards also prove. They come with Super Durable Ferrite chokes for high-quality power delivery to vital components, Super Durable Solid Caps for longer-lasting performance, and DUAL BIOS that guarantees resilient motherboard operation if the BIOS should fail. All three come with Intel LAN and the storage options include the new and faster SATA-Express and PCI-e M.2 slots for use with the newest storage drives on the market.

Just because these boards don’t come in the HiFi series, doesn’t mean that the Racing series doesn’t have good audio components and they also come with BIOSTAR’s signature HI-FI audio experience. The motherboards feature an I/O Armor to give the system a better look and also comes with customizable LED effects. You expand your chassis and increase the lighting abilities thanks to the onboard 5050-header for LED strips and then control it via the included VIVID LED DJ.

Besides what I’ve already mentioned, you get a new 100 series motherboard with the features that this brings along, such as plenty of USB connections from 2.0 to 3.1, Intel i217 LAN, plenty of storage connectivity, and four DDR4 DIMM slots along with BIOSTAR’s BIO-Remote 2 and online BIOS update functions that both are extremely useful.

The new BIOSTAR Racing Series is built on what they call the BIOSTAR 6+ Experience and it is composed out of six main features: Speed+, Audio+, Video+, Durable+, Protection+ and DIY+. All things that matter.

BIOSTAR didn’t reveal any pricing at this time but expect them to be cheaper than the average board in the same categories. Sadly there weren’t more photos provided and the official product pages haven’t launched yet, but I’m sure that we’ll see a lot more on these board during CES 2016.

BIOSTAR Reveals HyperOC Technology for Intel’s Non-K CPUs

Not too long ago, ASRock has revealed an impressive technology called SKY OC, which allows Intel’s 6th Gen non-K CPUs to be overclocked despite having a locked multiplier. Now, BIOSTAR is offering similar overclocking opportunities through its HyperOC technology, which is available on its Z170 motherboards via a BIOS update. The overclocking potential of the new Skylake processors is quite impressive on BIOSTAR’s boards, as they can support performance increases of up to 35 percent. This means that you can take an entry-level processor such as the Pentium G4400 and increase its base frequency of 3.3GHz all the way up to 4.48Ghz. A Core i3-6100T can also receive a boost from 3.2GHz to 4.32Ghz.

Obviously, the same principle applies to the new Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, which would undoubtedly sport even more impressive improvements thanks to their higher base clocks. Usually, K-labeled processors are more expensive due to their unlocked multipliers, so it’s great to know that those who don’t plan to take overclocking to extreme figures can still squeeze some extra power from their standard CPUs. If you own a BIOSTAR Z170 motherboard, then you should probably update your BIOS and give this technology a try, but make sure to keep an eye out on your temperatures if you decide to do so.

BIOSTAR GAMING H170T (LGA1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


BIOSTAR’s retail presence in the western market is rather small as stockists focus on the more recognizable vendors among consumers. Despite this, BIOSTAR is one of the leading Taiwanese global brands and produces a huge range of affordable hardware. Back in 2013, the company launched the first motherboard with an integrated Wireless LAN module which shows their commitment to innovation. Granted, BIOSTAR’s aesthetic design is an acquired taste and I strongly believe this is an area which needs fine tuning especially if they want to appeal to enthusiasts. While some users don’t really care about a motherboard’s appearance, it’s becoming quite common for system builders to have colour coordinated builds. Nevertheless, it’s always fascinating to test any BIOSTAR product and determine how well it stacks up against the competition.

As its name suggests, the BIOSTAR GAMING H170T is built on Intel’s H170 chipset, which supports the latest Skylake processors. Unlike the more expensive Z170 platform, overclocking is theoretically disabled on H170. However, BCLK overclocking is possible on H170 motherboards with the correct BIOS and even allows non-K CPUs to reach an impressive frequency boost. On another note, it’s essential to check every H170 motherboard’s specification as some models opt for DDR3L compatibility while others use DDR4 DIMMs up to 2133MHz. This particular example caters to the lower-end audience and features a maximum capacity of 32GB DDR3 memory, dual Gigabit LAN, 32Gb/s M.2 connector, and Realtek ALC892 audio codec. As a result, the GAMING H170T offers an attractive package for the budget-conscience user and I expect it to master the price to performance ratio.

