Biostar teases Z97 motherboard with USB 3.1

MSI isn't the only one prepping a Z97 motherboard with USB 3.1 connectivity. Biostar also has one in the works. The Gaming Z97X first appeared on the company's Facebook page last week, and a gallery loaded with pictures was added today.

Source: Biostar

The tightly cropped shots reveal a largely blacked-out board loaded with the usual mix of enthusiast-friendly accoutrements. Features include triple PCI Express x16 slots, dual Gigabit Ethernet jacks, one M.2 slot, and a smattering of onboard buttons. The port cluster is predictably loaded, too, but it doesn't include the reversible Type-C connector commonly associated with USB 3.1. Hmmm.

The USB 3.1 specification has provisions for different ports, including the Standard-A derivative typically found on motherboards. Biostar may be using one of those to provide next-gen USB connectivity. The firm could also be running USB 3.1 through an internal header meant for front-panel hardware. Putting a Type-C connector up front makes sense, though I'm not aware of any cases that integrate the reversible port. Biostar would have to provide its own front-panel hardware, possibly through a 5.25" bay insert.

We've reached out to Biostar for more details on the Gaming Z97X's USB 3.1 implementation, and we'll update this story when we hear back. Thanks to VR-Zone Chinese for the tip.

Comments closed
    • NovusBogus
    • 5 years ago

    Ohh, sexy. And interesting that one of the traditionally less ‘enthusiast’ manufacturers is leading the charge. Native USB 3.1 is probably going to be one of the things that finally gets me off Sandy Bridge circa 2016.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 5 years ago

    Am I the only person that thinks a given USB standard only matters for a PC when it’s built into the motherboard’s main chipset?

    I find add-on’s to be very spotty and unreliable.

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      Nope, that’s how I feel too.

      Early non-chipset USB3.0 implementations were pretty awful. I had countless boot/driver/compatibility problems with Atheros USB3 in some early P67 and NEC chips in older P55 boards.

        • Deanjo
        • 5 years ago

        Even when built into the chipset it can be spotty at best. It all depends how compatible it is with the usb chipset on the other end.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          There’s Intel’s implementation, which is amazing, and then there’s everyone else who makes it just fidgety enough to be bothersome.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            Intel’s USB 2 and earlier implementations were amazing, their USB 3 implementation however are barely any better than the competition and is about as flakey with it negotiating link speed to lower USB 2 speeds.

        • The Egg
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah…I have the aforementioned Atheros chip on my P67 board, and it has indeed been flaky with some devices, while working fine with others. I later decided that I didn’t want to risk corrupted data and just disabled it.

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          Let’s put it this way, I’ve seen people corrupt databases trying to run them on a USB 3 drive with disconnects and hang issues. (Something I have not seen in any Thunderbolt storage).

          • Rza79
          • 5 years ago

          I’m not aware of any Atheros USB 3.0 chip.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            I think he is thinking of AsMedia

      • AdamDZ
      • 5 years ago

      USB2 cards are fine but I have a box of NEC based USB3 cards that never worked properly. Even early on-board USB3 implementation didn’t work well.

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]Putting a Type-C connector up front makes sense, though I'm not aware of any cases that integrate the reversible port. [/quote<] I would say it actually makes more sense on the back of the machine. That is usually where you have a problem seeing the connection orientation unless you are directly in front of the back.

      • nico1982
      • 5 years ago

      Ehrm, it is not uncommon for me to flip the connector twice or more before I manage to plug the cable in. This is on laptop right in front or me. Sight has nothing to do with it 😛

      More seriously, the back port is unsuitable for removable devices. So, if I had a single port I’d rather have it on the front. I’d guess type C devices will be mostly limited to external drives for quite some time anyway.

      Edit: better engrish

      • Anovoca
      • 5 years ago

      Even if they did, you still would have 20 minutes of frustration before you realize you are trying to plug your USB Type-C into HDMI.

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