Take Zap! Biostar hardens motherboards against surges

new ethernet standard 5gbps port

Power surges are great for many things. Sudden power outages. Spontaneous candle-lit dinners. And toasting motherboards like marshmallows over a camp fire. Though it’s not a common woe, the sensitive electronics on your motherboard are quiet vulnerable to sudden fluctuations.

“But I have a surge protector,” you might say. That’s good, and you should. But a surge can find its way to your computer through more than just the power cord. Ethernet is another potential source of trouble. It’s a cord, it can carry electricity, and it often isn’t plugged into a surge protector. Most people instead go straight from a modem or wall outlet to their PC.


Related: Five reasons your motherboard might’ve stopped working

Biostar has decided to tackle this potential source of damage with a new feature called “SUPER LAN Surge Protection.” The very loud name is a simple way of explaining a new power regulation chip designed to harden against any surge that comes over the Ethernet line. Biostar says it results in a four times the normal anti-static protection.

A slide from the company also indicates the chip extends the same protection to the USB ports. That’s less of a concern because USB devices generally aren’t connected to an outside power source, but there are exceptions, like large external hard drives.

Adding this protection might seem odd, but durability is a selling point in the industry. Both Asus and Gigabyte, for example, have various motherboards that sell with taglines like “ultra durable” and “military grade.” Biostar says the feature is not special to a specific line of motherboard, but rather will be rolled out to all motherboards “going forward.”