Specifications

Packing and Accessories

The motherboard comes in an attractive box which clearly displays the model name on a leatherette background. This evokes a premium feel and reminds me of the Logitech G27’s leather rim. The overall design is understated but striking enough to appeal to the gaming clientèle.

On the rear, there is a brief synopsis of the motherboard’s connectivity options, power phases and other essential features. Furthermore, graphical diagrams are used to explain the benefits of high-end components such 10K rated capacitors and durable ferrite chokes.

In terms of accessories, the motherboard comes with a basic guide to use the Smart Ear 3D Utility, product catalogue and user’s manual. Unlike many booklets these days, the product catalogue is in colour which encourages the end-user to browse BIOSTAR’s extensive product range.

Other additions include a driver disk, I/O shield, SATA cables, and M.2 screws.

BIOSTAR Announces GeForce Gaming GTX 950 Graphics Card

There are quite a few people who don’t need the best of the best graphics card to play the games they are playing or do the work they are doing, and luckily there are a lot of options on the market for them. There is one more now as BIOSTAR announces their new GeForce GTX 950 based gaming graphics card, the VN9505XPX1.

While the card isn’t top of the line, it still supports all the technologies you’d want for the next few years such as DirectX 12, PhysX and DSR technologies and would be perfectly suited for 1080p MOBA games such as League of Legends and DOTA players. The new BIOSTAR GeForce GTX 950 graphics card comes with a 1026MHz base clock speed and a turbo up to 1190MHz. The card has 768 CUDA cores and comes with 2GB GDDR5 memory that runs at 6610MHz on a 128-bit memory bus.

You can connect up to four monitors at the same time via the two DVI ports, one DisplayPort, and one HDMI connector. The maximum supported resolution is 5120 by 3200 pixels, which naturally isn’t a resolution you should try to game in with this card. A card with a GPU like this also comes with a low power consumption and it generates less heat, which in return means that the card will run silently and eco-friendly.

BIOSTAR GeForce GTX 950 GPU Features:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX950 GPU
  • 2GB GDDR5, 128bit with ultra-speed memory
  • Low noise, heat pipe cooling design
  • NVIDIA super 768 CUDA processing
  • Dual DVI/display port/HDMI output support
  • PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface
  • Support NVIDIA Surround with up to Four Monitors
  • Complete DirectX 12 support
  • Support NVIDIA PhyX and DSR Technology

BIOSTAR Unveils Hi-Fi H170S3H Motherboard

BIOSTAR is a hardware manufacturer which caters to a wide range of price points and often releases products to perfectly suit the budget-conscience consumer. Today, the company announced their latest motherboard based on Intel’s Skylake architecture. The Hi-Fi H170S3H features Hi-Fi Audio, Hi-Fi Power and 3D Hi-Fi to provide a wonderful listening experience. Furthermore, there is native support for PCIe M.2 SSDs and apparently DDR3 memory modules. However, I’m pretty sure that’s a typo and meant to say DDR3L DIMMs. This is because the Z170 and H170 chipsets utilize memory with a lower voltage. The motherboard supports up to 32GB of 1333/1600MHz RAM.

While H170 is designed for budget systems, it allows for a decent quantity of USB 3.0 connectors. The Rear I/O also contains two PS/2 ports, a DVI-D, dual HDMI capable of powering a 4K display, two USB 2.0, Realtek RTL8111H RJ45 port and Realtek ALC887 8-Channel HD Audio.

Other key specifications include two PCIe x16 slots, two SATA 3 ports, one SATA Express, and a dedicated audio path. Furthermore, the advanced power design and voltage regulation increases stability. BIOSTAR have set a recommended retail price of $84.90 and customers can purchase the motherboard directly from their eBay store. However, please note the shipping costs are quite high and import duties will be charged in certain regions.

Hopefully, the motherboard will be stocked in local retailers very soon.

