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GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi (Intel Z77) Mini-ITX Motherboard Review (Page 2)

By: Shawn Baker from Mar 8, 2013 @ 0:12 CST
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFiMotherboard


Taking a look at the motherboard you can see just about everything in quite a fair bit of detail thanks to the fact we're dealing with a small 17cm x 17cm mITX motherboard. Looks wise it's fairly nice thanks to the black PCB. As usual, though you can see everything is fairly cramped together, as is the nature of such boards. Let's move in a bit closer and have a look at just what exactly we're dealing with.


Across the bottom of the board we've got a single PCIe x16 slot. Above that and to the left you can see the front panel audio header and just next to that we've got a fan header. If we turn the corner you can see two DIMM slots offering support for up to 16GB of DDR3 ranging from 800MHz DDR to 2800MHz DDR via overclocking.


Across the top of the board is the busiest area. On the left we've got the main 24-pin ATX power connector, and next to that we've got the front panel header and a USB 2.0 header. Four SATA ports are on offer with the two black ones being SATA II and the two white ones being SATA III - all are operated from the Intel Z77 chipset. Just to the right we've got a USB 3.0 header. The other main stand out is the mini PCIe Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 card which offers both 802/11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 support. To the top right you can also see we've got a 4-pin CPU connector instead of the standard 8-pin one we typically see on larger boards. This is due to the fact that you're not going to need the same kind of power delivery.


Getting to the CPU area you can see not much is going on. Initially with the tight space I thought that we'd possible have an issue with our Corsair H100 cooler fitting when both RAM and a video card were installed, but as you can also see above, everything fitted pretty well. The only time you'd probably run into problems is if you've got a video card that has a back plate that sticks out a bit or RAM that has a large heatsink across the top like we see on some ADATA kits.


Finally we finish off with the I/O side of things. Considering the small size of the board, we've actually got a fair bit to discuss. Starting from the left we've got two USB 3.0 ports and a combo PS/2 port. Next to that we've got dual HDMI outputs along with a DVI-I port for video. Above the DVI-I port you can see a spot for our two antennas that are included in the bundle. Continuing to move across we've got four USB 2.0 connectors and two Gigabit networking connectors; both of which running off a Realtek chipset. Finally we finish up with an optical port and five auxiliary audio connectors that run off the Realtek ALC892.

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