BIOSTAR Z590 VALKYRIE Motherboard Review


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BIOSTAR Z590 VALKYRIE Motherboard Review

Today we’ll take a look at the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie. Biostar isn’t a very well-known brand here in North America but has been around for over 30 years in the motherboard market. Since 1986 they have expanded into the GPU, industrial/server, mini PC, memory, SSD, and peripherals markets and is a well-known name in the eastern world being located in Taiwan.

The Z590 Valkyrie we have here today is at the top of their Z590 product stack. This time around, compared to Z490, the choices are limited to three motherboards (compared to five previously). The Z590 Valkyrie, the Z590i Valkyrie (ITX), and the Z590 GTA which is part of the budget-friendly Racing series of motherboards.

Specifications and Features

The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie is Biostar’s flagship Z590 motherboard and after a bit of searching, we were able to find one on Newegg listed at $299.99. Moving down the stack is the small form factor ITX Z590i Valkyrie from both Newegg at $199.99 and for $10.00 less on Amazon. Biostar also has one Z590 motherboard available in the “Racing” line, the Z590GTA Racing. You can find both at both Amazon and Newegg for $189.95.

The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie supports the tenth and eleventh generation Intel processors using the LGA 1200 socket. If in doubt, here’s the complete CPU support list from Biostar. The board boasts a 22-phase (20+1+1) power section to better handle the power requirements of the flagship eight-core i9-11900K and the 10-core 10900K from the last generation. To cool the VRM, Biostar has pulled a page from the past using active cooling: two separate “finned” heatsinks for the VRM sections incorporate full copper bases and two 25 mm fans. These fans can be audible, but they are controllable through the BIOS and Biostar’s Aurora software. Also helping with heat dissipation is an 8-layer PCB sporting three layers of copper and a moisture-proof barrier to help prevent oxidation.

The Z590 Valkyrie has four DRAM slots that support up to 128 GB of dual-channel non-ECC memory with speeds up to 5000 MHz. However, there are a couple of higher-rated kits on the QVL for 5333 MHz and 5600 MHz. Memory support varies between the tenth and eleventh gen processors, and some speeds are only supported in Gear 2, where the IMC is running at half the speed of the memory in the 11-series CPUs – typically over DDR4 3600.

For PCIe, we have three full-length PCIe x16 slots, of which only the top one is x16 electrically, we have supplied a bandwidth breakdown in the table below. The upper two slots (from CPU) will run in PCIe Gen 4.0 mode with an 11th Generation processor or PCIe Gen 3.0 using a 10th Gen CPU. The lower full-length PCIe slot (from PCH) is always Gen 3.0, regardless of the CPU. The upper two full-length PCIe slots also feature Biostar’s Iron Slot technology for added strength and EMI shielding.

When it comes to storage, the Z590 Valkyrie doesn’t come up short. There are six SATA 6 Gb/s ports that support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10; and on the M.2 side, Biostar has included three sockets on the Valkyrie. The top socket supports PCIe 4.0 x4 with an 11th Gen processor. The other two M.2 (Key-M) will support PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe and SATA-based M.2 drives; this will disable one of the SATA 6 Gb/s ports. All of the M.2 drive slots come with integrated heat spreaders.  For more details of the storage layout and drive compatibility, refer to the table below or the user manual from Biostar’s website.

USB connectivity is also plentiful on the Z590 Valkyrie, with a total of 17 connections between onboard headers and the rear I/O shield. Starting at the rear shield Type-A connections, are two USB 3.2 Gen1 (5 Gbps) and five USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gbps) ports. We also have one USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20 Gbps) Type-C port on the back panel for a total of eight. The remaining USB connections are headers on the motherboard consisting of two USB 2.0 (for four ports), two USB 3.2 Gen1 (for two ports), and one USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C internal header.

This board breaks from the typical Z590 motherboard on the networking front and offers only a single Realtek 2.5 Gbs port. Biostar also chose to forgo any wireless connectivity out of the box. However, they did incorporate a Wi-Fi antenna into the rear I/O shield and have an M.2 (Key-E) that supports 2230 type Wi-Fi & Bluetooth modules and Intel’s CNVi-based Wi-Fi 6E 802.11 ax. In other words, the board doesn’t include Wi-Fi, just the antenna connectors which may be confusing to the average buyer.