Biostar Releases GeForce GTX750Ti Graphics Card

There is no doubt that most of us dream of that high-end rig with just the best of the best components, but the truth is that a lot of people don’t need that much power. For a lot of people, less is sufficient. You don’t need triple GTX980 setups to run League of Legends or surf the web for YouTube videos. So why waste money on something that never really will be used. For these people, and anyone else that might want it, Biostar released a new GeForce GTX750Ti (VR75T5XUX1) Gaming/OC graphics card.

The new Biostar GTX750Ti is built with Nvidia’s first-generation Maxwell architecture and comes with 2GB GDDR5 memory on a 128bit memory bus and a full-size PCB. The card offers dual DVI output together with a mini-HDMI for up to 4K displays. It has a 1059MHz base clock and a turbo of 1137MHz. The memory is clocked at 5400MHz.

There is no official DX12 support, but the card does support DirectX 11, Nvidia PuroVideo HD Technology, and PhysX and CUDA Technology. The dual-fan cooling design should keep this already cool card at an optimal temperature versus noise level that is a welcome bonus for anyone.

Biostar has set the MSRP of their GeForce GTX750Ti graphics card at $149.00 which is something more people will be able to afford than the flagship graphics cards that easily run in around the $1K marker.

BIOSTAR Releases Combo DDR3 & DDR4 Z170 Motherboard

 

Skylake has quickly become the go-to platform for builders since its launch, but for some there’s the issue with memory, or rather an issue of the users wanting to upgrade their memory. DDR4 is upon us and while the current costs of DDR4 are about the same as DDR3, some users don’t wish to upgrade that part yet. BIOSTAR’s latest motherboard release is for just those people as it is one of them that support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory.

The new motherboard is the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z170Z5 and as the name suggests, it’s based on the Z170 chipset and comes with BIOSTAR’s enhanced audio features. You can use either dual-channel DDR3L 1333/1600MHz memory or dual channel DDR4 1866/2133MHz memory, but not both at the same time. It does however allow for a more seamless upgrade off individual parts along your upgrade way.

The motherboard is ATX sized and provides both modern and legacy connection types in a somewhat weird combination for these days. There are only two PCI-E x16 3.0 slots where one runs at x16 speed and one at x4 speed. There is also a single PCI-E x1 3.0 slot. The somewhat weird thing is the inclusion of three legacy PCI slots.

As the Hi-Fi branding and the heatsink layout suggests, this motherboard’s main features are the audio specific ones. The Hi-Fi Z170Z5 features Blu-Ray audio and built-in amplifier. The audio components use an independent power delivery system for significant reduction in electronic noise and good sound quality. BIOSTAR also included their SmartSpeedLAN software that’s essentially a QoS that prioritizes the traffic you want. Charge Booster allows you to charge mobile devices faster and you can remote control the system via BIO-Remote2 for Android and Apple devices, and much more.

 

BIOSTAR didn’t reveal a price at this time, but the Hi-Fi Z170Z5 should be available very soon and then we’ll find out. It should however be one of the cheaper boards judging from the feature list and available connections.

BIOSTAR Launches Reference GTX 980 Ti

BIOSTAR is the latest vendor to supply the NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti which features 6GB GDDR5 memory, a core clock of 1000/1076MHz and memory of 7010MHz. In terms of accessories, the graphics card is bundled with a DVI-VGA adapter, Driver CD and Quick Guide. As you might expect, there isn’t anything surprising here as it’s a reference model. Although, even with the default core and boost clocks, the performance is simply staggering at resolutions up to 4K.

Barring the Titan X, the GTX 980 Ti is NVIDIA’s top-tier solution and comes in a variety of custom-cooling solutions from various vendors. Although, reference models are usually cheaper and I’m interested to see the BIOSTAR GTX 980 Ti price point. When choosing a particular vendor, it’s usually down to price, or warranty reputation. Additionally, some companies like EVGA engage in promotions which extends the warranty period up to 5 years. This is a nice bonus when purchasing a card over £500.

In the PC enthusiast market, BIOSTAR isn’t as recognizable as ASUS, Gigabyte MSI, Zotac and other brands, but they are beginning to bring motherboards and graphics cards to this section of the market.

