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GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

BIOS

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GIGABYTE paired the Z77N-Wifi motherboard with their latest version of their UEFI(Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS, a customized version of the AMI-developed UEFI style BIOS template. The UEFI BIOS offers full keyboard and mouse support while using the BIOS pages with enhanced mouse navigation supported by right clicking the mouse - forces page navigation back to previous view if inside a settings pop-up or in a sub-menu page.

GIGABYTE's UEFI BIOS implementation is not the smoothest I've seen, but comes close. There is a minimal amount of lag in clicking around the BIOS. The page layout is well organized and they even include a 3D-rendered version of the BIOS if you want a pretty version to navigate through. The 3D BIOS also contains pop-up information messages on all board devices and subsystems. One thing I am very pleased to see is that GIGABYTE finally gave up on the practice of hiding BIOS features from the user - with this BIOS all settings are visible by default, no more having to click CTRL-F1 to unhide advanced BIOS settings. In addition, GIGABYTE included an in-BIOS screen capture utility. Upon hitting the F12 function key, the current screen is save to a BMP image file on the attached USB drive. No image file is generated if a USB drive is not attached to the system.

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3D BIOS page, Advanced page

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3D BIOS page, Boot page

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3D BIOS page, Onboard Devices page

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3D BIOS page, SATA Configuration page

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M.I.T page

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M.I.T page, M.I.T Current Status page

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M.I.T page, Advanced Frequency Settings page

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M.I.T page, Advanced Frequency Settings page, Advanced CPU Core Features page

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M.I.T page, Advanced Memory Settings page

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M.I.T page, Advanced Memory Settings page, Channel-specific Memory Timing Settings page

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M.I.T page, Advanced Memory Settings page, Channel-specific Memory Timing Settings page continued

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M.I.T page, Advanced Voltage Settings page

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M.I.T page, PC Health Status page

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M.I.T page, Miscellaneous Settings page

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System page

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System page, ATA Port Information page

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BIOS Features page

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Peripherals page

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Peripherals page continued

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Peripherals page, Intel(R) Smart Connect Technology page

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Power Management page

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Save & Exit page

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Save & Exit page, Save Profiles window

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Save & Exit page, Save Profiles window, Select Device window

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Save & Exit page, Load Profiles window

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Q-Flash page

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System Information page

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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