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Building a DIY All-in-One PC with GIGABYTE's H77TN Thin Mini-ITX Motherboard

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in Computer Systems | Posted: Feb 19, 2013 2:06 pm

GIGABYTE H77TN Motherboard






With the board being so small it comes as no surprise that the box is kind of limited when it comes to information. The front of the box gives us a few details with the main highlight being the Display Output options. The back goes onto to list some of the specifications while some of the main features are shown on the right hand side of the box.




Apart from the motherboard itself, when we dive inside the box, we only have an I/O panel. This is quite an early sample and at the time of writing the manual hadn't been completed, nor had the driver CD. We're not 100% sure on the final bundle, but considering the nature of the board, it's probably not going to be huge.




Coming in at just 17cm x 17cm there seems little point zooming in on the board to take pictures as you really can see everything fairly clearly. With Thin Mini-ITX being a new standard from Intel, there are a few things that differ from standard Mini-ITX motherboards. One is the location of the CPU socket which has to be in the same position to accompany a standard heatsink mount inside an AIO Chassis. With a heavy focus being on thin, you can that the standard ATX power connector isn't included, instead you can see in the top right a thin silver header that is used for power.




Having a look towards the top of the motherboard you can see starting from the left we've got a SATA power connector and next to that a total of four SATA ports. This comes in the form of two SATA II connectors that are white and two SATA III connectors that are orange that all run off the H77 chipset. Also around here you can see a fan header along with a USB 2.0 header. Finally the other piece that stands out is a small 2-pin CPU connector. We didn't need to use this as the chassis didn't actually have the plug.




Staying around the same area you can see we've got two memory slots in the form of SO-DIMM slots - again to keep the overall height of the board and its components to a low height. They're able to support up to 8GB of DDR3 ranging from 800MHz DDR to 1600MHz DDR. Also around this area you can see a Mini PCIe x1 slot.




Heading towards the other end of the motherboard you can see we've got a single PCIe x4 slot. We're not quite sure what you can use in it due to the system being so small, but no doubt as the standard becomes more and more known, we'll discover more uses for it. Also just above that you can see we've got an mSATA slot.




As far as the board goes we finish off in the I/O department and you'll notice here how thin in height it is compared to regular ATX motherboards. On the far left we've got a point for our power adapter that comes included in the package of the MiTAC unit. Next to that we've got Gigabit networking via the Realtek chipset followed with DisplayPort and HDMI for video out options. We finish up with four USB 3.0 ports running off the H77 chipset along with a line in and microphone out port running off the Realtek ALC887.

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