The BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 can be considered as the most representative product of BIOSTAR Z77 series motherboards. In terms of features, it has the necessary functions that Z77 provides. USB 3, SATA 6Gbps, ISRT. THX Surround Pro and the Virtu MVP. Being a practical product, it does not go about boosting benchmark numbers with software cache.

We can see that clearly when we cross reference results using the same Core i5-2500K. The TZ77XE4 is faster than it’s predecessor the Intel Z68 chipset. In fact, if you do not wish to upgrade your processor, you would be able to tap into the power of Virtu MVP to boost 3D performance.when pairing it up with an external graphics card.

Installation of this board is pretty straightforward with the help of Power on/off, clear cmos and reset buttons. They come in handy as you don’t have to go around looking for clips to short the pins. There is also ample space around the socket, thus you can use previous generation LGA 1155/1156 heatsinks without blocking the PCIe slot.

Overclocking wise, there are large range of voltages that can be used to overclock the Core i5-3570K. In our tests, the Core i5-3570K Retail is capable of doing 4.5GHz on AIR with RAM running at DDR3-2133 C10-12-10-1T. If you were to compare to previous generation Core i5-2500K, the Core i5-3570K seems to underperform by 100-200MHz.(we can overclock a Core i5-2500K on AIR to 4.6-4.7GHz easily). Below is a screen shot of our test.

As we used Kingston DDR3-2400 memory modules, we also noticed that the XMP profile detection in the BIOS is incorrect. In fact, setting the memory to run at DDR3-2400 resulted in no POST. We feel that it is a BIOS bug which can be resolved with a BIOS upgrade when available.

CPU voltage 1.20v, DRAM 1.668v, PCH 1.116v, Vcc 1.116v

BIOSTAR TZ77XE comes in a nice colour box but the package is a bit too simplistic. They could have included perhaps USB Bracket or even HDMI cable. That will definitely make it more complete. The documentation is all right but we found that the instructions to enable Virtu to be quite different as described. The screen shot used is not the same as the one we see in the BIOS.

For the price of USD 149, this is the price you would pay for mATX or a 8 phase design board. BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 gives you the full power at a fraction of the high cost boards.

In Conclusion, the BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 has the potential. What it needs now is to get it’s BIOS fixed to support more RAM types. There is also room for improvement in areas of documentation and the packaging.

Category Score
Performance 8  / 10
Features 8 / 10
Ease Of Installation 10 / 10
Overclocking Features 10 / 10
Documentation 7 / 10
Packaging 7 / 10
Cost / Performance 10 / 10
Overall Rating : 8.5 / 10