Which is your favourite graphics card vendor and why?

BIOSTAR Announces Gaming H170T Motherboard

BIOSTAR has unveiled the latest addition to its motherboard range which supports Intel’s H170 chipset and 1151-based processors. The Gaming H170T contains an independent audio power design with integrated amplifier. This reduces electrical interference and outputs superb sound quality. The motherboard also features USB 3.0, PCIe M.2, SATA Express and DisplayPort connectivity.

There is a comprehensive software suite including SmartSpeedLAN which prioritizes gaming traffic. The motherboard’s PCB opts for a “Moistureproof” design which protects the product in areas with a high humidity. The eXtreme Durable Capacitors have a lifespan 6.25 times higher than ordinary liquid caps and provides rock-solid stability.

In terms of the motherboard’s layout, there is support for 32GB of DDR3 memory, a multitude of SATA 3 devices and traditional PCIe setup. From an aesthetic standpoint, the motherboard’s black and brown colour scheme won’t be to everyone’s tastes but seems functional enough. Furthermore, the rear I/O cover looks remarkably high-quality given the low recommend retail price of $119.

While it’s not the most spectacular motherboard on the market, it comes in at a very affordable price point and provides more than enough features to please the average user. Additionally, if you don’t have a side panel window or care about a visual colour scheme, then the H170T might just be the perfect motherboard for your setup.

Biostar Booth @ Target Open Day

Target Open Day 2015: Biostar are out in full force at today’s B2B event, showing off many of their latest motherboards, ranging from their low-cost, low-power integrated solutions, such as the J1900H2, right up to their new gaming series Z170 motherboards. There’s nothing particularly new here, but it’s still good to see them pushing their newest products here in the UK and we look forward to seeing more from them in the near future.

The TR970 Plus is certainly an eye catching design, on first glance, it’s a normal AMD motherboard, but there’s a strong focus on quality audio here, as you can see with the massive “HiFi” badge on the heat sink above the PCI connectors, as well as a DAC at the back.

As an added musical bonus, this stunning, albeit somewhat peculiar, keyboard themed VRM heat sink.

There’s a lot more to see here at today’s show, but I would certainly keep an eye out for these Biostar products hitting more retailers very soon.

BIOSTAR Release Top-End Gaming Z170X Motherboard

BIOSTAR create some amazing motherboards for a low price when you think of all the features that you get along and the newest addition to the line-up doesn’t look like it is any different. The new BIOSTAR Gaming Z170X motherboard is built for the new Intel Skylake platform and comes with any feature a gamer could want from it.

The first thing that stands out beside the large heatsinks and cover shields is the Touch OC seen below to the bottom right. It allows overclockers to enjoy the best performance from their system with a touch of a finger and adjust it just the way you want to. BIOSTAR also likes to add good sound hardware to their boards and they did that on this one too. It features their Super Hi-Fi Audio with 30uF gold-plated audio connectors for excellent signal conductivity and less oxidation.

There is no shortage of speedy storage options on this board either. The Gaming Z170X comes with three of the new generation SATA Express connections with 16Gbps speed and a 32Gbps M.2 slot that takes all four lengths of M.2 drives.

You’ll get both an Intel i219V and a Killer E2201 Gigabit Ethernet connector, allowing you to choose whichever you prefer. Most gamers will go for the Killer E2201 while I’d personally rather use the Intel chip for this. For further expansion, you have 3x PCI-E x16 Gen 3 slots (x16 or x8, x8 or x8 , x4 , x4) and 1x PCI-E x1 slot. The M.2 slot also supports Wi-Fi or WiGig modules next to storage drives.

The IO area provides plenty of USB 3.0 and Audio connectors next to the USB 3.1 Type-C port, and you can connect more USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports via headers. It features two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort connector for 4K UHD resolutions in 60Hz as well as a DVI-D connector for a legacy 1920×1200 resolution, also at 60Hz.

The new BIOSTAR Gaming Z170X motherboard comes with an MSRP of $219.00 USD.

