A CLOSER LOOK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.