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Biostar’s H170T entry-level gaming Skylake board takes aim at audio

Audio isn’t a big focus for a lot of gamers, if for no other reason that it’s difficult to measure its quality. It doesn’t come in frames per second, or with a score you can rattle off in a benchmark. The number in your X.1 setup can involve some one-up-menship, but it’s still harder to sell than a graphics card or processor with GHz and gigabyte numbers to throw at the potential buyer.

But audio quality, especially in gaming can be massively important. It’s a huge factor in immersion and feeling like you’re part of the world. That’s why you have to applaud Biostar for making a real effort with its new entry-level gaming motherboard to get it right.

Along with its quite typical four-DIMM slots for up to 32GB of memory, twin PCIe 16x (16+4) lane configuration and dual ethernet ports, Biostar’s Gaming H170T motherboard sports analog circuitry, which supposedly cleans up the audio signal for better quality. It is also said to be rated at 110dB SNR.

Related: Forget Broadwell — MSI, Biostar, and ASRock are preparing for Intel’s Skylake launch

The big brain behind the audio scenes is the Realtek ALC892 codec, and it’s twinned with a headphone amplifier that can power high-quality headphones.

Other features include an M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot for running those uber-high-speed solid state drives, as well as two SATA express ports. There’s also a pair of more traditional SATA III 6Gbps connectors for the older standard drives out there.

Unfortunately there’s no USB 3.1 ports on the back, though there are at least four USB 3.0 ports and a pair of 2.0 for mouse/keyboard connectivity. This might be the kind of system that you throw in a USB add-in card, especially if you have a lot of devices plugged into the back of your PC.

Although we don’t have a release date as of yet, the slated price when it does arrive is $120.