The Hi-Fi Z77X is the latest motherboard from Biostar targeted to the “Ivy Bridge” processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Its main highlight is the presence of a sophisticated audio configuration. Let’s explore this product.
The Intel Z77 is an upgraded version of the Z68 chipset with the same basic features (Intel Smart Response Technology and Virtu video switching technology), plus native support to four USB 3.0 ports. It also includes the addition of two new technologies: Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while it is in sleep mode) and Rapid Start (faster boot times).
In addition, the Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X supports the Virtu Universal MVP, which allows you to combine the performance of the integrated graphics processor available in the CPU with the performance of any video card installed. This is similar to what occurs with the Hybrid SLI and ATI Hybrid Graphics technologies, with the notable difference of not being limited to GPUs from a specific manufacturer.
So far, Biostar has released six motherboards based on the Intel Z77 chipset. In the table below, we compare their main specifications, so you can easily identify which motherboard fits your needs. Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this article, except for the Hi-Fi Z77X, which is the price advertised by the manufacturer.
|PCI Express x16||3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)||3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)||3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4)||2 (x16/x4)||2 (x16/x4)||2 (x16/x4)|
|PCI Express x1||3||1||2||2||2||2|
|Price||USD 150||USD 150||USD 125||USD 110||USD 100||USD 110|
In Figure 1, you see the Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X motherboard.