On the audio side, Biostar chose the Realtek 7.1 channel High Definition ALC1220 processor, which is at the high-end of integrated audio solutions (though it is not the latest and greatest). We also have PCB optimizations such as Biostar’s Hi-Fi Ground that blocks EMI interference from the motherboard and add-ons and other audio hardware optimizations like the premium Japanese-made Nippon Chemicon audio capacitors.

Rounding things off, Biostar has implemented a variety of RGB LED connectivity on the Z590 Valkyrie. First, we have one standard RGB LED header for 12 V, 5050 RGB strips up to 3 A. We also have two addressable RGB headers for 5 V WS2812B individually addressable LED strips with a rating of 3 A, which can handle up to 300 LEDs combined, according to Biostar. The Valkyrie also has RGB LEDs incorporated into the I/O cladding and chipset heatsinks. These, along with all the headers, are in your control using Vivid LED DJ software.

Below is the specification list from the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie webpage.

Biostar Z590 Valkyrie Specifications
CPU Intel Socket LGA1200 for 11th Gen Intel Core Processors & 10th Gen Intel Core, Pentium Gold, and Celeron Processors.
Chipset Intel Z590
Memory Supports up to 128 GB Dual-Channel DDR4 up to 5000MHz+ non-ECC UDIMM
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 4.0/3.0 x16 (x16, x8/x8, x8/x4) + 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (max. x4)
Multi-GPU Support 2-Way AMD CFX
Storage — Total supports 3 x M.2 socket and 6x SATA III (6 Gb/s) ports
6 x SATA III (6Gb/s) Connector : Supports AHCI, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 & Intel Rapid Storage Technology
1 x M.2 (M Key) Socket (M2_PCIEG4_64G_11TH_ONLY):
Supports M.2 Type 2280 SSD module
Supports PCIe 4.0 x 4 (64 Gb/s) – NVMe/ AHCI SSD
Support 11th Gen processor only
1 x M.2 (M Key) Socket (M2_PCIEG3_32G_SATA_RST_1):
Supports M.2 Type 2280/ 22110 SSD module
Supports PCIe 3.0 x4 (32 Gb/s) – NVMe/ AHCI SSD & SATA III (6 Gb/s) SSD
Supports Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Intel Optane Technology
1 x M.2 (M Key) Socket (M2_PCIEG3_32G_SATA_RST_2):
Supports M.2 Type 2242/ 2260/ 2280/ 22110 SSD module
Supports PCIe 3.0 x 4 (32 Gb/s) – NVMe/ AHCI SSD & SATA III (6 Gb/s) SSD
Supports Intel Rapid Storage Technology and Intel Optane Technology
* When using SATA SSD module on M.2 slot (M2_PCIEG3_32G_SATA_RST_1), the SATA_5 connector will be disabled.
* When using SATA SSD module on M.2 slot(M2_PCIEG3_32G_SATA_RST_2), the SATA_6 connector will be disabled.
LAN Realtek RTL8125B
10/ 100/ 1000/ 2500 Mb/s auto-negotiation, Half / Full duplex capability
Audio Realtek ALC1220
7.1 Channels, High Definition Audio, Hi-Fi(Front + Rear)
USB

2 x USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) Type-C port (1 on rear I/O and one via internal header)
5 x USB 3.2 (Gen2) port (5 on rear I/Os)
4 x USB 3.2 (Gen1) port (2 on rear I/Os and two via internal header)
4 x USB 2.0 port (4 via internal header)

Fan Headers 1 x CPU Fan Connector
1 x CPU water cooling connector (CPU_OPT)
3 x System Fan Connectors
2 x MOSFET Fan Connectors
OS Support Supports Windows 10 64 bit
Form Factor ATX
Price $299.99 at Newegg.com

We have also included a list of features sourced from the Biostar website for the Valkyrie:

Biostar Z590 Valkyrie Features
Biostar Z590 Valkyrie Features

22 Phase Power Design

Digital PWM

  • Increases system efficiency
  • Has faster transient performance
  • Delivers stable power and reliability
  Biostar Z590 Valkyrie Features

Dr. MOS

Combining a driver IC with the high and low-side MOSFET into a small package, Dr. MOS can reduce switching losses that enable superior efficiency and performance at higher switching frequencies.

