EVGA Z77 Stinger mini-ITX Motherboard Review
Power Consumption and Conclusion
Power consumption-wise, the EVGA Z77 Stinger performed very well at idle with its idle power consumption down almost 20% in comparison with the other Intel-based system. At full load, the power consumption numbers equaled those of the other board. The idle power consumption numbers truly illustrate the boards design strength and its utility for use in an HTPC-type build
Note that the power consumption numbers are consistent with what you would see using a medium to high-end video card with the board, since the ATI 5870 series are notoriously power hungry.
The EVGA Z77 Stinger is a winner in my book. It’s performance both at stock settings and while overclocked were nothing short of astounding, given the form factor and design considerations for the board. Other than the lack of memory overclocking, this board has no performance-related issues.
Before anything else, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at EVGA a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the pleasure of reviewing the Z77 Stinger board. When I first heard that the board was a micro-ITX board, I did a double take. Normally micro-ITX or even micro-ATX boards for that matter are not marketed heavily to the enthusiast market. My opinion quickly changed as I unboxed the board and started putting it through its paces. The board has a very appealing color scheme, with a flat black base color used on the board’s surface to cut down on the reflection should you like to show off your system. The $199.99 base price tag is more than justified with the board’s build quality and included peripherals. EVGA went as far as including an Intel-based NIC, an additional micro-PCIe port for add-in cards, and even onboard power and reset buttons as well as a diagnostic display that is in a highly visible location. Coupled with its solid performance showing during stock and overclocked operation and you have yourself a winning board.
There were a few areas that the board fell short, but let me reiterate that most of these points are observational and pet peeves of ours. First, we have the manual - a minimalist take on a motherboard manual if I ever saw one. The included manual will get you up and running, but that’s about it. The most obvious information miss was the lack of BIOS screen setting explanation. However, EVGA does get points for including a comprehensive table of debug codes for the diagnostic LED. The decision to implement only 4 of the 6 Intel SATA ports was puzzling, especially given the fact that there was room on the board for the 2 additional ports. I was also disappointed that the UEFI BIOS was not mouse-enabled and the inability to get a single drive to work with the eSATA ports.
- Sleek flat black and red color scheme
- Overall performance, both stock and overclocked
- Available network adapter options
- Inclusion of mPCIe slot
- Power and Reset buttons
- Diagnostic LED location and visibility
- CMOS battery placement
- UEFI BIOS not mouse-enabled
- Lack of information in motherboard manual
- Lack of memory overclocking performance
- eSATA port oddities
- Inclusion of integrated Bluetooth adapter over wireless 802.11n adapter
- Only 4 of 6 support Intel SATA ports included