Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
It's been quite some time since I last used a Biostar motherboard; over the years, to me at least, they seemed to fade away as the ROG and AORUS brands took center stage in the market. That said, Biostar is still alive and well and recently sent us it's latest top-tier offering for 10th and 11th Gen Core CPUs for review.
The Valkyrie is this offering, a full-fledged OC platform that's actually comparable to the Tachyon, Apex, and EVGA Dark recently reviewed. It has a massive 21 phase power design using 90A stages, plenty to push the hungry 11900K.
Memory is deployed over four slots, all supporting DDR4 2133 through 5000MHz with an overclock. Max capacity is 128GB. Storage starts with six SATA connections and moves into two Ultra M.2 slots and a single Gen 4 Hyper M.2. Networking is pushed via the 2.5Gbe Realtek 8125B, Wi-Fi antenna connections are available, but no card is installed. Audio comes from the mainstream ALC1220. Rear I/O is pretty stacked; eight USB 3.2 ports split between Gen 1, 2, and 2x2 take up most of the space, while RJ45 is available for wired connections and typical 3.5mm jack handle audio.
The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie carries an MSRP of $359.99 with a five-year warranty.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
Off the bat, you can tell Biostar has gone with an unconventional colorway with the Valkyrie. That said, packaging shows both chipset and CPU compatibility along with its five-year warranty.
The backside details the board with top features along the top and specifications down below.
Included with the board, we have reading materials and SATA cables.
Biostar Z590 Valkyrie Overview
Valkyrie is a standard ATX motherboard, with components placed in typical locations. We have a black, gold, and pink colorway that certainly makes this platform stand out.
The backside of the board has a metal plate to add rigidity to the board.
Rear I/O includes both DP and HDMI outputs, a full host of USB 3.2 connections, along with RJ45 and 3.5mm for audio.
Making our way around the board, the Valkyrie includes a set of USB 2.0 headers next to a set of fan headers.
Further down, we have the debug LED and TPM.
Up the side, we run into SATA and USB 3.2 internal headers. The silver header is Gen2x2.
Finishing up this side of the boar,d we have 24pin power, power and reset buttons, and clear CMOS.
Across the top, we have both eight-pin power connections and the VRM heat sink, which is actively cooled.
PCB and Circuit Analysis
Biostar includes 21 stages on this board, all 90A ISL99390 top of the line. The PMIC sits off to the left.
Pulling the heat sink off the chipset area, we have the chipset itself along with Super I/O from ITE.
UEFI, Software and Test System
The Valkyrie BIOS offers an EZ Mode as most modern platforms do. On this single page, you can grab info for installed CPU top left with memory and storage to the right. You can switch storage modes between AHCI and RAID, Enable CSM if needed and change boot priority along the top.
F7 will switch you to advanced mode, which is a more standard menu setup. This includes the main section for system info. Advanced allows for configuration of the CPU, Storage, and onboard devices.
Tweaker is the last section on this board, and this offers tools for overclocking the CP U and memory voltage options all down below.
Motherboard Testing Supporters
Sabrent supports our storage testing with the Rocket 4 Plus.
Thermaltake has come onboard with their Toughram XG for all Z590 reviews.
TweakTown Intel Motherboard Test System
- CPU: Intel Core i7 11700K
- GPU: ASUS TUF RTX 3080 10GB
- RAM: Thermaltake Toughram XG 2x8G DDR4 4000 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM1000X (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
Cinebench, Realbench and AIDA64
Cinebench, Realbench, and AIDA64
Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to showcase their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.
With this being our last Z590 platform, I didn't bother slamming together a bunch of charts. Instead, we look at the actual benchmark results. R23 gave us 1599 in 1T and 14941 with nT.
With CPU-Z Bench, we see 675 single threads, 6384 for multi-thread.
Memory bandwidth topped 57K read, 39K write, and 44K for copy. Latency ran 54ns.
In AES, results come in at 164920 for the Valkyrie.
SHA3 showed 5349, right in line with other platforms.
PCMark10 and 3DMark Benchmarks
PCMark is a benchmark from UL and tests various workload types to represent typical workloads for a PC. Everything from video conferencing, image import, and editing, along with 3D rendering, are tested.
PCMark testing gave us a score of 7713 overall.
CPU Profile in 3DMark gives us a 1T score of 1029, 2T at 2033, and 4T at 3904. Eight threads showed 7013 while 16 finished us at 8241.
System I/O Benchmarks and Final Thoughts
System I/O Benchmarks
Storage with CrystalDiskMark
Storage tests are all handled by our Sabrent Rocket Plus NVMe 4.0 SSD. Secondary storage tests are conducted with our WD_Black P50 SSD.
Storage testing showed 6273 MB/s reads, and 5108 MB/s write. 4K comes in at 59 MB/s, and 219 MB/s write.
Drive temperature reached a peak of 35c in testing on the Valkyrie.
This board came out of nowhere and, surprisingly enough, is a rather solid platform. I take points away for Biostar putting Wi-Fi antennas on the board and not providing the $15 CNVI module, so they are actually usable, but nonetheless, this board is outfitted with all the connectivity; including 2.5Gbe and USB 3.2 Gen2x2, that we have seen on all other Z590 platforms.
Topping this, Biostar seems to have really wanted this platform to succeed, as they did not skimp where it matters. This board has top-of-the-line VRM components, including stages that are capable of 90A;21 of them, perfect for any 10th or 11th GEN CPU.
What might set some consumers back is the interesting colorway; me being an 80s kid, the black and pink design is nearline nostalgia, and it gives more options against the typical black, white for consumers to put a themed build together.
Overall, at $359, you might find it tough to find a Z590 platform with this level of connectivity and power capability any cheaper, and through the hours of testing I put on it, the Valkyrie has been reliable with no hiccups.
The Bottom Line
Z590 Valkyrie offers all the connectivity and features we want in a top tier offering at a price that is more friendly to consumers pockets.