BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

A place to give your thoughts on our reviews!

BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:20 am

BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Based on AMD A85X Chipset, the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W motherboard supports the latest Socket FM2 'Trinity' APUs and is priced under $100. Biostar also optimized this particular board for high quality sound reproduction, so audiophiles are in luck! Read on to see how the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W motherboard does when we put it to the test with an AMD A10-5800K APU!

Image

Article Title: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review
Article URL: http://legitreviews.com/article/2104/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $94.99 plus $5 shipping
Find us on Facebook to discover the faces behind the names!
Follow Me on Twitter!
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32910
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby INeedAFnSuffix » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:18 pm

To the right of the Hi-Fi audio controller are some capacitors, and some resistors that will help clean up the audio signal while giving us a much clearer and crisper sound out of the onboard audio.

No. Seriously you basically wouldn't want any resistor or capacitor in the signal chain but that's another topic. Resistors and capacitors don't clean up. You don't clean signals, you FILTER signals
If Raymond doubts me he can question my EE education
All that metal oxide audiofoolery is making my head dizzy, i mean why would that matter? Normally used are thick film silicon resistors not metal film resistors, simply no space for those luxuriously huge through hole components. Plus that no-polarity cap thing. It just wastes space and in EE world it wouldn't matter.

The AMD Trinity APU only has the capability of running our memory in dual channel, but this motherboard can utilize up to 64 Gigabytes of memory.

ONLY?! The same should be said for any *7X intel motherboard review

The reason the A85 had a lag of 5.5 or so watts in the idle testing is because of the FCH, the A85X is MUCH more powerful and consequently heavier power draw
And yes, biostar boards i have worked on of late featured a damning CMOS battery right smack below the first PCI-E x16 port, for my mATX board it was below the 1st PCI-E x1 port
Bloody annoying and the location of the USB3 header is MUCH worse

Clearly lots of cheapening to be expected from Biostar - Luckily no cutdown on SATA ports but only 4 USB 2 front ports! Sickening! Same goes for the F2A85X-D3H ...
4+2 phases only. Forget about OCing on this board. Forget about OCing anything much on Biostar's 4+2 phase in fact, but as a budget board (Yes it's an entire 40$ cheaper than a cream of the crop F2A85X-UP4 but you could always have the D3H then or MSI, just stay away from ASUS or "ASS"rock)
It's no surprise the UEFI didn't support multiplier OC'ing because you probably can't do much above 4.2G anyway unless you want to tweak the BCLK
In fact IMO the best OC'ing board should the F2A85X-UP4, it's just ... spectacularly overbuilt for a 100W TDP platform (Don't talk about the 3770k's "77W" TDP mark, the benchmarks here show that they clearly consume about 20-30W more than a A10) 8+2 phases first of all and using some special IR VRMs that only needs a much smaller heatsink compared to the rest
But let me get on with the topic, this is an budget (well not really) board for the cost-conscious "audiophile" who wants excellent on-board audio.
Well it IS cheaper than a UP4 but the D3H is also using a ALC892 which is also a IR3550 4+2 phase for 5 bucks more on newegg plus you get quality boards and has a hardwired SPDIF!
The complaints on newegg is ... unanimous with my thoughts on biostar as a whole

Offtopic, anyone waiting for Richland before jumping into A10s? I think when richland comes out A10 platforms will be price-cut quite a lot but richland will feature GCN i'm sure of it
INeedAFnSuffix
Legit Fanatic
Legit Fanatic
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:25 am

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby Major_A » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:34 pm

Offtopic, anyone waiting for Richland before jumping into A10s? I think when richland comes out A10 platforms will be price-cut quite a lot but richland will feature GCN i'm sure of it

What is GCN?

I've built a couple of Llano PCs for friends and family and they are a joy to work with. Cool, quiet and powerful enough for Average Joe User. I would really like to get a Trinity together to serve as my HTPC but the funds aren't there right now.

