Packaging and Overview
Packaging is basic, and to the point, as this is a value-centric motherboard, we will treat it as such.
The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s, IO shield, manual, and driver DVD.
BIOSTAR put five fan headers on the motherboard, and they all seem to be PWM mode fans, meaning they will work best with 4-pin fans. The headers do offer SMART fan control through the UEFI or Biostar's Windows program. The motherboard utilizes a matte black PCB, which is surprising as most of the time we find brownish PCBs in this price region. The black on black aesthetics are what most people want in a motherboard in this price range, and that is what Biostar is delivering. The back of the motherboard is bare, which is good, we find some solder strips on the back of where the VRM MOSFETs are, they should help lower VRM temperatures a few degrees.
The rear IO panel features a PS/2 keyboard port, two USB 2.0 ports, VGA, DVI, HDMI, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, two USB 3.0 ports, Gbit LAN, and 7.1 audio outputs.
The top PCI-E slot operates at PCI-E 3.0 x16, and it's directly connected to the PCH. The second x16 PCI-E slot is routed to the PCH and runs at x4 PCI-E 3.0. If you use either the 2nd or 3rd PCI-E x1 slot, the second x16 slot will shift down to x2 PCI-E 3.0. The last x16 slot is x4 and shares all of its bandwidth with the M.2 slot above it. The bottom M.2 slot with the heat sink is the one rated for x4 PCI-E 3.0.
The top M.2 slot is rated PCI-E x2 instead of x4, and it supports SATA based M.2 drives. It shares its bandwidth with SATA3_1. The motherboard also offers up six SATA6Gb/s ports from the PCH.
We find an 8-pin CPU power plug on the motherboard. At the top right corner of the motherboard, we find two RGB LED headers.
Front panel headers are found in the lower right corner of the PCB. We also find our BIOS ROM selector, and a clear CMOS header near the headers. The motherboard also offers up two USB 2.0 internal headers and one USB 3.0 internal header.
The motherboard uses push-pins to secure the VRM heat sink to the motherboard, it seems contact pressure is pretty good.
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