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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review

A CLOSER LOOK

Biostar-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-board-unboxed

The Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE comes in an ATX package and has a black and gold/yellow color scheme. It makes sense that it would be hard to ensure the plastic was the same color as the aluminum heatsinks on the board, however a lighter yellow may have matched slightly better.

Biostar-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-24-pin-power

Along the right side of the board, near the DIMM slots for your DDR3 RAM, you’ll find a 24-pin ATX power connector, and directly beside that, you’ll find your front USB 3.0 header.

Biostar-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-sata-ports

Going further down the right side of the board, you’ll find 6 SATA III 6Gb/s ports. All six of the onboard SATA ports run on the Z97 chipset, and this system doesn’t rely on any 3rd party chipsets for SATA connectivity.

Biostar-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-debug-led

Down in the lower right hand corner of the board are a Power and Reset switch, as well as your front power panel connectors. To the left of the power switch you see a 4-pin PWM fan header, and even further left is a front USB 2.0 header. Above the reset switch is a debug LED panel, to help troubleshoot any errors that you may encounter.

Biostar-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-lower-headers

Along the bottom side of the board are a slew of headers. Starting left and working right you’ll find a front panel audio header, 4-pin PWM fan header, CIR header, COM header, TPM header, and two front USB 2.0 headers.

DSC_0305

Swinging around to the left side of the board we find the PURO Hi-Fi audio system that we spoke about earlier. Biostar put the Hi-Fi audio platform on it’s own circuit, to eliminate as much interference as possible.

Biostar-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-IO-Panel

The last thing on the left side of the board is the rea I/O panel. Starting left and working right we find a PS/2 port over-top of two USB 2.0 ports. Having a PS2 port is nice, as there are some people who still use PS/2 keyboards. Next we have an HDMI, VGA, and DVI out ports. All of which run on the integrated video controller that is built into your Intel CPU. Moving further right we see two gigabit Ethernet ports, and 4 USB 3.0 ports. Last we find our audio in/out panel. This board fully supports eight audio channels and features an optical audio port.

Time has come again, and Intel has released a new chipset for the LGA 1150 socket. The new Z97 chipset from Intel is pretty similar to that of the Z87 chipset that Intel released a little over a year ago. The only change that Intel has made over the Z87 is the addition of the M.2 SSD support. This doesn't mean that every board that runs on the Z97 chipset will have the new port, however the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE that we've got up for review right now, does feature M.2 support. The Hi-FI Z97WE is definitely aimed to appeal to those…

Review Overview

Build and Components
Performance
Features
Pricing and Availability
Warranty

Budget Goodness

For those who are looking for a Z97 motherboard that are on a budget, the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE should definitely be on your list of contenders.

User Rating: 3.55 ( 1 votes)
  • Carlo Infante

    Awesome review. When all of those famous brands are fancying about
    designs on their 9 series. Here comes Biostar’s offering will a full
    pack features at a very reasonable price.

    • Yes we were quite surprised with this board…now to see what they may eventually offer in X99.

  • Jim Lipscomb

    Thanks Les. I have the Z77 incarnation of this line and was able to get a high 4.4 on a 3770K running prime for 24 hrs on stock voltages

  • Phillip

    I have this motherboard. I run Windows 7 Professional x64.

    I do not see any option to team the 2 NICs. I tried the NIC driver on the manufacture’s website and the 7.92.115.2015 (latest once from RealTek). None of these driver help.

    I have a Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H (also have 2 NICs). The teaming option can be found right in the property menu of the NICs.

    No idea why this option is not showing for the BioStar.

    I emailed the biostart US support e-mail for 3 days and haven’t heard anything from them.

    Can any one help with the NIC teaming of this mom-board??