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GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Multimedia and System Benchmark Testing

Handbrake

Handbrake was used to convert an uncompressed version of the Iron Man Blu-ray movie in MKV format to a compressed 720P MP4 format. The Iron Man MKV file was ripped from the Blu-ray disc in the past with the file size for the uncompressed media coming in at 26 GB. Handbrake was run with default settings enforced with the exception of Anamorphic set to Loose and Video width set to 1280. This test was repeated three times with the lowest repeatable conversion time recorded.

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The Z77N-WiFi performs well in this video encoding benchmark, matching performance with the competition easily. Video encoding is one of the more system intensive operations, with good performance in the benchmark indicative of similar board performance.

Maxon Cinebench 11.5

Maxon’s Cinebench 11.5 benchmark can be used determine a system's ability to render 3D content based on their Cinema 4D animation software. The CPU benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible Cinebench points score recorded.

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No surprises here with the Z77N-WiFi's performance. It manages to hold its own against the other Intel Z77-based systesm.

Tech ARP x264 HD Benchmark

Tech ARP's x264 HD benchmark can be used to determine how fast the system can encode a 1080p type video clip to an x264-type format. The benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible FPS (Frames per second) score recorded.

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Again, the Z77N-WiFi manages to close the performance gap with its competitors.

PCMark 7 Professional

Future Mark Corporation’s PCMark 7 can be used to reliably ascertain a given system’s performance in a Windows 7-based non-gaming type use environment. The professional version of the benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible PCMark scores recorded.

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The Z77N-WiFi stumbles in this benchmark, lagging the other Z77-based systems by up to 5% in most tests. However, the performance loss witnessed would not be noticeable while using real-world business applications. Normal application use is not normally as intensive to the system as the benchmark testing use patterns performed.

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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