Well-known motherboard company Biostar has decided to get back in the high-end computer mainboard market segment. The company is usually manufacturing affordable motherboard solutions, but it has experimented with higher-quality designs before, and this year’s Computex is yet another such occasion.The Hi-Fi line from Biostar reportedly comes with a high SNR CODEC likely manufactured by Realtek and with OPAMP circuitry that uses higher grade electrolytic capacitors.
The entire audio circuitry uses a separated PCB base and is isolated from the ground layer of the rest of the mainboard. This will help lower the interference from other components on the motherboard like most high-end audio solutions require.
Another useful feature is the special set of capacitors that are able to handle any electrostatic discharge of up to 15,000 volts.
The most capable model is the BIostar Hi-Fi A85X. This one comes with four DIMM slots able to handle up to 32 GB or DDR3 2400 MHz + memory.
There are a total of three PCI-Express x16 slots, but when all of them are occupied, the first two will be set in x8 mode and the third is an x16 slot connected to the FCH that only has 4 PCI-Express lanes available for data transfer.
The FM2 socket is fueled by a 10-phase VRM which can only improve overclocking results.
There are seven internal SATA III ports and an eSATA port on the I/O panel. There, we also find a DVI connector, a VGA port, HDMI and DisplayPort.
There is also the Hi-Fi audio panel, four USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet connector and a legacy PCI slot.
As expected, this model comes with UEFI BIOS.
The more affordable Hi-Fi A85W comes with only two PCI-Express x16 slots that are connected separately. The top one is connected by 16 PCI-Express lanes to the Trinity APU, while the other one has a 4-lane connection to the FCH.
Most of the same connectivity is still there except the eSATA port and we have to mention the lesser VRM of only 6 phases powering the FM2 socket and the two legacy PCI 32-bit expansion slots.
The cheapest is the Hi-Fi A85S, and this one is a micro-ATX motherboard that still comes with mostly solid capacitors and the same dual PCI-Express x16 slot configuration as the Hi-Fi A85W.
The eight SATA III ports are all internal just as on the Hi-Fi A85W, and the connectivity is mostly the same.