Two New Biostar Motherboards @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: We’ve seen lots of cool stuff at the show this week, but one thing that really caught our attention, was the latest motherboards from Biostar. Their new Micro-ATX boards, the Hi-Fi H170Z3 is based on the H170 Express chipset, which offers up all the same features you’ll find on the Z170 chipset, minus the overclocking and multi GPU support. What is interesting however, is that the board has both DDR3 and DDR4 memory slots! Allowing you to use two or either at any one time, but not at the same time. The board will allow 16GB of DDR 1600 or 32GB of DDR4 2133 memory.

Another LGA1151 socket board, which again features the same dual DDR3/DDR4 memory configuration, but runs on the B150 Express chipset, offering more than enough features for a single GPU gaming system and features Biostar’s Hi-Fi 6-channel audio.

There’s lot of new motherboards coming this year and Biostar will no doubt have a lot more for us to show you, so stay tuned for more updates.

BIOSTAR Tease Gaming Z170X4 Motherboard for Computex

Computex is just around the corner and the excitement is rising everywhere. We know that we’ll see a lot of new products ranging from blazing fast NVMe storage drives to motherboards built around Intel’s newest platform.

BIOSTAR is ready with a full lineup of motherboards with the new Intel 100 chipsets, Z170, H170 and B150 with support for Intel’s 6th generation Core processors.

The new press release talks most about current generation products such as the Nvidia GTX 900 series and Intel Z79 motherboards, but included was the above low-resolution image picturing one of the new motherboards.

The image might be low resolution, but we can still glance some information from it. The chipset/southbridge is exposed in the shot, showing us the actual chip that otherwise is hidden below a heatsink. We can also spot what looks to be three SATA Express connectors and three M.2 connectors for your storage. Two legacy SATA3 ports are supported within the SATA Express connector, so that part is covered as well.

The networking is powered by a KillerNic 2200 and the audio card is separated from the rest of the motherboard to prevent interference. The BIOSTAR Gaming Z170x4 motherboard comes with three PCIe x16 and three PCIe x1 slots for your expansion cards.

BIOSTAR Releases Hi-Fi A68U3P Budget Motherboard

Sometimes you don’t need the ability for quad graphics cards and high-end processors, sometimes you just want to build an office or media PC with great features without blowing your budget. BIOSTAR has a lot of motherboard for this type of scenario and they’ve just expanded with one more.

The newest BIOSTAR motherboard is dubbed the Hi-Gi A68U3P and it is based on the AMD A68 chipset with support for multi-core socket FM2+/FM2 processors from the A-series and E2-series.

 

The two DDR3 memory slots support up to 32GB total RAM with a speed of 2600MHz (OC). You get one PCI-E x16 3.0, one PCI-E x1 2.0, and one legacy PCI slot. Four SATA 3 connectors with RAID support provide you with internal storage options and while you can connect high-speed external devices through the USB 3.0 ports.

You’ll of course also get BIOSTAR’s Hi-Fi audio connections, in this case with 5.1 surround sound support and a Gigabit Ethernet port powered by Realtek’s RTL8111G chip.

The board caters to both those that want more pixels per connector with support for 4K2K and 3D HD display resolutions just as it does for those who want to protect their precious components from extra dangers through electrostatic discharges and sudden over-voltages.

Super LAN Surge Protection provides the LAN port with more advanced antistatic protection capabilities by adding an integrated chip to strengthen electrical stability and prevent damage from lightning strikes and electrical surges. BIOSTAR’s Super LAN Surge Protection series motherboards upgrade the existing standards with up to four times the protection.

BIOSTAR’s Hi-Fi A68U3P will have an MSRP of just $49 USD.

Biostar Gaming Z97X (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


Intel’s Z97 platform has been around with us for almost a year now, so the marketplace is slightly saturated with motherboards from a huge array of manufacturers. Offering full support for the Haswell Refresh CPU’s, it has really brought new performance levels to the consumer market. While still producing the Z97 platform, Intel are soon to release the newest CPU lineup, named Skylake; with that introducing the new LGA 1151 socket motherboards. Today we are going to be looking at a motherboard from Biostar, but first a little history lesson. Did you know Biostar has been around in the computer tech sector for as long as Gigabyte? That’s right, 29 years old and I bet some of you didn’t even know they existed. They’ve primarily stuck to OEM motherboards, which get bundled up into pre-built computers for high street retailers. Biostar has a rich history, being the first company to introduce Wi-fi on a motherboard back in 2003, the first manufacturer to offer an AM2 socket motherboard in 2007 and the first to offer a motherboard with USB 3.1 ports; today we will be looking at the board.

