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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review

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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WEIt is a misplaced romantic notion to think that some things can be made whole cloth from aether and that great ideas are some sort of a divine blessing from the universe to only a select few. The truth is that copying and imitation have their place in the creative process just as much as random chance does and the end result is a culmination of various sources which in turn feed the cycle of creativity once again to inspire another. This is why progress has been exponential historically and when you look at the creative process as a whole in terms of cycles, then the concept of idea ownership is absurd. This is why nobody really gives a rats ass who did what first (except for maybe Han Solo shooting first for Star Wars fans) but it is a matter of who did it better and who did it best. In the motherboard world right now, every manufacturer has a custom segmented audio solution, each with their own unique twist but to truly stand out, some out of the box thinking is required.

Biostar has been actively promoting their Puro Hi-Fi audio technology even before the current crop of Intel Z97 boards with isolated audio PCBs. Their initial Z97 offering however in the form of the Hi-Fi Z97WE offers something unique that many of their competitors that offer the same features lack: a low price.

Review Sample Provided by: Biostar
Product Name:
Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard
MSRP: $124.99 USD
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

Official Intel Z97 Chipset Diagram

Biostar’s Hi-Fi series boards touts the Puro Hi-Fi media technology aimed at HTPC, Audio enthusiasts and Gaming users so the main front graphic on the box is a speaker woofer. The box color is the traditional Biostar red with accents of gold hinting the new color theme of the Z97 series. Inside, the top compartment contains the accessories while the motherboard itself is inside an anti-static bag with padding on the rear side.

Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Box Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Box Rear

Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Box

Accessories for the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE include the essential driver disc, IO shield, a multi-language user’s guide, Smart Ear Utility usage sheet and four of straight latching SATA cables.

Accessories

The full official specifications table can be seen below.

Specifications:

CPU 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)
Support CPU Bclk overclock
Chipset Intel® Z97 Express Chipset
Memory Support Dual Channel DDR3 2800(OC)/ 2600(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2200(OC)/ 2133(OC)/ 1866(OC)/ 1800(OC)/ 1600/ 1333/ 1066 MHz
Support non-ECC memory modules
Support Extreme Memory Profile(XMP) memory modules
4 x DDR3 DIMM Memory Slot
Max. Supports up to 32GB Memory
Slots 2 x PCI-E x16 3.0 Slot (x8 + x8, support CrosfireX)
2 x PCI-E x1 2.0 Slot
2 x PCI Slot
Onboard Graphics
By CPU model
Supports DX11.1/ 11/ 10.1/ 10/ 9
Supports HDCP
Support DirectX Video Acceleration(DXVA) for accelerating video processing
—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)
Multi GPU
Supports AMD CrossFireTM Technology
Storage 6 x SATA3 Connector
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
Support 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
AUDIO Realtek ALC892 8-Channel Blu-ray Audio
Support Blu-ray Audio
Support HD Audio
Support 2/4/6/8-channel
Support SPDIF_out
Support Biostar Hi-Fi
LAN Realtek RTL8111G – 10/100/1000 Controller
Support Wake-On-LAN
Support PXE
※Dual GbE, support Teaming
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 Header
2 x USB 2.0 Header
6 x SATA3 6Gb/s Connector
1 x M.2(N.G.F.F.) Connector
1 x Front Audio Header
1 x Front Panel Header
2 x CPU FAN Header
4 x System FAN Header
1 x Serial Header
1 x CIR Header
1 x TPM Header(TPM V1.2)
Back I/O Ports 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 / 2560×1600@60Hz, 24bpp / 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
2 x RJ-45 Port
5 x Audio Connector
1 x S/PDIF Out Port
Bundled 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(include Intel Smart Response Techmology)
Dimensions ATX Form Factor Dimension: 30.5cm x 24.4cm ( W x L )

About Ron Perillo

Ron has love for technology that is only narrowly eclipsed by his relentless desire for consuming baked goods. He has also recently contracted the modding bug and has been admitted at Modders Inc. for treatment, reviewing the latest hardware and learning from North America's best modders on how to deal with this affliction.

3 comments

  1. Great review as usual, i might suggest to you guys to add a article navigation bar like other sites do, sometimes we want to find a specific topic like overclocking, power consumption, specs tec.
    Thanx

  2. Working on trying to find the right plug-in that will do that.

  3. Thanks for the suggestion. We could probably do a temporary solution for now with manually created table of contents linking to each page. I will update the previous articles.

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