Biostar has been known for manufacturing motherboards and the GAMING Z97X is their flagship board for Intel Socket 1150 based Z97 chipset. As with any flagship product, this too has plenty of tricks up its sleeves in terms of features. They’ve designed the packaging of the board well and it highlights all the major aspects of the board. The GAMING Z97X supports 4th generation Intel Core processors and you can find the entire CPU support list here. Biostar aims to provide a quality motherboard with high-end features for gamers at a decent price with the GAMING Z97X. So, let’s go ahead and check out what this board has to offer, shall we.
Package contents, first look and build quality:
The GAMING Z97X comes with a neat package as Biostar includes their GAMING Commander Box which is a multifunction front panel box that gets installed in the 5.25” drive bay area in the cabinet. This box sports status LEDs for VGA, CPU and RAM activity, CPU temperature indicator and also has 3.5 mm audio jacks which are paired to a volume control right on the box itself. Another interesting thing included on the box is a Mix button that lets users switch their bundled Gaming Commander audio software with just a flick. Another neat addition to the board’s package is a 4GB USB drive that comes pre-installed with all the drivers and software to get you going instantly during the installation process. This is good to see especially considering the fact that most users don’t even have optical drives these days and having a USB flash drive makes the job much easier. You also get a user manual, an I/O shield and 4 x black coloured SATA cables bundled with the board. The board itself looks really well designed as everything on it is colour coordinated. Biostar has made use of plastic all around the PCB to enhance the durability of the board and also make it aesthetically pleasing.
Audio and Video features and capabilities:
Featuring Biostar’s Super Hi-Fi 7.1 channel Blu-Ray audio, the GAMING Z97X enables you to enjoy high quality multi-channel audio through the which is not only rich in detail but is perfect for gaming as well. Coming to the board’s video capabilities, we must say that the GAMING Z97X board allows you to enjoy visually as it provides 4K and 2K support right out-of-the-box through the included HDMI and Display ports. This makes sure that you always get crisp high-definition visuals on your display thus enhancing your overall visual experience.
A wealth of connectivity options:
You can make a ton of connections to the GAMING Z97X motherboard as its rear I/O area is home to plenty of connectivity options. You get 4 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x USB 3.1 ports, 2 x HDMI ports that support a resolution of up to 4096 x 2160 @ 24Hz, 1 x Display port, 1 x DVI port, 5 x Audio ports, 1 x optical S/PDIF out port, 1 x PS/2 port and 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports. Since the board comes with two ports featuring USB 3.1, they provide more bandwidth thus making quick data transfer possible.
Apart from the rear I/O, the board comes with the popular Killer E2200 dedicated LAN chip built into it which has been specially designed for gamers in order to provide seamless performance while playing online games. The Killer E2200 also features Advanced Stream Detect that can detect and regulate traffic for other online tasks without affecting gaming performance. What’s more is that the GAMING Z97X PCI-e M.2 port as well where you can hook up a high performance SSD if you so desire.
An enthusiasts delight:
The Biostar GAMING Z97X is a great choice for gamers and enthusiasts alike especially if you’re someone who likes to push the limits of your PC. This is because, the GAMING Z97X comes with T-Overclocker which is an easy to use overclocking utility for Windows that lets you make tweaks to your CPU and memory for increasing performance. Overclocking on the GAMING Z97X is safe too as the board features OC/OV/OH protection that protects the components connected as well as the motherboard from overcurrent when you’re overclocking.
All-in-all, the Biostar GAMING Z97X is a great choice to go for if you’re someone looking to build a gaming rig and also want great features at a pocket-friendly price.