The motherboard in question is Biostar’s gaming motherboard, the Gaming Z97X. With more features than you could shake a stick at, it has more than enough wealth of knowledge built into it and with USB 3.1 as standard; it shouldn’t be a slouch either.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, Biostar is no different and bring a nice array of software

  • CPU / System Temperature Monitoring
  • CPU / System Fan Monitoring
  • Smart / Manual CPU / System Fan Control
  • System Voltage Monitoring
  • Smart Ear headphone Utility
  • BIO-Remote2
  • Biostar MAGIX Multimedia Software Suite
  • Smart Speed LAN

For more information on these functions, please visit the Biostar Gaming Z97X product page.

Packaging and Accessories

A nice style box, simple styling with the Biostar Gaming logo in the bottom right. Enlarged feature of the Killer E2201 networking chip.

In the box, we find 4x SATA cables, IO shield, manual, cable strap, screws, a 4GB USB stick/ card with all the drivers and utilities on and also the Gaming Commander.

BIOSTAR Releases the Hi-Fi B85S1 Motherboard

BIOSTAR has released another motherboard and this time it is a business rich option at a value price. The Hi-Fi B85S1 is an mATX motherboard built around the Intel B85 chipset and with support for Intel’s Core i3, i5, i7, and Pentium processors on the LGA 1150 socket. With two DIMM slots, it’s able to handle up to 16GB RAM running at 1600MHz and it comes with one PCIe x16 3.0 and two PCIe x1 2.0 slots.

The board also features BIOSTAR innovative Hi-Fi technology with a powerful built-in headphone amplifier and Super LAN Surge Protection which enhances Ethernet protections and as an Intel board it supports IRST and Intel Small Business Advantage (Intel SBA) which delivers business-centric security protection such as after-hours virus scans and data backup as well as block recognition of unwanted USB drives and Intel’s Smart Connect Technology.

The Hi-Fi B85S1 also works well for entertainment needs with support for Direct3D 11.1 and HDMI. It also has Blu-ray audio and provides a 24 bit/192KHz audio output. BIOSTAR also added the Double Hi-Fi integrated AMP which allows users to enjoy the same high quality of sound on both the front panel and direct IO connectors. It is built with 100% solid capacitors and Super Durable Ferrite Chokes for the best durability and efficiency.

It comes with two PS2 ports, one USB 3.0 header and two port, two USB 2.0 headers and two ports, Gigabit Ethernet powered by a Realtek TRL811G controller, and it has both a VGA port for legacy screens and a DVI port for more modern screens.

The Hi-Fi B85S1 is Windows 8 ready, and supports BIO-Remote2 and BIOS Online Update features for easy management, and it will only cost you $59.00 USD.

BIOSTAR Releases H81MDC-LSP mATX Motherboard

The newest motherboard to come from BIOSTAR is the micro-ATX sized Intel H81-based H81MDC-LSP motherboard. The new motherboard supports Intel’s 4th generation Core i7 and i5 processors and comes with upgraded sound chip and LAN surge protection. The H81 chipset provides the board with two SATA3 and four SATA2 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and support for up to 1600MHz memory of which you can have up to 16GB on the two slots. The new BIOSTAR motherboard looks to be a great combination of features packed in a small form factor with a low cost.

You rarely need more options in an SFF build than one expansion card and two high-speed drives, so why spend money on more than you need. It also supports HDMI video-out through the iGPU, but that must be through an adapter as it doesn’t have a port for it, and it of course also features Intel’s Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology.

The H81MDC-LSP is built with the X.D.C (eXtreme Durable Capacitors) solid capacitors with a lifetime that can be more than 6.25 times that of ordinary liquid caps. Further protections come in for of the Super LAN Surge protection which provides a LAN port with more advanced anti-static protection capabilities by adding an integrated chip to strengthen electrical stability and prevent damage from lightning strikes and electrical surges.

