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GIGABYTE Z97N-GAMING 5 (Intel Z97) Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

By: Shawn Baker | Socket LGA 1150/1151 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 15, 2014 10:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Close up with the GIGABYTE Z97N-GAMING 5






Taking a look at the board from above, we get a pretty good idea of just what's going on here thanks to how small the board is. However, by moving in a little closer, you can see we have a single 16x PCIe slot for a nice, fast video card. There's not too much else going on here, so let's turn the corner.




Moving around the corner, we find most of our connections. Starting from the bottom, you can see we've got a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 header, along with our main front panel header connector. Next to that we have a single SATA III port running off the Intel Z97 chipset, and next to that we finish off with our main 24-Pin ATX power connector.


Sitting above all this, we have two DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB of RAM, ranging from 1333MHz DDR to 3200MHz DDR via overclocking. Finally, here you can see we move just above the left section of the two DIMM slots to find four SATA III ports, and like the one sitting by itself, these also run off the Z97 chipset.






Heading to the other corner of our motherboard, you can see our eight-pin CPU power connector in its standard position, along with the Intel 7260HMW card that offers Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac wireless networking. Moving back, you can see our CPU area is pretty tight thanks to the smaller design, but overall, we have plenty of room for most coolers.




Finally, we finish up in the I/O department, which offers quite a lot of connections, starting with a PS/2 combo port, and two USB 2.0 ports. Moving across, you can see a point for our wireless antenna to be installed. Below that, we have a DVI-I port, along with a gold plated HDMI 1.4a, and DisplayPort 1.2 connector.


Sitting above those, we have an optical port that goes with the six gold-plated auxiliary ports that run off the Realtek ALC 1150 Codec, while also supporting the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3. Sitting between all of this, we have four USB 3.0 ports, a single eSATA port running off the Intel Z97 chipset, and a Gigabit networking port that runs off the Killer E2201 LAN chip.

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