Biostar Jumps The Gun With Intel B360-Based Motherboards Announcement

Biostar announced four new Intel B360- and H310-based motherboards, the B360GT5S, B360GT3S, B360MHD Pro, and H310MHD Pro, which are the first budget-oriented ATX and M-ATX motherboards in the company’s Intel Coffee Lake lineup.

Intel’s lower-end chipsets for Coffee Lake, the H370, B360, and H310, have been circling in the rumor mill for many months already. They are expected to launch alongside the second round of Coffee Lake CPUs. Together, the two groups of products should bring some price balance to Intel’s 8th-gen desktop product line, which has so far been supported by only the high-end Z370 chipset. Biostar has jumped the gun, however, and released some B360- and H310-based motherboards ahead of Intel’s official announcement for the chipsets.

Starting with the highest-end product, the B360GT5S ATX motherboard give us an early look at what the B360 chipset is potentially capable of. The B360GT5S features three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, which are wired in a x16/x4/x4 configuration, and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. One of the PCIe x4 slots shares its bandwidth with the first M.2 slot, and a second M.2 slot is multiplexed with a SATA port. For general I/O, the board has a total of one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, four USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports (two are internal), and six USB 2.0 ports (four are internal). There are also six SATA ports for storage, and an HDMI 1.4 port for video output.

Biostar’s M-ATX B360 motherboard, the B360GT3S, loses one PCIe x16 slot and two PCIe x1 slots. The smaller board still fits two M.2 slots, however. One slot has a dedicated PCIe x4 connection, whereas the other is still multiplexed with a SATA port. Both the B360GT5S and GT3S support DDR4 memory speeds up to 2,666MHz by default, which is in line with Z370-based motherboards.

Moving on to the lower-end boards, the B360MHD Pro and H310MHD Pro are both M-ATX boards without any M.2 slots. They have the same x16/x1/x1 PCIe slot configuration and an almost identical layout. As a result, we can’t glean much about the differences between B360 and H310 from these boards.

The Biostar B360GT5S and B360GT3S will be available for $110 and $95, respectively. We do not have pricing information on the B360MHD Pro and the H310MHD Pro.

Biostar Manual Confirms Z390 Chipset

Although we haven’t gleaned too much about the real differences between B360, H310, and their predecessors, Biostar’s early announcement does come with one more interesting tidbit of information. The manual of the B360GT5S shares some common pages with another motherboard--the Z390GT5.

Those who’ve been following rumors will know the Z390 as the alleged replacement of the Z370. As the story goes, the Z370 was a stop-gap solution for Intel’s decision to rush 6-core Coffee Lake CPUs out early. However, the manual does little more than confirm the existence of Z390. Going through the document reveals that it is possibly in need of some corrections. The full specs of the Z390GT5 are listed, but they are nearly identical to the B360GT5S. For example, we find it highly unlikely that Biostar will have chosen to equip its flagship motherboard with a x16/x4/x4 PCIe slot configuration as the B360GT5S.

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ProductB360GT5SB360GT3SB360MHD ProH310MHD Pro
SocketLGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151LGA 1151
ChipsetIntel B360Intel B360Intel B360Intel H310
Memory4 x DDR4 DIMM4 x DDR4 DIMM2 x DDR4 DIMM2 x DDR4 DIMM
Expansion Slots3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x4/x4), 3 x PCIe 3.0 x12 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x4), 1 x PCIe 3.0 x11 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x11 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage6 x SATA, 1x PCIe M.2 (Optane-enabled), 1 x SATA M.26 x SATA, 1x PCIe M.2 (Optane-enabled), 1 x SATA M.24 x SATA4 x SATA
Rear I/O1 x PS/2, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 type-A, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x VGA, 1 x RJ-451 x PS/2, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 type-C, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 type-A, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x VGA, 1 x RJ-452 x PS/2, 4 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x VGA, 1 x RJ-452 x PS/2, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen1, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x VGA, 1 x RJ-45
Dimensions (W x L)234 x 305mm244 x 230mm228 x 177mm228 x 177
  • adrian.groza
    Why would biostar shoot themselves in the foot by releasing a motherboard which is not hdmi 2.0 compliant since IGPs in Coffee Lake can do 4k60hz?