I've always been a huge fan of smaller motherboards. The mATX standard quickly became quite a favorite of mine as we saw more and more companies offer great boards in this standard. What became even better, though, was when we started to see companies offer us boards designed for performance at this size.
Over the last 12 months, though, we've seen the mITX standard get a bit more focus. At just 17cm x 17cm we've seen companies put together some amazingly stand out boards. Today we're looking at a company who has been a little slower to the mITX punch than others; GIGABYTE.
Over the last 12 months, though, I think one of the main things that stood out for the mITX form factor on a whole wasn't a board. Instead it was the BitFenix Prodigy - a case that quickly proved that just because you have a small motherboard, it doesn't mean you have to have small performance.
This case quickly gained momentum in the market which meant mITX motherboards quickly gained momentum at the same time. While we'd seen plenty of mITX cases in the past, none of them ever said "look how cool my tiny system is" as much as the BitFenix Prodigy has since its introduction.
So with all that said today we're checking out the mITX offering from GIGABYTE. We're hoping for big things out of the small Z77N-WiFi as we've really seen some fantastic options from both ASRock in the form of the Z77E-ITX and ASUS in the form of the P8Z77-I Deluxe.
We'll be as always starting off with the box and the package. As with mITX motherboard we're not expecting a whole lot due to the small box. Once we've done that we'll move onto the motherboard before checking out the BIOS, covering our test system, taking a look at overclocking and finally getting into the performance side of things.
Having a look at the box you can see we've got a decent amount information on the tiny box with the front giving us a run down on some of the main features including Intel WiFi / WiDi support, Ultra Durable 4, 3D Dual EUFI BIOS along with a couple of other logos showing PCIe Gen 3 support, Windows 8 compatibility and mention of both Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi.
Moving over to the back of the box we get a look at the motherboard itself along with mention of some of the main highlights that are on offer. We've got a small bit on the 3D BIOS and below that you can see we get a better run down on what exactly Ultra Durable 4 brings to the table including Humidity, Electrostatic, Power Failure and High Temperature protections. The bottom left corner also gives us a run down on some of the main specifications.
Moving inside the box it comes as no surprise that we're not dealing with the largest bundle. Apart from the manual and a pair of driver CDs, we've got the I/O plate, two SATA cables and two wireless antennas.