I am impressed. My last experience with a BIOSTAR board was some Intel B75 chipset board I got for free when I bought a CPU at Microcenter, and before that, it was an AMD A75 motherboard where I could barely overclock the CPU as the BIOS was so basic I had to use fractions to set the ratio. BIOSTAR has obviously come a long way since then and has built an excellent product. They have refined the BIOS to a point where it can compete against the best in terms of settings and functionality.
The hardware on the board is also quite good, and there are plenty of features for all types of storage options. Performance was great in almost everything, however, I was disappointed when I found out the board doesn't support NVIDIA SLI. While not many Z97 users will use SLI, it is still a nice thing to have. BIOSTAR doesn't leave those with multi-GPU configurations out in the cold; the board does support 3-way AMD CrossFireX.
The audio hardware is what makes this board very interesting. BIOSTAR is taking an approach like Apple did; don't only make the product look nice on the outside (with the shield), but also have the circuitry ooze quality aesthetics (the audio section). I have always been a fan of how BIOSTAR pushes their upgraded audio section; they are still one of few that use film capacitors and pre-amps. The addition of a secondary audio codec was a nice surprise, when I opened up the GAMING COMMANDER box I was happy to see the CMedia codec.
Overall, this motherboard has the features and performance of a high-end product, but it's projected to cost $189.99. At that price, it has one of the better audio implementations, while still maintaining the latest features like M.2, dual NICs, and USB 3.1.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Performance (including Overclocking)||90%|
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||89%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||91%|
The Bottom Line: If you want quality, performance, and choice at a reasonable price, you should definitely check out the BIOSTAR GAMING Z97X.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the GAMING Z97X]
- Page 3 [GAMING Z97X Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 5 [Test Setup and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [Temperature and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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