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Biostar Hi-Fi B85S3+ Motherboard Review

Overclocking

This simple screen gives us basic information, including the version number (BRC04.BSS). On the left is some overview information on frequency and voltage. Here is where I found this board's only real irritant, although I ran into another glitch when taking BIOS screenshots. The device selection showed a couple of gibberish characters instead of a drive letter, device name or port identifier. Since I had just one thumb drive plugged in, that's where the screenshots ended up, which is what I wanted. Still, what I saw was not consistent with a finished product.

I went for the standard 4.2GHz overclock I've been using, by setting the multiplier as I had on past boards. Here I got a surprise, and was getting set to unload on this board, but I caught another setting to tweak (after taking a frustration break) on a triple-check. It cost me a few hours to rerun all my overclock tests, but CPU Ratio Mode must also be set to "Fixed."  Otherwise, the BIOS screens will show 4.196GHz as expected, and 1.26V, but CPU-Z and HWMonitor will show the CPU never going over 3.2GHz, although the higher voltage raises the temperatures considerably.

  • Sakkura
    Why no info on the fan control for case fans? Do the 3- pin headers allow voltage control, and if so, how does the BIOS handle fan curves?
    Reply
  • DonkeyOatie
    Is the BIOS updated enough to run chips like i5 4460?
    Reply
  • SuperVeloce
    you're joking, right? Practically every motherboard that left the factory in Q1/Q2 2014, has the support for "haswell refresh" cpus.
    Reply
  • Onus
    16675885 said:
    Why no info on the fan control for case fans? Do the 3- pin headers allow voltage control, and if so, how does the BIOS handle fan curves?
    This is a good question. Although there are no case fans on my testbed case, there ought to be a way I can check for this in the future. I'll keep this in mind; thanks.

    Reply
  • Calculatron
    I think this is the motherboard that I said Biostar should have submitted for the sub-$60 LGA-1150 motherboard round-up, back in April.

    Better late than never, I suppose!
    Reply
  • Onus
    Since I was asked to look at the $60-$80 segment, I suspect this board was in that range when THG ordered it; the price may have come down some. It is a nice board, it would not have been unreasonable to make it "Recommended" rather than merely "Approved," although I suspect that one of the ASRock H97 boards may be close enough in price to make that a higher bang/buck proposition.
    Reply
  • quilciri
    I remember back in 2011, with the Llano chips, if you overclocked them, the USB 3.0 controller would switch to USB 2.0 mode.
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    16677526 said:
    I think this is the motherboard that I said Biostar should have submitted for the sub-$60 LGA-1150 motherboard round-up, back in April.
    I wouldn't have minded having it come across my bench back then. But I think Joe is right, it was probably just above the price range back then. This would have been tough competition for those other four boards, especially with the four RAM slots. That's something you get with a full-width board. That and a secured board edge ( I really don't like boards that are narrower than the spec and just hang off the edge ). Then again, the H81 chipset can't handle more than two DIMMs, even if you have the space. That's yet another advantage B85 has.

    The lack of a TOSLINK doesn't bother me. The board does have the header if you want to buy the break out adapter. But if you don't have Dolby Digital Live or DTS-Connect, you can only get 5.1 audio over the S/PDIF from pre-encoded sources, like a movie DVD. Game sounds and every other generated audio is reduced to 2.0, which you can get from the 3.5mm jack. So unless you're using your computer to watch a lot of movies, and you're using fiber optic cables for audio instead of HDMI, there's not a lot of need for it.
    Reply
  • DonkeyOatie
    16676133 said:
    you're joking, right? Practically every motherboard that left the factory in Q1/Q2 2014, has the support for "haswell refresh" cpus.


    I wanted a definite statement. There are boards in distant parts of the world that lack this feature.


    Firstly, apologies for not making my intention clearer. I knew exactly what I meant but, as a teacher, I should have been less hasty.

    I advise a lot of people around the world on system builds as so many of us do. What often comes up for budget systems is the PCPartpicker note. – Some Intel B85 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Haswell Refresh CPUs.
    Many of these posters are spending all the money they have on their first build and are full of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) Often, nothing I can say will persuade them that they do not need a Z97 board like their mate told them to get.

    My statement was intended to prompt the reviewer to add wording to the review similar to what SuperVeloce suggested. Say This motherboard supports haswell refresh cpus.
    We regulars use this site a lot and 'know' all this stuff, but it is also important to remember the first-timers.
    Reply
  • beetlejuicegr
    He is right, DonkeyOatie i mean, i also built a system for a friend and i was stressed up until the system booted if i would have to run around to use another cpu to bios update so that the haswell refresh cpu i had would work.
    Reply