Biostar Gaming Z97X Motherboard Review
Posted by Heath Coop on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 8:00am
Many manufacturers have created gaming specific designs. Biostar recently decided to add a gaming line as well. Their initial release will contain two graphics cards and two motherboards. Biostar was kind enough to send us the flag ship of this new gaming line up, the Gaming Z97X. The board design is brown/ black color scheme and comes with a black plastic shroud that has a very military look to it.
Based around Intel’s Z97 the Gaming Z97X supports 4th Generation Intel Core 1150 socket processors. There is 3way AMD CrossFire support. Storage is supplied by 6 SATA ports, 1 SATA Express port, and a SATA/PCIe compatible M.2 slot. The Gaming Z97X is also one of the first motherboards to support 10 Gb/s USB 3.1
On the networking side, there are Intel I218V and Killer E2201 network adaptors. Biostar includes their "Gaming Commander" 5.25-inch front-panel, which features audio outputs with a mic/headset volume control, amplifier control, diagnostic LEDs, and a CPU temperature indicator. Twelve phase power delivery and a LN2 mode provide a basis for extreme overclocking.
Biostar's take on the Biostar Gaming Z97X
Intel Z97 chipset
The Intel® Z97 Express Chipset is a single-chipset design to support socket 1150 Intel® 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor-based platform. Provides excellent performance and increased bandwidth and stability. Intel® Z97 Express Chipset can also enable iGPU function, letting users enjoy the latest Intel® integrated graphic performance.The PC platform features improved adaptive performance that adds speed when you need it.When combined with advanced system
Intel LGA 1150 4th Generation Intel Core™ Processor support
The 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors are based on 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor architecture, with the latest 22nm process to maximize the processor platform. Based on the new LGA 1150 socket, 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors with graphics with DX11.1 & OCL1.2 cores , the overall performance will meet your demand.
Hi-Fi 3D Technology enables high definition multi-dimensional sound where it matters the most with height, width and depth in front of the listener. It's based on the physics of reproduced sound and the basic human perception of sound. The high resolution sound reproduction stands above existing sound enhancements or virtualization technologies.
XLouder button offers players a quicker way to enable the "XLouder" function, it increases the volume from "microphone", allowing players to have a quicker control over the microphone while enjoying the games.
Super Hi-Fi Audio Connectors
30uF “Golden” plated audio connectors provide superb signal conductivity, less oxidation, and best possible studio-grade headgears.
Hi-Fi AMP 3D
With the built-in new generation 3D amplifier, Biostar Hi-Fi 3D motherboard can drive major high-end headphones with over 100dB loads and up to 600ohm impedance. It allows you enjoy a fuller range of dynamic sound with crisper details and less distortion when you are using any headphones.
Smart Ear 3D
Smart Ear 3D provides true reproduction of virtual 3D space using any headphones! It delivers the true 3D sounds for music, movies and also games. It's fantastically, especially if you've never experienced this kind of acoustic phenomenon before.
Hi-Fi Pre AMP
Hi-Fi 3D Technology is built-in power amplifier to boost the speaker volume. It will increase double volume level with high-quality HD audio output. Hi-Fi 3D Technology not only improves on the headphone but also enhances your speakers' sound volume.
Hi-Fi preamp can boost the line level audio signals from analog and digital sources to levels that a power amplifier can detect and boost again to successfully power up the loadspeaker.
3D Sound Fields
The six types of 3D Sound Fields are including Hi-Fi Theater, Hi-Fi Hall, Hi-Fi Game spots, Hi-Fi Studio, Hi-Fi Conference and Hi-Fi Bistro for your different applications. Biostar Hi-Fi 3D technology involves the virtaul placement of sound sources anywhere in 3 dimensional spaces, including behind, above or below.
ATI CrossFire X™ Technology
ATI CrossFireX™ is the ultimate multi-GPU performance gaming platform. With game-dominating power, ATI CrossFireX technology enables two or more discrete graphics processors to work together to improve system performance. It supports up to four ATI Radeon™ HD graphics cards, making it the most scalable gaming platform ever!
Killer E2200 LAN
BIOSTAR Gaming series motherboard adopts Killer E2200 LAN, a dedicated LAN chip for gaming network; it is designed to provide the highest performance for online games. Killer E2200 with Advanced Stream Detect feature can automatically detect the game traffic flow and other network traffic to ensure it’s quality of instant messaging, allowing players always in control of the network hardware and enjoy the thrill of games without delay.
USB 3.1 is a new standard known as SuperSpeed +, in order to highlight the improvement from USB3.0 (SuperSpeed) transmission speed. The new standard doubles data transfer rate from 5Gbps to 10Gbps. It is also backward compatible with existing USB3.0 connectors and all the USB 2.0 devices.
The extremely data transfer rate can be up to 1000MB/s (PCIe x2) and also compatible with SATA interface M.2, up to 6Gb/s. It is specifically designed for higher performance SSD.
The SATA Express supports both SATA and PCIe storage solutions and maximum data transfer speed up to 10Gb/s.
12 Phase Power Design
8+4 phase VRM design with high quality power components such as low IR Direct FET MOSFETs for lower temperatures, Ferrite core chokes with lower hysteresis loss, and high quality Japanese-made solid capacitors all add up to ensure longer system life and lower power loss.
External GAMING COMMANDER BOX features an independent USB DAC, dedicated MIC_IN and Line-out jacks, Buttons for volume adjustments, Diagnose LED for CPU/ DDR/ VGA temperature indicator, and exclusive XLouder button for quick MIC boost. GAMING COMMANDER software is a user friendly interface with equalizer function which allows users to make his own voice effects while enjoying the games.
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a brand new framework that provides a revolutionary interface. It is a modern clear and easy-to-use graphical user interface. The UEFI comes with a colorful easy-understand icons leads users into the setup layer directly.
Super Rapid Debug 3
Super Rapid Debug 3 posts critical POST code information on a vivid digital LED display.
With LN2 mode activated the BIOSTAR motherboard is optimization to remedy the cold boot bug during POST at an extremely low temperature and help the system boot successfully.
That is only a short list of theGaming Z97X’s many features. Let us take a look at the product specifications and packaging next.