  • It makes you overclock smoothly.
  • Improves thermal performance
  • Delivers superior efficiency and performance
  20K Hours Durable Solid Capacitors 20K Hours Durable Solid Capacitors

  • Improve power modules durability
  • Last longer than electrolytic capacitors
  • Ensure stable output voltage and performance
  Tough Power Connector Tough Power Connector

  • It makes your computer last longer
  • It packs more power and durability
  • Ensures stable and reliable power supply
  Armour Gear

  • Protects I/O interfaces
  • Improves thermal dissipation
  • Synchronize it to build your own color gaming lights
  Supports DDR4- 5000+(OC)

  • Deliver higher performance and DIMM capacities
  • Improve data integrity and lower power consumption
  • Feature Daisy Chain design and offer better memory overclocking
  PCIe 4.0

  • Supports a 16 GT/s bit rate
  • Maintains backward compatibility
  • It is 2X bandwidth than PCIe 3.0
LED ROCK ZON

  • Offers more colorful lighting options
  • Supports a wide array of peripherals
  • It comes with the RGB 12 V LED header, and ARGB 5 V LED header
CPU OPT Heade

  • Keep your computer stable
  • Connect any kind of water coolers
  • Enjoy an awesome liquid cooling system

Retail Packaging and Accessories

On the front of the board is a picture of the Valkyrie logo and the name on the retail packaging. Biostar doesn’t display much here aside from CPU compatibility. However, turning over the box exposes much more detail around the Valkyrie’s features, general layout, and a list of the rear I/O connections giving a good overall description of what’s inside the box.

The packaging is quite typical, with the motherboard in an anti-static bag nestled into a form-fitting tray.  Biostar doesn’t include much other than the necessities as far as accessories go; they’re located in another cardboard tray under the motherboard tray.

Included accessories:

  • 4 x SATA 6 Gb/s cables
  • Smart connector
  • Support DVD
  • User Manual

BIOSTAR Z590 VALKYRIE Motherboard Packaging

Below is a slideshow of the retail packaging and accessories.

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Meet the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie

The overall look of the Z590 Valkyrie is quite bold with lots of gold and some pink accents. The jet black PCB and black aluminum heatsinks are a stark contrast to the accent colors. Biostar has added a bit of gold to the I/O cladding and smaller top heatsink. We have a gold “VALKYRIE” etched into one of the M.2 covers and a large set of gold wings on the PCH heatsink as well as additional gold accents. The pink accents have an angular look sticking to the upper two M.2 covers.

Turning the board over, shows off the backplate that covers most of the PCB. It also has a gold “VALKYRIE” etched into it. The backplate offers some protection but acts as a heatsink as well. Through the use of thermal tape, it dissipates heat from the backside of the VRM. With the backplate removed, you can see that only the very top PCIe 4.0 slot is x16 electrically.

BIOSTAR Z590 VALKYRIE Motherboard Review

A Closer Look

Starting at the left is a large shroud covering the I/O, which Biostar labels their Armor Gear and most of the heatsink beneath it. This shroud houses the RGB LEDs beneath a large window – when lit, the design resembles a wing. You can’t see the four small fans that provide active cooling to the VRM heatsinks.

Moving on, you can see the dual 8-pin Tough Power EPS connectors that supply more than enough power for the CPU. Across the top are fan connectors for CPU and Opt CPU, two ARGB LED headers, and one standard RGB LED header. Beneath these headers, are four DIMM slots, and next to them are the Power, Reset, and CLR CMOS buttons. Finishing off the top section of the Valkyrie, is the 24-pin ATX power connector, a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C header, and a USB 3.2 Gen1 header.

BIOSTAR Z590 VALKYRIE Motherboard Review
Image courtesy of Biostar

The lower half of the Z590 Valkyrie contains all the storage, PCIe expansion, PCH, and audio. Looking to the far left under the cladding is a Realtek ALC1220 codec that drives the 7.1 channel HD audio. Also hidden underneath the shroud are Nippon Chemicon caps and a built-in AMP for premium sound quality and immersive gaming.

