Instead of releasing a wave of new motherboards based on Intel’s new Z270 chipset, Biostar focused its efforts on its Racing Z270GT9 flagship, which is bundled with an Intel NVMe SSD.
One unusual aspect about the Racing Z270GT9’s design is that all six of the PCI-E slots on the board are mechanically PCI-E x16 slots. Not all of these are electronically x16, but most PCI-E add-on cards require just an x1 data connection to function, even if they were designed to use an x4, x8, or x16 connection. Cards that are designed to be x4, x8, or x16, however, often cannot be used in a typical x1 slot because the connector on the card is physically too large. By making all PCI-E slots on the board mechanically x16, this problem is avoided.
It isn’t a perfect solution, however, as all of the PCI-E slots are black, and it will be difficult to know which slots operate at which speeds without looking it up in the manual.
To ensure you have ample storage connection options, Biostar equipped its Racing Z270GT9 with six SATA-III (6 Gbps) connectors, an M.2 Key M slot, and two U.2 ports. The M.2 and U.2 ports are all configured with a PCI-E 3.0 x4 data connection, which gives them access to up to 32Gbps of bandwidth.
It should be noted, however, that the M.2 Key M slot does not support SSDs longer than 80mm in length. The M.2 slot and any devices installed in it are hidden from view by a removable heatsink. This helps to keep an installed SSD cool and make the board look a bit more tidy, but at the cost of limiting the physical size of SSDs that can be used in the M.2 slot.
Biostar also opted to use an exceedingly high-end Intel X550 NIC on its Z270 flagship, which can transmit data at up to 10Gbps. This should be far more bandwidth than anyone really needs, as home internet connections of 10Gbps are exceedingly rare and not commercially available in most places. The board also has a slower Intel i219v gigabit NIC.
This motherboard should overclock reasonably well, as it has a 14-phase power design coupled with an IR digital PWM controller and a PowlRstage IC to keep a tight hand on power regulation. The VRMs are also cooled by two heatsinks, which are in turn cooled by a metal heat pipe.
The onboard audio subsystem is powered by a Realtek ALC1220 audio codec that is shielded against EMI.
The audio shield, I/O shield, and two VRM heatsinks all have RGB LED lights to give the board a little color. Some people may wish the board had more LEDs, which seems to be a popular motherboard trend at the moment, and those people will be happy to know that the board has two RGB LED headers for installing additional lights.
Biostar also announced that it has five other boards that will be released soon, but the company did not release their specs. These boards include the Z270GT8, Z270GT6, Z270GT4, B250GT5, and B250GT3.
The Racing Z270GT9 is expected to be released on January 5 for $329. Biostar is also offering the board bundled with an Intel 600p 256GB M.2 for $399. As a part of the bundle, the SSD will come pre-installed on the motherboard. As this SSD currently retails for $93 on Newegg, this bundle saves you roughly $23 if you planned to purchase both pieces of hardware, and it saves you a little installation time.
|Biostar Racing Z270GT9 Motherboard|
|CPU||LGA 1151 Processor|
|Power||14 phase (Digital Power+)|
|Solid Cap||100% Solid|
|Memory||4xDIMM, Support DDR4-3600+|
|Expansion Slot||6 x PCI-E x16 3.0|
|Audio||7.1ch Blu-ray Audio w/ Double Hi-Fi|
|LAN||Intel X550AT (10GbE LAN) / Intel i219V|
|Storage||-6 x SATA 6Gb/s-1 x M.2 32Gb/s (42/60/80mm)-2 x U.2 x4 32Gb/s|
|Video||-mDP -1 x HDMI 2.0-1 x HDMI 1.4b|
|USB 3.1 / 3.0 / 2.0||-2 USB 3.1 (TYPE A+C )-6 USB 3.0 (2+4) -4 USB 2.0 (4+0)|
|Features||VIVID LED DJ / Lightning Charger / Smart Ear / BIO-Remote2 / BIOS Online Update|