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Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WiFi review

Chris Finnamore
28 Oct 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
93
inc VAT

A tiny Ivy Bridge board with all the features you could need

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Specifications

LGA1155, Mini-ITX, Intel Z77 Express chipset, supports: 2nd/3rd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7

The GA-Z77N-WiFi is a Mini-ITX motherboard with a packed specification - perfect if you want to build a tiny PC but don't want to scrimp on features.

It's a socket LGA1155 motherboard, so works with both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, but if you're spending money on an up-to-date Z77 Express chipset you should really be buying one of Intel's latest chips. The rear of the motherboard has four USB and two USB3 ports, and there's a USB3 header on the motherboard, so you can either connect up the front panel USB3 ports in a compatible case or use a bracket to add USB3 ports to the rear.

Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WiFi

You also get two HDMI and a DVI output to take advantage of Ivy Bridge processors' integrated graphics, but you can only run two monitors at once. If you want a three-monitor setup, or if you just want to play games at higher resolutions, you'll need to plug a graphics card into the spare PCI Express x16 slot.

Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WiFi

There's not much room on the tiny 170x170mm board's surface for expansion slots; the PCI Express x16 slot is all you get. You shouldn’t need to fit much in the way of expansion cards, though, as the board has pretty much everything you need built-in. There's 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Intel's WiDi wireless display technology, and the sound chipset gives you an optical S/PDIF output and 7.1 surround sound. The two memory slots let you have a maximum of 16GB of RAM, which is enough for any home application we can think of, and you're well served for storage, with two SATAIII ports (for SSDs) and two SATAII (for hard disks and optical drives) and support for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WiFi

The board performed as we expected in our benchmarks. When we fitted an Intel Core i7-3770K processor we saw an overall score of 113, which is what we'd expect from this processor. Graphics performance, whether from the processor's integrated graphics or our reference AMD Radeon HD 5770 graphics card, was also what we'd expect.

We had some luck overclocking the processor. It's not possible to raise the processor voltage, but by raising the processor multiplier to 42 from the standard 38 we saw the processor's clock speed increase to 4.2GHz and our benchmarks to 125.

It's an expensive board, but there's no doubt the GA-Z77N-WiFi has the performance and specification to match its price. If you want to build a tiny PC but don’t want to scrimp on features, it's a great buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketLGA1155
Form factorMini-ITX
Size170x170mm
Processor support2nd/3rd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7
Processor external bus100MHz
Chipset north bridgeIntel Z77 Express
Chipset south bridgeIntel Z77 Express
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800, 1066, 1333, 1600
Maximum memory speed12800
Memory slots2
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£93
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.giga-byte.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots1
Dual graphics architecturenone
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots0
PCI slots0
Fan headers2
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports2
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel Z77 Express (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (optical S/PDIF out, 5x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers6/1
Firewire ports / headers0
Legacy portsnone
Other portsDVI, 2xHDMI, 2x antenna
Cables included2x SATA
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentRAM
CPU clock max adjustment130MHz

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