Biostar has unleashed a new motherboard – the Hi-Fi A88W 3D FM2+. This motherboard is built to support AMD's A-Series APUs and has a number of interesting features.
For starters, the motherboard features two PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, as well as two legacy PCI slots. Aboard users will also find 4 DDR3 DIMM slots, as well as a handful of SATA3 ports. There are also a number of USB 2.0 front headers, as well as a USB 3.0 header. Rear I/O connectivity is handled by a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a quadruplet of USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA, DVI, HDMI, an old-school PS/2 port, as well as the standard set of surround-sound audio jacks.
The key feature, which is also mentioned in the product name, is the on-board 'Hi-Fi' goody. One of the things on-board is a headphone amplifier, which will allow driving of headphones with higher impedances with greater control, as well as higher volume levels.
Biostar gave no word on pricing or availability.
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Quality of integrated audio is really quite terrible, high quality on board audio is a waste of space and money.
(Imagine integrated GTX 780 how much sense does that make ?)
You'd have to pay double, tripple for this feature on motherboard and than again...
having discrete card means you can freely move it between PC builds (mine is in third right now).
Headphone amps range from very simple circuitry to quite robust devices. In truth decent headphone amp would double the price of mother board and it's good for nothing without a real sound card.
What this gives you is more drive for high impedance headphones... in reality if you have those you'd rather plug them to your hifi amp they are intended for. You also most likely sport one of the sound cards out there because you absolutely hated how integrated chip sounds.
IMHO this product is for no one, just a little hook that may catch a fish on 'HiFi' letters and speaker on the box.