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GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The Z77N-WiFi is GIGABYTE's latest edition to the Mini-ITX lineup. Although the board is not as packed with features as some of the other enthusiast-minded mini-ITX boards, GIGABYTE did some interesting things with the board layout to space components out on the board more evenly. The Z77N-WiFi even comes standard with dual-Realtek GbE NICs and an Intel 802.11n-based WiFi mPCIe card. We put the board through our normal gamut of tests to see how well this mighty mite sized up with its full-sized brethren. The Z77N-WiFi board comes with an equally reasonable retail price at a mere $129.99.

Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi motherboard!

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE designed the Z77N-WiFi with 5 phases of power for the CPU in a 4+1 configuration with a small passive cooler only included on the Intel Z77 chipset. The Z77N-WiFi comes standard with the following features: SATA 2 and SATA 3 ports; support for three different networking types including dual Realtek GigE NICs and an Intel Centrino wireless adapter, offering support for 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth wireless; a single PCI-Express x16 slot; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

Technical Specifications (taken from the GIGABYTE website)

CPU

Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Some Intel® Core™ processors require a graphic card, please refer "CPU support List" for more information.)

Chipset

Intel® Z77 Express Chipset

Memory

2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2800(OC)/1600/1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor:
1 x DVI-I port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
2 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200

Audio

Realtek ALC892 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN

2 x Realtek GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)

Wireless Communication module

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Supports Intel Wireless Display (WiDi)
Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR

Expansion Slots

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
(The PCIEX16 slot conforms to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
* Whether PCI Express 3.0 is supported depends on CPU and graphics card compatibility.

Wireless Data Network


Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz

Storage Interface

2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2/3) supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
* When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.

USB

Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x serial port header
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x CPU fan header
1 x system fan header
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper

Back Panel Connectors

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
2 x HDMI ports
2 x antenna connectors
1 x DVI-I port
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)

I/O Controller

iTE I/O Controller Chip

H/W Monitoring

System voltage detection
CPU/System temperature detection
CPU/System fan speed detection
CPU fan speed control
* Whether the CPU fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU cooler you install.

BIOS

2 x 64 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a

Unique Features

Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for EasyTune
* Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
Support for Auto Green
Support for ON/OFF Charge
Support for Q-Share
Support for EZ Setup
Support for Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi)
Exclusive Bluetooth 4.0/WiFi module

Bundle Software

Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology

Operating System

Support for Microsoft® Windows 8/7/XP

Form Factor

Mini-ITX Form Factor; 17.0cm x 17.0cm

 

April 22, 2013 | 09:03 AM - Posted by Justin 150 (not verified)

A decent board but has some layout issues.

Would prefer msata - put it on back of board like ASRock.

Would prefer sata sockets to be stacked at right angles not straight up (easier for cable management)

4pin ATX is in awkward place but can live with that.

Would like to see if some of the low profile coolers (fan downward) coolers would fit - would certainly improve cooling for power components, but looks to clash with pcie slot

April 22, 2013 | 06:24 PM - Posted by Noah Swint (not verified)

I've been using this for a little over a month. The dual realtek nic and Wireless-N 2230 cards work out the box using Linux distros running 3.2.38 and higher. They don't work on freebsd.

Performance with the Wireless-N 2230 with the included antennas in AP mode isn't really stable beyond 12 - 15 feet direclty in the line of sight.

The smallest low profile cpu heatsink/fan combos fit but run into the power supplies and cables in your Mini-ITX cases.

April 23, 2013 | 09:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why does Easy Tune Processor Name say i-3 in 2 different windows but other fields conform to an i-5 3570K?

April 23, 2013 | 09:45 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Mostly likely a hardware id glitch with the version of easytune 6 installed for testing.  The CPU used for testing (and while these screencaps where taken) was an i5-3570K.

Thanks for pointing this out.

May 4, 2013 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The biggest issue is that it does not have Wake on LAN. For this kind of board a no-go in my eyes!

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