The boards also feature the latest BIOSTAR technologies such as BIOS Flasher and BIOS Online Update for easy updating and restoration of the BIOS, as well as BIO-Remote2 for remote control of the system via Android and Apple devices.

 

Lastly, the H81MDC-LSP also features the Charger Booster function for charging those devices that need more power than normal USB ports can provide, such as the iPad, but also works iPhone and Android phones and tablets. It will provide a faster and more efficient charging and can decrease the time needed to charge up to 42%.

The BIOSTAR H81MDC-LSP is a cheap motherboard despite its feature set and the MSRP is set to $49 USD.

BIOSTAR Reveals Hi-Fi B85Z5 Motherboard

BIOSTAR revealed their latest motherboard and this time it is an Intel B85 based one. The new Hi-Fi B85Z5 ATX motherboard has the LGA1150 socket and support for the 4th generation Core i7 and i5 processors as well as up to 32GB RAM.

As the name suggests, this motherboard also comes with BIOSTAR’s hi-fi features for enhances sound with built-in double amplifier and Blu-ray support. Blu-ray provides higher audio output than most typical motherboards in this section, so this is nice to see. The double Hi-Fi integrated AMP allows users to enjoy the same sound quality no matter what port they use, the front or rear.

It is built with 100% solid capacitors and super durable ferrite chokes for durability and efficiency and comes with business-ready SBA features. Intel Small Business Advantage delivers security protections such as after-hours virus scans, data backup, Intel’s smart Connect, as well as detecting and blocking unwanted USB drives.

The BIOS comes with online update feature which is a really handy feature. No need to boot into an OS and download a file, all you need is to enter your BIOS and update. Other features include Intel RST, Super LAN Surge protection, BIO-Remote2 and Charger Booster.

The new BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85Z5 comes with an MSRP of $89, but no word on when it will be available yet.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

 

BIOSTAR Reveals the TA970 Plus AMD Mainboard

BIOSTAR has released a new AMD socket AM3+ motherboard, the TA970 Plus with AMD OverDrive and the Advanced Clock Calibration feature. This full-sized ATX motherboard uses the AMD 970 chipset and supports the AMD FX/Phenom II and Athlon II processors with a TDP up to 140W.

The TA970 Plus has 4 DDR3 DIMM slots with support for up to 64GB total RAM and five SATA3 connectors with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. It also has a combined mSATA and Mini PCI-E combo connector for additional and optional upgrades of your choice. It has two PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, two PCI-E x1 2.0 slots and two legacy PCI slots.

To get every power advantage the TA970 Plus features the AMD OverDrive and the Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) function. This allows users to overclock their system by precisely calibrating the clock timings between the processor and RAM chips. These timings are critical in maintaining system stability when overclocking, otherwise you will end up with a system that crashes often.

The motherboard design makes the heatsink look like a piano, which might be to underline the audio features. The BIOSTAR PURO Hi-Fi technology features an integrated independent audio power design with a built-in amplifier. The technology utilizes audio components with an independent power delivery design for a significant reduction in electronic noise. The noise-blocking multi-layer PCB layout is conducive for an exceptionally clean signal.

There are plenty of external connection options with six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 7.1 audio jacks, Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet, and PS2 mouse and keyboard ports. It also has onboard headers for extra USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Serial and CIR. The motherboard is available now and can be picked up for around £63.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

BIOSTAR Announces the GAMING Z97X and Z97W Motherboards

BIOSTAR has announced their latest flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard, the GAMING Z97X. The Z97X is designed with gamers in mind and is built with a high amount of connectivity and a little bit of overclocking rather than just being focused on the best overclocking potential.

The brown-gold and black colour scheme along with the plastic shroud at the rear give the board a unique appearance. The CPU gets its power from a 12-phase VRM and the board has three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 expansion slots wired to the PCH.

