Biostar has announced the release for two new flagship motherboards for Intel's Haswell and Broadwell processors, dubbed Gaming Z97X and Gaming Z97W.
The two motherboards seem to be the first complete BIOSTAR designs, meaning that it was built from the ground-up for performance and a certain striking aesthetic. The boards are mostly black (PCB, heat spreaders and some other components), with some hints of white & brown.
The Gaming Z97 boards feature an ATX form factor that uses Intel socket 1150 support and is based on the Intel Z97 chipset, coming with key features such as USB 3.1, three PCI Express 3.0x16 slots, PCIe M.2 support, Dual GbE LAN and BIOSTAR exclusive Super Hi-Fi Audio technology and support for DisplayPort. Two on-board HDMI supports 4K and 2K resolutions. There is also the introduction of the SATA Express Connector which supports both SATA and PCIe storage solutions giving maximum data transfer speed of up to 10Gb/s.
The board also comes with the BIOSTAR external Gaming Commander box, which fits in a standard 5.5" (CD-ROM) area. This is paired with a software with voice control center exclusively designed by BIOSTAR. The external box features an independent USB DAC, dedicated MIC_IN and Line-out jacks, buttons for volume adjustments, a diagnose LED for CPU/ DDR/ VGA temperature indicators, and exclusive XLouder button for quick MIC boost.
As mentioned before, it should be noted that the Gaming Z97X is the first motherboard that comes with an onboard USB 3.1 connector, a new standard known as SuperSpeed +. The new standard doubles data transfer rate from 5Gbps to 10Gbps, and it's backward compatible with existing USB3.0 connectors and all the USB 2.0 devices.
The On-board PCIe M.2 slot, available for higher performance SSD; and SATA Express ports that supports both SATA and PCIe storage solutions to maximum data transfer speed up to 10Gb/s. Both features can upgrade your system performance in terms of data access and storage.
In terms of stability, Biostar has equipped the Gaming Z97 with a 12 phase power design to prevent the CPU from overheating, as well as BIOSTAR’s exclusive ferrite chokes and solid capacitors also enhance energy efficiency and extend the motherboard’s lifespan. An Anti-Surge and ESD design is also in place to reduce the shocks caused by ESD as well as other damages arising from overvoltage transients.
The Gaming Z97X will come with super durable box headers providing secure connections between the motherboard and peripheral cables. When running such high-end machinery sometimes such tight tolerances call for some expert debugging of overclocked or highly stressed systems. For that, there will be Super Rapid Debug 3 which gives out critical POST code information on a vivid digital LED display.
And of course, it all looks cool and sharp with the armor design; there are a lot more great features like the LN2 switch, T-Overclocking software & an onboard XMP button for easy CPU and memory overclocking, and dual HDMI ports that support true 4k/2k HD video.
There are some technical differences between the two boards, with Z97X benefitting of 2 extra-SATA3 ASMedia connectors, Intel I218V - Gigabit Ethernet PHY, PXE support, and 2-HDMI connectors instead of one.