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Biostar Racing X470GT8 Review: Ryzen Higher For Less

Editor's Choice

Software & Firmware

Biostar’s Racing GT Evo software encapsulates most of its utilities, including system information, audio (Smart Ear), power options (GT Touch), RGB control (Vivid LED DJ), fan control (A.I Fan), hardware monitor, and overclocking (OC/OV).  Vivid LED appears limited to a variety of monochromatic schemes in any fixed color you’d prefer. Our tests confirmed that OC/OV changed both the CPU clock ratio and voltage levels on-the-fly.

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Biostar also includes a firmware updater for Windows and a direct email sender that requires users to enter a return email from which to retrieve Biostar’s response.

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Firmware

The Racing X470GT8’s firmware GUI opens to its Main page. Digging into the Advanced page, we eventually work our way down to the CBS menu, which typically offers a variety of memory options under its UMC submenu. Biostar’s CBS options are far more limited than some of its competitors, however.

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Digging around in the UMC options of the CBS menu and finding the correct settings was never easy, but the limited settings of the Racing X470GT8 almost makes it pointless. We’d rather overclock our DRAM from the simplified O.N.E. menu anyway. And that’s still an option.

The great news is that the Racing X470GT8 pushed our Ryzen 7 2700X CPU to its highest-yet stable overclock of 4.30GHz, using a 1.40V core setting that dropped to 1.344V under load using the board’s most-aggressive “Level 6” CPU Load-Line Calibration (droop compensation). We find it peculiar that a board with less-aggressive voltage compensation provided our highest-yet overclock in spite of its lower loaded voltage, but better (smoother) voltage regulation could produce such a finding.

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You’ll notice that the DRAM timings were left at “auto” in the above screen shots and that the memory was left to its DDR4-2933 XMP value. Loosened timings allowed our memory to reach DDR4-3200 on the board, but we couldn’t get it to stay stable under extended testing. And DDR4-2933 performs better at CAS 16 than at our CAS 21 limit.

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Keyboard function keys bring up fan (F5) and LED (F6) control menus. While the manual shows a menu with PWM or DC fan control selection, the Racing X470GT8 doesn’t have the necessary hardware to switch from PWM to voltage-based fan control. Neither of these menus support the board’s F11 screenshot saving function, which forced us to dig out our old VGA2USB capture device, along with a VGA-compatible graphics card, to capture these last two images.

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  • Ratlle
    Thank you Mr. Soderstrom i'll wait for your Benchmark Results & Final Analysis.Seems like here you don't have the MSI control features .
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    Price seems a bit high, with it lacking SLI support. If I were to build an ATX Ryzen build today, I would probably use an ASRock - X470 Master SLI/AC.
    Reply
  • Rexer
    First build was a Biostar 12 yrs. ago. Didn't last 6 months so I haven't paid much attention to them. Replaced it with a Foxcon board. Doesn't sound like I'm a winner. I don't see any audio chips in usual places. How's the audio quality or did I miss something? Like to know what it would do with a superb sound card. Maybe feed it into a home audio pre-amp. Tired of coming home to good whiskey and crappy sound.
    Reply
  • thrones.rush
    its not sheer resistance by the way.its shear resistance, as in how much force needed to shear it off
    Reply
  • Crashman
    21377924 said:
    First build was a Biostar 12 yrs. ago. Didn't last 6 months so I haven't paid much attention to them. Replaced it with a Foxcon board. Doesn't sound like I'm a winner. I don't see any audio chips in usual places. How's the audio quality or did I miss something? Like to know what it would do with a superb sound card. Maybe feed it into a home audio pre-amp. Tired of coming home to good whiskey and crappy sound.
    It has the same ALC1220 as nearly anything it competes against. You can read more about the circuitry at the board's microsite, but I think Biostar would be better off if it hired you to write the dang thing :D

    Reply
  • Calculatron
    Unfortunate about the DRAM issues!

    I've been keeping an eye on Biostar for a while, now, since they've really upped their game and quality over the last couple years. When I rebuilt my rig around the X370 platform, it was a really hard choice between the Gigabyte Aorus K7 and Biostar GT7. I ended up going with the Gigabyte product, but only because I managed to catch an Amazon Warehouse deal.
    Reply
  • lpide
    Seems like a good deal, even with limited DRAM overclocking.

    Good to see them coming back as the other big brands seems to be getting worse in quality.
    Reply