I can't remember the last time I heard the name BIOSTAR. It was probably the last time I reviewed a board from them which was surprisingly only eight months ago with the BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 which performed well, but hardly left a lasting impression since I had to search TweakTown for the last time we looked at a board from them.
No one can deny, though, that when it comes to buying a motherboard, BIOSTAR isn't one of the first names that come to mind. As much as I hate to say it, they're probably a name I would struggle to think off if someone asked me to name some motherboard manufacturers off the top of my head. That's really not a good thing for BIOSTAR and shows that they seem to be lacking something in the advertising department.
Today, though, we're hoping that the Hi-Fi Z77X not only performs well, but also does a better job of leaving a lasting memory on our minds. As always there are a number of things we've got to do before we get into the performance side of things and the first is taking the time to look at the package.
Once we've checked out the package we'll move to the motherboard itself to see what exactly BIOSTAR is offering us in the Hi-Fi Z77X before we take a closer look at the board itself to see the layout and the main features it offers. Next we'll check out the BIOS, which is an area I can honestly say I'm not looking all that forward to checking out since BIOSTAR isn't exactly at the forefront of BIOS design. Finally we'll look at our testbed, cover the overclocking side of things and get stuck into the performance of the board at both stock speeds and overclocked.
Looking at the front and back of the box you can see there's a huge focus on the "Hi-Fi" name that BIOSTAR has given the board with a number of features that support that. The front gives us some familiar logos like LUCID VIRTU MVP, Intel SRT, SLI, CrossFire and a few others. But you can see a number of logos that don't mean a whole lot to us.
If we flip over to the back of the box we get more of an idea when it comes to covering what exactly is going on with these logos and this board just in general. Here we see a number of logos again, but also a brief explanation on what exactly they are. Some of the main ones that take our attention are the built-in Hi-Fi AMP, 110dB+ Signal to Noise Ratio and Multi-Channel Calibration to just name a few.
Along with the audio focused features you can see a number of logos you'd expect including PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0 and support for Lucid VIRTU MVP, something we've seen on a lot of motherboards lately.
When it comes to the bundle we've got a fairly standard setup with a driver CD, manual and I/O backplate all being present. Along with those we've also got four SATA cables and a CrossFire bridge. The main addition to the bundle is a microphone that is used to calibrate your audio. This comes in handy if you're using larger 4.1 or 5.1 speaker setups.