iostar has released multiple "Hi-Fi" models over the last few years that were designed to fill the mainstream and multimedia space. With a heavy focus on audio reproduction and connectivity these board have done well in this arena. However none have taken on an appearance that speaks to being a higher end product like the Hi-Fi Z97Z7 has. This new look has genuinely piqued my interest. I do however remain optimistically cautious for fear it may turn out to be a budget board in mid-range product's clothing.
In the past several months, the push for Home Theater PC's (HTPC's for short) has started to grow wildly. The allure of a fully modular home theater machine that does more than just play your movies or music is simply too strong for many to resist, and rightfully so. Oftentimes the question we may ask is "What platform should I build a HTPC on?" The answers vary wildly based on individual hardware preferences. AMD seems to think that one of the best choices out there for the discerning HTPC enthusiast lies with their newest Kaveri APU. While there are many choices out there of associated hardware, with more on the way, Biostar has one now that appeals directly to the audiophile: the A88W Hi-Fi 3D. Designed with both a high-end isolated audio solution and potential for tuning an unlocked APU, this motherboard looks to be a very sensible choice for those who want a little bit from every buffet of tech; the question is, "does it deliver finely tuned notes for enthusiasts of all kinds, or does it fall flat?" We're here to find out just that.
Biostar has been in the motherboard business since the early 80's. While they were not always the preferred brand that enthusiasts turn to, they have definitely improved in this arena in the last few years. We saw a big improvement in their motherboard sector with the Z77 chipset launch. Now that Biostar has had this chance to improve today's newer chipset, we are going to be looking at a budget friendly chipset on the B85N-3D motherboard. This motherboard was developed on the mini-ITX platform, and, while this isn't Biostar's flagship motherboard, we are here today to put this Small Form Factor (SFF) motherboard to the test. The popularity of Small Form Factor motherboards has been on the rise, and Biostar's B85N-3D has been developed for customers looking for an HTPC or Media platform with a focus around 3D audio support. Will this motherboard be able to keep up with some of the high-end mainstream motherboards? Let's dive in and find out.
Budget-oriented Z77 motherboard that's a performance monster.