Biostar TZ77XE4 Preview
Z77 With A Twist Of Orange
One of the high-end models from Biostar’s motherboard line, the T77XE4 sports a black PCB interspersed with solid capacitors and eye-catching orange heatsinks around the CPU socket area and over the chipset. An ATX motherboard, the T77XE4 comes with more expansion slots, compared with the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M and the ASUS Maximus V Gene, which belong to the mATX size bracket. Biostar’s entry is equipped with three PCIe x16 slots that are ready to host either an SLI or a CrossFireX setup. Quite oddly, the board still integrates PCI slots into its schema, which can be considered old-fashioned based on the current convention. These days, most connectors are integrated into motherboards while expansion cards are shifting to the PCIe standard.
Like the Pro4-M, the TZ77XE4 is only equipped with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, fewer than that of the Maximus V Gene. The Biostar board is also limited to supporting up to 2600MHz of memory speed, whereas the representatives from ASRock and ASUS can support up to 2800MHz. In any case, the TZ77XE4 comes with a full complement of video out options such as DisplayPort and HDMI, together with DVI and VGA. The TZ77XE4 is also packed with eight SATA connectors, four of which operate at 6Gbps speed.
For power users, the TZ77XE4 is being offered with a utility called ‘T-Overclocker’ which allows for on-the-fly overclocking and hardware monitoring while inside Windows’ environment. Besides this utility, Biostar has also made overclocking on the TZ77XE4 more convenient with the help of onboard clear CMOS, power, and rest buttons (collectively dubbed as Rapid Switch 2) as well as the debug LED (also known as Rapid Debug 3). All of these tools are located at an accessible spot adjacent to the board’s front panel. Overclocking can also be done via Biostar’s mouse-clickable UEFI BIOS. One minor gripe that we noticed while using the BIOS was its unsteadiness, an issue that was observable even after flashing the thing. The TZ77XE4’s BIOS can be updated by using an external storage device like a flash drive.
If you are not an overclocker, you might find Biostar’s BIO-Remote 2 another interesting value-added feature. Compatible with iOS and Android, this application can turn your smart device into a remote control that allows you to conveniently play content on a PC that uses the TZ77XE4 as a platform. Another application that typical PC users might find practical is Charger Booster. This application speeds up the recharging process of an iPad or an iPhone. BIO-Remote 2, Charger Booster, and T-Overclocker are all ready for download on Biostar’s official website.