Moving into the PCIe area, we find the three M.2 sockets. When using an 11th gen CPU, the upper slot accommodates 80 mm PCIe Gen 4.0 x4-based drives. When using a 10th Gen CPU, the uppermost slot is disabled, with the remaining two slots able to run PCIe Gen 3.0 x4-based drives. The lower M.2 slots accept PCIe M Key drives up to 110 mm and M.2 SATA drives which will disable SATA_5 and/or SATA_6 depending on which M.2 slot is populated with an M.2 based SATA module.

The Valkyrie has three full-length PCIe slots. The two upper slots come from the CPU and run at PCIe Gen 4.0 with an 11th gen CPU (PCIe Gen 3.0 with 10th gen CPU) and feature Biostar’s Iron-Slot technology. Only the uppermost slot is x16, with the lower two wired at x8. According to the specs, it supports 2-way AMD CFX with no mention of NVIDIA SLI. The bandwidth breakdown is X16, x8/x8 for dual cards, and x8/x4/x4 when all three slots are populated. The lowest full-length slot gets its bandwidth from the chipset with a maximum of x4 speeds.

Moving to the right is the Z590 chipset covered by a good-sized heatsink which sports the Valkyrie logo along with six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, a dual BIOS switch, a chassis speaker header, an LN2 switch for extreme benchmarking, and an LED BIOS POST code indicator.

Across the bottom are a ton of headers. We’ll just put these in a bulleted list for ease of reading (from Left to Right).

  • Front Panel Audio
  • System Fan x 3
  • Thunderbolt 4 header
  • COM Serial port
  • USB 2.0 header x 2
  • System panel header
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

Moving around to the rear I/O area, we see Biostar has included a preinstalled I/O shield, which seems pretty standard these days. Up first, are WiFi antenna connectors. As was mentioned earlier, the Valkyrie doesn’t have integrated wireless, but there are antenna leads that terminate at the M.2 socket for an add-in card.

Below are the video-out options for CPUs with integrated graphics capabilities. Again it takes the newest 11th gen CPUs to take full advantage of the updated video capabilities for maximum resolutions. On the left is the HDMI 2.0 port with [email protected] resolution, and beside it is a DisplayPort 1.4 connector with a max resolution of 5120 x 2880 @60Hz.

Next up, above the two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, is a real throwback; a PS/2 port which not many motherboards include these days. Moving to the right, are five USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A ports with a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C in the lower center. To finish things off, a Realtek 2.5 Gb LAN RJ45 port, and on the far right, we have the audio jacks with S/PDIF.

Last are the SATA 6 Gb/s ports. These are numbered 1-6 from right to left, with the odd number referring to the lower port(s). When using M.2 slots in SATA mode, the SATA6G_5/6 ports are disabled. A couple of things worth mentioning here, when removing any of the M.2 heatsinks, be careful of the screws. These are not locked into the heatsink and will fall out on the motherboard. Plus beneath the upper M.2 cover, near the IO cladding, is where the M.2 E-Key slot and antenna connections are located. Labeled Hybrid WIFI6 in the manual, this slot accepts E-Key 2230 modules for WiFi and BT connectivity (Intel CNVI support). We’ve included some pictures of the additional heatsinks on the Valkyrie, the fans on the VRM, and the WiFi M.2 E-Key slot.

The power section on the z590 Valkyrie consists of a 20+1+1 phase (CPU, System Agent, Graphics) setup. Starting at the dual 8-pin EPS connectors, power is fed into a 12-phase Renesas ISL69269 digital PWM controller. From here, 10 of these phases route through Renesas ISL6617A phase doublers and into 20 90A Dr.MOS type ISL99390B MOSFETs. They terminate to premium alloy chokes and black 20K capacitors for a high-quality power delivery system. This setup provided ample power for our i9 11900K at 5.1 GHz.

Below are images of some of the IC’s found on the board.

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Below is a picture of the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie on the test bench, where you can see the Vivid LED DJ lighting in action!

UEFI BIOS and Overclocking Software

The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie BIOS has an EZ mode and an Advanced mode accessible using F7. EZ mode displays all pertinent system information and allows access to the most commonly used options with the click of the mouse. We can set the XMP for the RAM and access the BIOS update tool using F12 from this page.

