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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Review

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Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Closer Look:

Having a good set of utilities is almost a given these days and can make or break a package when you have tools that are ineffective or do not function as intended. Biostar has included a comprehensive suite of applications to add value to the package while improving functionality from within the Windows environment. To start with, we have the eHot Line application that allows a direct line to report problems to Biostar. The BIOS update tool allows the user to save the current BIOS and/or update the BIOS to the latest revisions. This tool did not search for the BIOS, but let you flash one that was downloaded. A suite of video productivity applications is available from a company called MAGIX and others. Changing the BIOS boot screen is a simple task with the BIOScreen tool; just follow the buttons from left to right.

 

 

 

Smart Speed LAN is used to manage network traffic and prioritize it based on the end user's usage model. There are four tabs that have specific functionality. The Mode tab allows you to choose between three presets and one auto setting. The Application tab is used to manage packet priority at the application level. Advanced allows for finer tuning of the settings while System Info lists basic system specifications as well as CPU usage and network packet delivery and receipt.

 

 

 

Green Power Utility is a tool used to manage the power efficiency by using a series of profiles. A total of four profiles are available: Maxi-Energy, Medium, Typical, and Performance. Each one manages the power phases and determines the best loading scenario that stays within the confines of the power profile. Using the maximum energy saving setting will reduce overclock speeds and performance to reach the max power savings. This is typical of what we see with other manufacturers.

 

 

 

T Overclocker is Biostar's included overclocking, tuning, and monitoring utility. It appears to be a light weight utility that gives the user enough options to test and tweak in the BIOS. There are four main tabs: CPU, Memory, OC Tweaker, and H/W Monitor. CPU shows CPU information including the current clock speeds, series, and base specifications. Other information includes the name of the motherboard and the currently installed BIOS version. Under the memory tab is a sub menu for each DIMM slot that indicates the clock speed and primary timings as a means of verifying the applied settings in the BIOS.

 

 

 

The last menu is the Hardware Monitor tab. This section contains three sub menus to monitor fan speeds, voltages, and the operating temperatures of the CPU, system, DDR, and PCH. Under the Fan Speed section, you can calibrate the fan speed profiles to get the maximum and minimum operating speeds. Using this feature, the cooling performance can be managed automatically.

 

 

Bio Remote 2 is a tool that allows the user to remotely manage the operating characteristics of the Hi-Fi Z97WE using either an Android or Apple phone by installing the server package to the OS installation and downloading the application to the smart phone from either the Google Play site or Apple's App store. It's perfect for using the smart phone as a remote control when using the PC to stream content as a media center. Smart Ear is a low overhead tool to manage headphone volume and impedance from the desktop.

 

 

Additionally, you get a 90-day trial of Bullguard Internet Security suite. All the tools are easy to use and functional.




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