A CLOSER LOOK – CONTINUED
The CPU socket on the Z97WE board from Biostar is identical to that of any other Z97 or Z87 board on the market. However, the Z97WE has two semi-large golden heatspreaders, to handle all of the heat created by the power delivery system. The Z97WE features a 10-phase voltage regulation system, which should allow it to deliver clean power to the CPU socket to get some fairly decent overclocking results. More on that later, though.
The Biostar Z97WE features two PCI-Express 3.0 16X slots, two PCI-Express 3.0 1X slots, and two PCI slots. The two yellow PCI-Express 16x slots work either by themselves at 16x, or if both are populated they function at 8x each. Between the two PCI-Express 16X slots, you’ll see an unusual connector that generally isn’t there. That’s the new M.2 SSD connector. This slot operates at a whopping 10Gb/s! Unfortunately we don’t have an M.2 SSD on hand to show exactly how fast it is, as the technology is pretty new.
The last thing we’re going to go over before we get into the bundled software, is the small chipset heatsink that sits to the left of the SATA ports. This covers and cools the Intel Z97 southbridge chip.