Storage connectivity includes SATA-Express, six SATA 6 Gb/s, and an M.2 (PCIe 2.0 x2) connector. The board also offers two supercharged USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, in addition to six normal USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. As mentioned, this board is focused on connectivity and further has two gigabit Ethernet interfaces that sadly won’t allow for bridging as one is driven by an Intel controller and the other by a Qualcomm Killer E2200; those are still two great choices to have.

The onboard audio features a 110 dBA SNR CODEC, a 600Ω headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation and comes bundled with a 5.25-inch front-panel head-unit BIOSTAR calls the Gaming Commander. It doesn’t just provide front-panel audio outputs and control, but also diagnostic LEDs and temperature indicator.

The GAMING Z97W was released at the same time and is a slightly slimmed down version without the third PCIe x16 slot and with a 10-phase CPU VRM.

 Thanks to TechPowerU  for providing us with this information

BIOSTAR Announced TA70U3-LSP FM2+ A70M Motherboard

BIOSTAR has released the latest mainboard based on their exclusive A70M chipset from AMD, the TA70U3-LSP. The ATX sized motherboard is FM2+ based and comes with USB 3.0, SATA 3 and built in LAN Surge Protection among others.

The motherboard supports dual and quad core FM2+/FM2 processors, A-series, and E2-series processors and up to 32GB DDR3 RAM.

It has one PCI-E x16 3.0, two PCI-E x1 2.0, and three PCI expansion slots as well as six SATA connectors, one USB3 and two USB 2 headers. Gigabit Ethernet and 5.1 channel audio are also part of the deal. The TA70U3-LSP supports AMD Dual Graphics Technology and also has support for full HDMI 3D 1080p.

The LSP of the product name stands for Lan Surge Protection and that is done by adding extra integrated chips directly into the board to strengthen electrical stability.

 

 

Like all motherboards, it comes with a long list of exclusive features. BIOSTAR offers their SmartSpeedLan, ChargeBooster, BIO-Remote, BIOS malware protection and recovery. It’s also built with 100% solid capacitors.

No word on pricing or availability yet. But since they say it is released, it’s only a matter of time before it arrives at retailers around the world.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

BIOSTAR Announced the iDEQ-T1 Minicomputer, Home Entertainment & Karaoke Machine

BIOSTAR introduced us to the iDEQ-T1 concept a couple of months ago and now it’s been finalized and announced. The mini computer is built around a mITX motherboard but still features enough power for most office or media tasks, including a Karaoke function.

The 800gram heavy system is built around Intel’s Bay Trail Celeron N2940 quad-core processor with Intel Gen7 display which can pump out up to 2560×1440 resolution displays with DirectX 11. The system supports up to 16GB 1333MHz DDR3L memory and comes with built-in Gigabit Ethernet and Wi-Fi, USB 3 and HDMI – anything you need to connect it.

The iDEQ-T1 also comes with “Hi-Fi K-Bar” software that turns the system into a karaoke machine. The K-BAR software package is an easy-to-use interface that provides a “Karaoke Mode” so that you can sing along anytime, anywhere. Plus with the Magic Voice Mode you can produce multiple sound effects for lots of karaoke fun.

It has BIOSTAR’s BIOS Super Rescue Function as well as BIO-Remote 2 Technology and Charger Booster Technology.

No word on availability yet, but a few shops have started to list it as pre-order option starting at £119.90.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

BIOSTAR Introducing Built-In LAN Surge Protection For Motherboards

BIOSTAR has introduced a new protection that will be added to all their future motherboards, the new Super LAN Surge Protection. This SLSP should give increased protection from large power surges such as lightning strikes by using additional hardware devices and chips. BIOSTAR’s SLSP will be able to ensure that the motherboards have a high degree of protection from such surges and will be limiting surge voltages until they reach safe levels.

BIOSTAR is blowing their own horn a bit as being the first to introduce this feature, which is quite a bold statement considering that there are several board manufacturers that have surge protection on their LAN ports already. So whether this is a much better protection, or they mean that they are the first to introduce it to all motherboards no matter of series, that is something we’ll have to wait for more information to find out.

Being first or not aside, more protections for out components are welcome at any time, so keep them features coming.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of BIOSTAR