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Gigabyte Z87N-WIFI review

Andrew Unsworth
25 Sep 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
115
inc VAT

A perfectly adequate Mini-ITX Z87-based board, but we’ve seen better

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Specifications

LGA1150, Mini-ITX, Intel Z87 chipset, supports: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 (Haswell)

The Gigabyte Z87N-WIFI is a Mini-ITX motherboard that’s compatible with Intel’s Socket LGA1150 Haswell processors such as the Core i5-4670K that we used during testing.

Gigabyte Z87N-WIFI

Although small, it has many features that make the most of the Z87 chipset and your case, including four SATA3 ports, two USB headers (one of which is USB3), and a front-panel audio header. Of course, we’d prefer to have the six SATA3 ports that the Z87 chipset allows, but that number might be a little excessive if you only plan to use the Z87N-WIFI in a tiny HTPC case.

On its backplane are four USB3 ports, two USB2 ports, a single PS/2 port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, five analogue ports and one S/PDIF digital audio output. These ports, together with the headers mid-board, should be enough connections for most users. Also on the backplane are three graphics outputs in the form of two HDMI outputs and one DVI-I output. You can also install a graphics card in its single PCI-E 3.0 x16 expansion slot, which is handy if you plan to build a compact gaming system.

Gigabyte Z87N-WIFI

As implied by its name, the Z87N-WIFI has a built-in Wi-Fi module compatible with the 802.11n standard on the 2.4GHz band. To use it, you must connect the supplied antenna to the board’s backplane. Although the Wi-Fi adaptor is handy, we prefer the Wi-Fi adaptor of the Asus Z87I-Pro, which is dual-band and is compatible with the newer and faster 802.11ac standard.

With a Core i5-4670K and 4GBs of memory installed, the Z87N-WIFI scored 108. This is slightly less than the 112 overall score we saw when we used the same processor in Gigabyte’s excellent Z87-D3HP, but it’s still good. Plus, you can either overclock the board manually or select an automatic overclock from a drop-down list in its UEFI BIOS. Should you prefer, you can change the UEFI screen to a traditional BIOS interface.

We applied a 4.6GHz overclock and saw an overall score of 116, which is hardly the best score the Core i5-4670K can produce.

Gigabyte Z87N-WIFI

Annoyingly, the Z87N-WIFI doesn’t have indicator LEDs, or even a basic light to tell if you if the board is receiving power. We also found the board a little cramped compared to the Z87I-Pro, which seemed to have more space between onboard elements such as RAM slots, expansion slots and processor socket.

The Z87N-WIFI is a decent enough board, but we’d much prefer to pay a little extra and buy the Best Buy-winning Asus Z87I-Pro. It has six SATA3 ports, a better Wi-Fi module and more USB ports and fan headers. If your budget can’t stretch to the Z87I-Pro, then the Z87N-WIFI is a perfectly adequate Mini-ITX board for your Haswell processor.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Processor socketLGA1150
Form factorMini-ITX
Size170x170mm
Processor supportCore i3, Core i5, Core i7 (Haswell)
Processor external bus100MHz
Chipset north bridgeIntel Z87
Chipset south bridgeIntel Z87
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory speedPC3-23464
Memory slots2
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£115
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailsuk.gigabyte.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 headers1
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports0
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel Z87 (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (5x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers6/2
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy portsnone
Other portsDVI-I, 2x HDMI
Cables included1x SATA
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/chipset
CPU clock max adjustment266MHz

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