I see that you have a X-Fi Titanium in the build list. Any idea how this onboard audio compares against it in RMAA?
User avatar
Major_A
Legit Extremist
Legit Extremist
 
Posts: 3793
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:11 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby INeedAFnSuffix » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:07 pm

GCN = Graphics Core Next, the architecture used in the 7000-series
INeedAFnSuffix
Legit Fanatic
Legit Fanatic
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:25 am

Toslink or Digital Coax?

Postby krmarks » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:53 am

Anyone know how to hook this motherboard up using the on-board sound to a 5.1 receiver with either a Toslink or Digital coax cable?
krmarks
Legit Little One
Legit Little One
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:48 am

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:55 am

How about a bunch of adapters like these - http://www.infinitecables.com/pop-usa/av_dig-35mm.htm
Find us on Facebook to discover the faces behind the names!
Follow Me on Twitter!
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32910
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby krmarks » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:08 am

Apoptosis wrote:How about a bunch of adapters like these - http://www.infinitecables.com/pop-usa/av_dig-35mm.htm


I think that would work, question is, will the board push out the whole 5.1 or 7.1 signal through one of the analog ports on the back of the board? And if so, which one? I guess I will have to buy the cable and then test it, unless someone knows? I wonder if I can use a 3.5mm toslink converter cable? That would be ideal for me. I just finished building an HTPC with this board and I want to have the best sound possible that is not over HDMI.
krmarks
Legit Little One
Legit Little One
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:48 am

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:34 am

You can't get 5.1 or 7.1 from just a single 3.5mm jack, so you'd have to do a bunch of the cables.

For 5.1 sound you'd need two y-cables for $3.87 shipped the speakers and then could use a single one for the sub.
Find us on Facebook to discover the faces behind the names!
Follow Me on Twitter!
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32910
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby krmarks » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:40 am

Apoptosis wrote:You can't get 5.1 or 7.1 from just a single 3.5mm jack, so you'd have to do a bunch of the cables.

For 5.1 sound you'd need two y-cables for $3.87 shipped the speakers and then could use a single one for the sub.


That makes sense, to clarify, here is my setup.

HTPC - Biostar board. It has 6 analog outputs.
Sony reciever - it has 1 available digital coax input and 1 available Toslink

I was hoping to connect the motherboard through digital coax, which is one cable. So I would need to combine all 6 analog outs into 1 cable? Is that even possible?
krmarks
Legit Little One
Legit Little One
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:48 am

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:53 pm

not sure I've seen a converter l like that...

hum.jpg
hum.jpg (13.99 KiB) Viewed 1023 times


You're wanting to go the other way and with surround sound... On my HTPC I use HDMI audio straight from the video card and it works great on my 5.1 setup on Blu-rays and everything. Not sure why you are so badly wanting to avoid HDMI and normal RCA's! You are making it hard on yourself!
Find us on Facebook to discover the faces behind the names!
Follow Me on Twitter!
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32910
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby krmarks » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:12 am

It seems that way, yes. I probably was not explaining it very well. My receiver does not have any HDMI inputs left open, so all I have is either a digital coax or toslink input to get sound from my HTPC. So the route I went was to buy an I/O card with an SPDIF header that I can attach to my motherboard to add Toslink out. Kind of a pain and something BIOSTAR should have had built into a board that is marketed as Hi-Fi. Here is a link to what I got in case others are attempting to do the same thing http://www.ebay.com/itm/Biostar-SPDIF-D ... 3375c3eedf

Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!
krmarks
Legit Little One
Legit Little One
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:48 am

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:30 pm

Good call... I wonder why Biostar didn't include that adapter.
Find us on Facebook to discover the faces behind the names!
Follow Me on Twitter!
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32910
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W Motherboard Review

Postby MrJohnJohn » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:16 am

I bought that board a few months ago based on the recommendation here. Honestly i cannot understand the discussion about the audio quality. I always used onboard sound before and honestly this board gives much better sound than i expected. I mean its a mainstream motherboard and not for professional sound studios!

Anyway, I am still lucky with that board and i wanna say big thank you for your work :)
MrJohnJohn
Legit Little One
Legit Little One
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:03 am


Return to Legit Reviews Review Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests