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Seven Sub-$160 Z77 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

TZ77XE3 Applications

The TZ77XE3’s installation CD includes some useful utilities, as well as a few potential annoyances. For example, our experience with a competitor’s nagging Internet security software trial dissuaded us from installing the included Bullguard, though we found value in much of the remaining bundle.

For example, Biostar adds the full THX TruStudio Pro package, an application that ASRock’s version begged us to pay $25 for. With advanced features like active volume control and movie dialog enhancement, this difference could be worth as much as (or even more than) the extra SATA and USB 3.0 controllers offered by ASRock. The winner of that value comparison depends upon buyer preference.

Simplest of Biostar’s branded utilities is its eHot-Line email utility, which relies on your email client to send messages to Biostar Tech Support. That requirement makes eHot-Line more of a gimmick than a feature.

BIOS Live Update checks Biostar’s servers for the latest UEFI version.

Biostar also includes a utility to modify the UEFI’s boot-up splash screen. We’ve seen other manufacturers offer similar utilities in the past, but those manufacturers typically targeted white-box builders rather than enthusiasts.

BIO-Remote ties Biostar’s programs to specific buttons on Microsoft’s MCE Remote.

Biostar’s Green Power Utility saved us up to 3 W over CPU-based automatic power controls at idle.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.