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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review

« System Benchmarks(CPU, Memory, Compression, Multimedia) | Final Thoughts »

Subsystem and Gaming Benchmarks
All SATA3 connections on the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE are provided by the Intel Z97 chipset and performs as expected.

SATA3 Performance

USB 3.0 ports are also natively provided by the Intel Z97 chipset.

Intel USB 3.0

On-board Audio

Before proceeding with audio benchmarks, Deferred Procedure Call latency must be first checked to make sure that the system is capable of producing useable results when the Rightmark Audio Analyzer benchmark was run. DPC is a Windows function that involves prioritizing tasks within the OS and high DPC latencies can be caused by several things including hardware device conflict. The DPC checker graphically displays the latency level of the system in real time so as long as the bars are in the green, the system should be able to handle audio and video streaming without drop outs or stutters.

DPC Latency

Absolute maximum peaked at 222 while the system for the most part stayed well below that. This means that there should be no hardware related issues or interruptions in terms of audio/video streaming performance while running the motherboard. Now we can run RightMark Audio Analyzer tests using a short 3-inch 3.5mm audioloop cable that goes in the line-in and line-out ports for a loopback test to objectively test internal audio performance. Although the Realtek ALC892 codec is capable of 24-bit, 192kHz the line-in port is limited to 16-bit, 192kHz so the loopback test will be limited at that setting. While the result cannot be directly compared to the results from previous motherboards tested on 24-bit, 96kHz and 192kHz such as the MSI Z97 MPower MAX, the result is comparable to other previously motherboards using an ALC892 chip such as the ASUS Z97-A.

Rear Audio:

16-bit, 96 kHz
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
-0.00, +0.06
Excellent
Noise level, dB (A)
-90.6
Very good
Dynamic range, dB (A)
90.6
Very good
THD, %
0.0035
Very good
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-78.3
Average
IMD + Noise, %
0.012
Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-86.6
Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %
0.011
Very good
General performance
Very good

 

16-bit, 192 kHz
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
+0.02, -0.07
Excellent
Noise level, dB (A)
-91.1
Very good
Dynamic range, dB (A)
91.3
Very good
THD, %
0.0036
Very good
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-78.9
Average
IMD + Noise, %
0.011
Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-86.6
Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %
0.010
Very good
General performance
Very good

The front headphone has a high-gain toggle accessible via the SmartEar software, so we test the two modes for the front as well, this time plugging in the line-in and the front audio out with the loopback cable.

Front headphone Lo-gain setting:

16-bit, 96 kHz
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
+0.02, -0.04
Excellent
Noise level, dB (A)
-89.3
Good
Dynamic range, dB (A)
89.4
Good
THD, %
0.0098
Very good
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-75.5
Average
IMD + Noise, %
0.016
Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-86.2
Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %
0.014
Very good
General performance
Very good

 

16-bit, 192 kHz
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
-0.03, -0.12
Excellent
Noise level, dB (A)
-89.9
Good
Dynamic range, dB (A)
89.8
Good
THD, %
0.010
Good
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-75.1
Average
IMD + Noise, %
0.016
Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-85.3
Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, %
0.014
Very good
General performance
Very good

Front headphone Hi-gain setting:

16-bit, 96 kHz
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
-0.06, -0.12
Excellent
Noise level, dB (A)
-88.9
Good
Dynamic range, dB (A)
88.8
Good
THD, %
0.0034
Very good
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-77.9
Average
IMD + Noise, %
0.015
Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-84.1
Very good
IMD at 10 kHz, %
0.012
Very good
General performance
Very good

 

16-bit, 192 kHz
Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB
-0.06, -0.14
Excellent
Noise level, dB (A)
-88.2
Good
Dynamic range, dB (A)
88.2
Good
THD, %
0.0034
Very good
THD + Noise, dB (A)
-78.4
Average
IMD + Noise, %
0.014
Very good
Stereo crosstalk, dB
-83.5
Very good
IMD at 10 kHz, %
0.013
Very good
General performance
Very good

Network Connectivity

Network testing was conducted with a 4-port Cisco E3200 Gigabit Dual-Band Wireless N router and a pair of 10-ft long Cat5E cables connecting the server PC and the test motherboard. The server system is running an Intel Core i7-3960X processor on an ASUS P9X79 WS motherboard with an Intel 82574L Gigabit LAN Controller. Interrupt Moderation was disabled.

LAN Speed Test

jperf

Performance Test Network Speed Graph

Network performance is exceptional, very impressive for a budget motherboard. Network teaming and load distribution can also be enabled across both Realtek 8111G ethernet at the same time for even better performance. Since it is a non-Intel solution however, CPU power consumption peaked at 9% during testing.

 

Gaming Tests

Futuremark’s 3DMark is a semi-synthetic gaming benchmark that calculates both graphics and CPU-bound physics in a controlled series of tests and provides scores that can be compared with other gaming platforms.

3DMark Physics Benchmarks

Instead of showing real-world gaming performance, a gaming test at the lowest resolution where CPU performance difference can be gauged due to the reduced reliance on the discrete GPU was conducted.

Gaming Benchmarks

 

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Ron Perillo

Ron is a non-binary tech writer that presently identifies as a reviewer but is currently transitioning toward modding.

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. 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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