Biostar’s Z270 boards race to the finish

Biostar skipped the CES rush and let us know today about its high-end offerings for Kaby Lake CPUs using the Z270 chipset. The company is sticking with its Racing theme for the new boards, and is releasing three variants: the Z270GT8, Z270GT6, and Z270GT4.

The Racing Z270GT8 is the top-of-the-range model. The board boasts six physical PCIe x16 slots, although Biostar doesn't specifically list support for SLI or CrossFire. The GT8 thankfully skips the questionably-useful SATA Express connector in favor of an M.2 socket and two U.2 ports. The M.2 socket has its own dedicated heatsink, too. The mobo has USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C ports on the back panel, and supports quick-charging standards from both Qualcomm and Apple. Networking connectivity comes by way of an Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet controller.

Biostar is clearly targeting the Z270GT8 at tweakers and tuners, as the board comes with a plethora of overclocking features including debug LEDs and a hardware dual-BIOS switch. The board even has a special switch to allow it to boot at temperatures below zero. There's also a handy "GT Touch" panel that lets users power on and reset the board, as well as select Speed or Eco presets. The audio circuitry is powered by a high-end Realtek ALC1220 codec. Biostar also includes RGB LED lighting (under the "Vivid LED DJ" moniker) and a 5050 connector for additional LED strips.

The Racing Z270GT6 is a slight step-down from the GT8 board. It drops down to three physical PCIe x16 slots, one U.2 connector, and zero USB 3.1 connectors. The USB quick-charge functionality also goes away, and the audio codec gets downgraded to the Realtek ALC892. The GT6 does have a USB 3.0 Type-C port to make up for those cuts. Aside from those changes, this model is very similar to the GT8, down to the debug LEDs and GT Touch panel.

Finally, the Racing Z270GT4 could be described as the microATX version of the GT6, as it shares most of its bigger brother's feature set. There's no heatsink on the M.2 slot this time around, and due to its size, there naturally aren't as many PCIe slots. However, where the GT6 only has DVI and HDMI outputs, the GT4 board actually has DVI, HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort connectors.

Biostar says the Racing Z270GT8 board will come as a bundle with a 256GB Intel 600p NVMe SSD for $330. The company bundles one of its own 240GB G300 SSDs with the Z270GT6 board for a final price of $210. The Z270GT4 instead gets a Vivid LED DJ-enabled fan as its bundled item, and will go for $130.

Comments closed
    • Takeshi7
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]The Racing Z270GT8 is the top-of-the-range model.[/quote<] Actually, the Racing Z270GT9 is the top-of-the-range model. The GT9 has 10Gb ethernet. The GT8 only has gigabit ethernet.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Biostar marketing fail.

    • crabjokeman
    • 3 years ago

    The GT6 is disappointing. They should have gotten rid of the ridiculous gimmick LED’s and the U.2 slots. Instead, they got rid of the useful stuff like the USB 3.1 and ALC1220.

    I like Biostar, but it seems like they’re just another mobo company that thinks only 12 year olds buy enthusiast mobos.

    • thedosbox
    • 3 years ago

    From their website:

    [quote<] Let's party with BIOSTAR VIVID LED DJ! [/quote<] Shoot me now.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Unts unts unts unts!

        • Chrispy_
        • 3 years ago

        /CL4P-TP

        <3

    • Lord.Blue
    • 3 years ago

    I think you meant Z270GT4, not Z170GT4…

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Fixed, thanks for the heads-up.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 3 years ago

    Why would you drop USB 3.1 down to 3.0?

    I’m sure there is other useless stuff they could drop to differentiate the GT6 from the GT8

    • hansmuff
    • 3 years ago

    Why U.2? Please, let it die already. I mean if anything, fine, bundle a U.2 SSD with it so the port gets use. But the bundled drives are M.2!

      • 1sh
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]"U.2 utilizes the PCIe 3.0 X4 (denotes four lanes) interface just like M.2, the main difference is that the capacity for these ultra-high-performance SSDs is not bound by a small circuit board size (more space for more flash-memory chips), so you can get higher capacity SSDs. "~ASUS ROG [/quote<] [url<]https://rog.asus.com/articles/hands-on/easy-guide-to-ssds-sata-msata-m-2-and-u-2/[/url<]

        • psuedonymous
        • 3 years ago

        Sure. But the largest consumer m.2 SSD you can get is 2TB, while the largest U.2 SSD is 1.2TB. And nobody has even announced a bigger u.2 SSD (or [b<]ANY[/b<] u.2 SSDs for release this year). m.2 SSDs are faster, cheaper, and higher capacity than u.2.

          • Freon
          • 3 years ago

          The market is still finding its place. U.2 may be a good way to move forward to work around the lack of board space for m.2 2280 ports.

            • psuedonymous
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]The market is still finding its place.[/quote<] It's had a year and a half, and the only consumer* u.2 drives you can buy are the Intel 750 series that were released along with it. U.2 is as dead as SATA Express. * As opposed to enterprise/DC drives. And if you count those, you may as well complain about the lack of SAS ports on consumer motherboards.

      • albundy
      • 3 years ago

      agreed! but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Nice.

      • juzz86
      • 3 years ago

      Definitely a market for a U.2 to M.2 (or even 2x M.2) breakout adapter.

      Come on Addonics!

      • LoneWolf15
      • 3 years ago

      If it’s good enough for Bono, it’s good enough for me.

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