After switching to advanced mode, the BIOS access is broken into seven sections:  Main, Advanced, Chipset, Boot, Security, Tweaker, and Save & Exit. Most users will head right for the Tweaker section, where most of the settings you will need for overclocking. This includes Core and Cache multipliers, all relative voltages, and DRAM settings. Within the Tweaker section, some subsections are worth mentioning, such as the Memory configuration, which contains detailed options for the primary, sub, and advanced timings and latency and termination configurations. We also have the CPU Power Management section, which contains the various Intel Turbo options, power limit overrides, and AVX offsets.

Two other sections of interest would be the Advanced section and the Voltage Configuration section. The Advanced section contains your CPU, PCH, Storage, USB, and Onboard Devices configuration options, while the Voltage Configuration subsection is where you’ll go to adjust all voltages and LLC (load line calibration) settings.

Overall the BIOS was easy to navigate, and nearly everything needed for overclocking was accessible through the overclocking section or subsections contained within it.

EZ Mode

Tweaker

Voltages

CPU Power Management

Below is a slideshow of the remainder of the BIOS.

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Overclocking/Monitoring Software – Biostar Aurora

Biostar has also included its Overclocking/hardware monitoring software Aurora. The software is easy to navigate and worked well. All overclocking settings were divided into sections separating the multipliers and voltages and took effect without requiring a reboot. We also have the Ai Fan for adjusting cooling profiles, Smart Ear for audio, and the Vivid LED DJ for all of your lighting needs.

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Test Setup and Performance of the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie

Since we’re known for overclocking and benchmarking, we take a different approach to CPU testing using several Hwbot.org benchmarks. We also do some real-world testing with Cinebench, x265, POV-Ray, and 7Zip to give readers a good idea of the general performance.

Test System Components
Motherboard Biostar Z590 Valkyrie
Intel Core i9-11900K
CPU Cooler EK Predator 360 QDC
Memory 2×8 GB G.Skill Royal 3600 MHz CL16-16-16-36
SSD Gigabyte Aorus 2 TB NVMe Gen4 (OS + Applications)
Power Supply EVGA 750 W G3
Video Card MSI RX 6900 XT Gaming X Trio

 

We’ll perform our usual set of benchmarks which test rendering, memory performance, and single/multi-threaded CPU performance. For 2D benchmarks, we use SuperPi 1M and 32M and wPrime. For rendering, it’s Cinebench R15 and R20. Memory performance is checked against the AIDA64 Cache and Memory benchmark. For encoding, we use x265 (Hwbot Version) and PoV Ray. A more real-world test is included in 7zip. Testing is performed with the CPU at stock speeds (set BIOS optimized defaults, XMP only, no MCE). Memory speed is 3600 MHz using the XMP profile unless otherwise specified.

Memory Performance Tests

AIDA64 – Memory Bandwidth and Throughput

AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark

AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark – Raw Data
Motherboard Read Write Copy Latency
BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie 54740 50918 51474 43.8
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero 54895 53064 53196 47.3
ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E WiFi 54771 52431 53447 47.7

AIDA64 – CPU Tests

AIDA64 CPU Benchmark – Raw Data
Motherboard Queen Photo ZLib AES SHA3
BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie 104754 28734 937.4 171979 5583
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero 104545 28395 947.2 164850 5231
ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E WiFi 104481 30833 943.4 164900 5232

AIDA64 – FPU Tests

AIDA64 FPU Benchmark – Raw Data
Motherboard FP-64 Julia Mandel SinJulia
BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie 11117 80518 49760 11207
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero 9268 67410 41498 11200
ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E WiFi 9275 68741 41524 11199

Real-World Tests

Cinebench R11.5/R15, POVRay, x265 (HWBot), 7Zip – Raw Data
CPU R20 R15 POVRay X265 7Zip
BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie 6020 2402 4789.16 62.192 80248
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero 5876 2417 4568 62.5 82835
ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E WiFi 5866 2413 4650.17 66.765 84492

Pi and Prime Based Tests

SuperPi and wPrime Benchmarks – Raw Data
Motherboard Spi 1M SPi 32M WPrime 32M WPrime 1024M
BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie 6.217 336.905 2.42 66.189
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero 6.210 328.49 2.419 67.007
ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E WiFi 6.218 329.576 2.435 63.627

