Monday, May 5th 2014

BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Unveiled

BIOSTAR launched its flagship LGA1150 motherboard built with a design-focus on better onboard audio, the Hi-Fi Z97WE. Based on Intel Z97 Express chipset, and featuring out of the box support for Intel's Core "Haswell" Refresh processors, the board features everything you'd expect from a mid-range ($150-ish) overclockable LGA1150 motherboard. To begin with, it draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and using a 10-phase VRM to condition power to the CPU socket. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated). Other add-on slots include two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and legacy PCI.

The Z97 Express PCH wires out all six SATA 6 Gb/s ports internally. The board offers a 10 Gb/s M.2 slot, with enough clearance for long (~12 cm) modules. Display outputs include dual-link DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI. There are two gigabit Ethernet interfaces on offer. A total of six USB 3.0 ports are on offer, four on the rear panel, and two by header. The star attraction here is its onboard audio, which features a high SNR DAC, audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation on the PCB. The board isn't heavy on overclocker-friendly features. You still get debug LEDs, onboard power/reset buttons, and a replaceable BIOS EEPROM chip. AMI UEFI BIOS is at the helm of this board.
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2 Comments on BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Unveiled

A flagship motherboard with a VGA port and only one internal USB 3.0 header? Good luck with that one.
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My name is Dave
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A flagship motherboard with a VGA port and only one internal USB 3.0 header? Good luck with that one.
Flagship....$150 pricing?

Perhaps you might want to re-think your statement. Biostar, from where I sit, isn't interested in competing with other brands directly. Their idea of high-end costs less than $200 while other brands top $400. What does that extra $200 get you, exactly? No D-SUB, and DisplayPort instead?

Sorry, don't mean to dump on ya here, but I do feel that most brands are trying to provide what THEIR customers want, and those that buy Biostar...don't typically buy what you'd call "flagship" form other brands.
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