Review Index:
Feedback

GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Power Consumption and Conclusion

Power Consumption

View Full Size

The Z77N-WiFi's power consumption numbers fall a bit higher than those reported with the ASUS mini-ITX board when using a dedicated video card or onboard video. However, the ASUS board was over-engineered for extreme overclocking (not in small part because of its 10 power phase design). However, power consumption measured with the Z77N-WiFi's do fall within expectations.

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 AMD Radeon 5870 series cards are notoriously power hungry.

Performance

With the GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi, you definitely get what you pay for and then some. The Z77N-WiFi's performance in both stock and overclocked modes was better than expected in spite of the lack of enthusiast-centric BIOS settings. While the board's performance at stock did lag in a few of the benchmark tests, the performance differences were low enough to be within the margin of error for those tests. The overclocked performance was simply amazing since most of the voltages were running at defaults. And the memory speed was one of the fastest I've seen out of those modules - 2200MHz is no small feat.

Pricing

As of April 22, the GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $119.99. The board was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $119.99 and is Prime eligible and TigerDirect.com for $120.00.

View Full Size

Conclusion

Before continuing with our final thoughts on this board, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at GIGABYTE a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the pleasure of reviewing the Z77N-WiFi motherboard. GIGABYTE did a great job in designing this board, from the layout shifting to free up more space in all areas, to the board's performance overall. While the Z77N-WiFi doesn't include all the frills of higher priced boards, GIGABYTE did include exactly what would be needed for using this board in an HTPC capacity - onboard WiFi and LAN, SATA ports, and plenty of video output ports. As has been said previously, this board is not slouch and did perform well within expectations. The overclocking performance was the most impressive feat of all.

The board does have a few shortcomings though. The most obvious is the lack of enthusiast-centric BIOS settings for tweaking board performance. This is one of the few boards I've seen come across my test bench in quite a while that only had a single configurable voltage setting. However, the Z77N-WiFi still managed a solid overclock with only that single voltage tweak. While testing, I found that the CPU power circuitry would get hot, requiring the use of a fan for cooling. If you are using an air-based CPU cooler, this may not be as much of an issue. The only other concern with the board is in the proximity of the PCI-Express x16 slot to the CPU socket. In testing with a Noctua NH-D14 cooler, we could not orient the cooler so that it did not overlap the PCI-Express slot. So this board gives you a choice - an over-large CPU cooler or a standalone video card.

Strengths

  • Performance, both stock and overclocked
  • Included Intel Centrino 802.11n/Bluetooth mPCIe card
  • Intel Z77 chipset and onboard component placement
  • CPU shift to left of board
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • Audio quality (both playback and recording)
  • Motherboard manual

Weaknesses

  • Lack of onboard cooling for power components
  • Lack of enthusiast-centric BIOS settings
  • CPU socket placement not large cooler friendly
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!

September 23, 2014 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Chad (not verified)

Don't know how you got the specs but the official Gigabyte website shows that this mobo doesn't support 5ghz wifi. I also personally own this board and it won't detect my 5ghz router while my mac and android devices can.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.