The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie performed well in our testing, with all benchmarks falling within the expected range. It trades blows competently, but as we know with motherboards, in most cases, there is little difference in performance between them, and that theme remains consistent here. We do have one outlier, the AIDA64 FPU test where the Valkyrie did have a bit of an advantage. During the more demanding tests, the other boards were dropping speed to maintain the power envelope. The Valkyrie, on the other hand, runs with the 225 W setting right out of the box, allowing it to hold the higher boost clocks longer. This would be the same as enabling MCE (multi-core enhancement) on an ASUS board.

Storage Performance

Now that we have moved up to PCIe Gen 4.0 on our motherboard, we thought it would be time to include a storage benchmark. As you can see above, PCIe 4.0 storage is lightning fast, but the Z590 Valkyrie falls behind both the HERO and Z590-E performance-wise.

Gaming Tests

We have updated our gaming tests and dropped them down to four games for CPU and Motherboard reviews. In many cases, at 1080p, the difference between Motherboards is typically minimal. All game tests were run at 1920×1080 with all CPUs at default settings unless otherwise noted. Please see our testing procedures for details on in-game settings.

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation – DX12, Crazy preset, GPU focused
  • F1 2018 – Very High defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Australia track, show FPS counter
  • Far Cry 5 – Ultra defaults
  • UL 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) – Default settings

Gaming Results

As with the 2D benchmark results we saw previously, the gaming benchmarks were very similar between all three boards we tested.

3DMark Results

The 3DMark Firestrike results have the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie finishing slightly ahead of the Maximus XIII Hero but just behind the Strix Z590-E.

Power Consumption

The motherboards’ power consumption and temperature testing were done with MCE enabled (250 W), which shows the maximum power that the motherboards use when allowed to stretch their legs.

Power consumption on the Valkyrie seemed a bit better during the AIDA64 stability test sitting 20 W below both the ASUS offerings. That soon changed when the heat was turned up, no pun intended. The tables were turned with the Valkyrie leading the pack during the AIDA64 FPU test and the Prime95 small FFT test. The Valkyrie seems to push the CPU right to the limit, reaching 373 W in AIDA64 FPU and 392 W in the Prime95 small FFT test, hitting the throttling point of 100°C in both, as you can see below in the temperature results.

Temperatures

 

Overclocking with the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie

Overclocking on the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie should be pretty straightforward as far as the BIOS was concerned: select the multiplier and adjust the voltage to compensate. With the new i9-11900K, Intel introduced Adaptive Boost Technology (ABT). When enabled, ABT will run the CPU at its Turbo Boost 2.0 level (5.1 GHz) on all cores as long as it has thermal headroom. This scenario is optimal as it maintains all boost bins, including the 5.3 GHz max boost in light loads, and reduces the speed depending on the load. There’s no need to fiddle with AVX offsets in BIOS; this is all taken care of automatically with the CPU downclocking to stay within its power/thermal envelope when encountering AVX2/AVX512 instruction sets. Sadly, this option is only available with the 11900K/F CPUs.

Testing with ABT enabled produced some significant gains, as you can see in the picture on the left below. In 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, the Physics test went from 28,176 to 29,746 or nearly 1500 points. Cinebench R20 and POVRay 3.7 showed similar gains with over 300 points each.

An attempt was made at 5.2 GHz on all cores, which proved to be unsustainable. By the time the voltage was dialed in, the CPU was overheating, hitting 100°C running the Cinebench R20 benchmark. The voltage levels were also concerning getting up to 1.5 V, as you can see by the Hardware Monitor window in the second pic. Running at 5.2 GHz would be possible for some quick benchmarks but definitely out of the question for 24/7 operation.

Conclusion

The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie may be lacking in some ways, such as a single Realtek 2.5 Gbs LAN and the lack of wireless connectivity (but include the antenna??!). That said, it still has a lot to offer any user, starting with a solid 20+2-phase power section, 8-layer PCB, and actively cooled heatsinks. The Valkyrie can also run multi-card setups listing AMD CFX support. In total, there are three M.2 sockets and six SATA ports on the data storage front along with 17 possible USB connections and Thunderbolt 4 compatibility. RGB lighting is scattered across the motherboard with a large Valkyrie wing logo on the I/O cladding and enough RGB/ARGB headers for expansion to keep any RGB LED aficionado happy.

Overclocking on the Valkyrie went well. The BIOS was easy to navigate, and the board handled itself very well overall. Using Intel’s Adaptive Boost functionality proved to be the best solution, but that’s no fault to the motherboard. The new Rocket Lake CPUs tend to run very hot and need a bit more voltage than their predecessors. That being said, the Biostar Z590 Valkyrie had great voltage control when LLC was set to auto, with an acceptable amount of Vdroop.

On the memory side, there were a few growing pains with the Valkyrie initially. When using the 11900K the board should default to a 1:1 IMC gear ratio if using DDR4 3200 MHz since it is officially supported. The option to change the IMC ratio wasn’t in the BIOS so using higher speed memory would always default to a 1:2 gear ratio. After working with the Biostar team and a few BIOS updates, everything is where it should be with BIOS ver. 5.19. The Valkyrie is now able to run 3600 MHz in Gear 1 and will also default to Gear 1 when using 3200 MHz memory with a 11900K.

Biostar also includes a few extras on the Valkyrie that are typically reserved for higher-end overclocking-oriented motherboards. To go along with the extensive, 22-phase power delivery on the Valkyrie, we have an LN2 switch for extreme sub-ambient overclocking, onboard power, reset, and CLR CMOS buttons, as well as a dual BIOS.

The Biostar Z590 Valkyrie is currently priced at $299.99 at Newegg. There’s a fair amount of competition at this price point (113+ between $200-300) at Newegg, including the ASRock Z590 PG Velocita, the GIGABYTE Z590 Vision G, and the MSI MAG Z590 Tomahawk WiFi, which all carry similar options. The Valkyrie sits at the top of this range and provides good value for those looking to get everything the Z590 platform has to offer in the Gaming and overclocking arena.

Click to find out what this means

– Shawn Jennings (Johan45)

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  1. Interesting gimmick with the backside heatsink. Not a fan of the big light on the IO guard but I prefer as little RGB as possible so that might be me.
    BugFreak
    Interesting gimmick with the backside heatsink.
    Gimmick? While clearly not as effective as a full-fledged heatsink, both motherboard and videocard vendors have used this 'additional' cooling/support for generations. I cant imagine it making anything worse. :shrug:
    Oh I didn't mean it would do any worse. I also don't think it really do much good either. To me its just another "feature" to sell, nothing else really. I remember back in the day we used to put fans on the backside to help cool but I don't remember it doing much then either. This is just a passive version of that so a gimmick imo.
    Looks like it's a bit better than the ITX version that I'm testing. Feels like it's asking for a BIOS tweaking. The ITX version has the same 5.19 BIOS and is simply not working at Gear 1 at more than 3200-3466 (depends on RAM density). Other things seem similar so the same good CPU overclocking but problems with RAM overclocking regardless if it's at Gear 1 or 2.
    Woomack
    Looks like it's a bit better than the ITX version that I'm testing. Feels like it's asking for a BIOS tweaking. The ITX version has the same 5.19 BIOS and is simply not working at Gear 1 at more than 3200-3466 (depends on RAM density). Other things seem similar so the same good CPU overclocking but problems with RAM overclocking regardless if it's at Gear 1 or 2.

    Check the 3600 memory strap. If it's 36x100 it won't work, I had them add 27 x 133 and now it can run 3600. Maybe that BIOS is a bit different?
    I think I had only one option and some ratio/bclk combinations were not on the list ... but I forgot to check that so will confirm some time later. On Supermicro 36x100 didn't work too. Today Biostar sent me a new BIOS so I will check it later this week.
    Update:
    - there was only a 36x100 option on 5.19 BIOS for the ITX version, Gear 1 didn't work
    - there is only a 27x133 option on 6.10 BIOS for the ITX version, Gear 1 works fine, 36x100 is no more on the list, was replaced with the 27x133
    Tested with 2x32GB DDR4-3600 kit. XMP at DDR4-3600 works now too.