Gigabyte mITX Z87N-WIFI Motherboard Review

Motherboards/Intel S1150 by leeghoofd @ 2014-02-21

That small doesn't always imply slow or less strong has been shown by the ASUS Maximus VI Impact board. Setting several records with an Intel's Haswell CPU in the socket, the little mITX board has proven it has nothing to fear from its normal sized brethren, however the biggest drawback is the insane price tag, which makes it far less interesting for those that want to build a HTPC or mini gaming PC on a budget. The market has evolved in favor of the mATX and mITX platforms; demands for small yet powerful mini PCs is drastically increasing. Gigabyte's Z87N-WIFI is a perfect example that including Intel's flagship Z87 chipset does not necessarily imply an exuberantly elevated price, however is a high end chipset a requirement for most users out there? Time to unravel some of the myths and start to explore the wonderful world of the Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi mITX.

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Without any surprise, mITX boards arrive at your doorstep in minuscule boxes. It's amazing how technology has evolved and how the manufacturers are able to include so many features in such a tiny package. How about 7.1 channel audio, Dual LAN ports, a build in WiFi and Bluetooth functionality, a dual BIOS for enhanced safety and last but not least no cutbacks were made neither on the choice of the Intel chipset. The Gigabyte Z87N WIFI is equipped with the full blown Z87 Express chipset from Intel, resulting in solid RAM and K skew CPU overclocking.




Due to the mITX nature, the Z87N-WiFi black PCB is stuffed with components; the LGA1150 processor is powered by a 4 phase design. While this is far from what we see on normal sized boards, this is more than ample for Intel's Haswell CPU generation. In typical mITX style, we spot just two DIMM slots, however these are supporting up to 16GB of system memory. Thanks to the utilization of the Z87 chipset RAM speeds of up to 2933 are possible. One PCIe 3.0 x16 slot provides maximum bandwidth for a discrete graphics card.







The included accessories are sparse: a pair of SATA cables, a backplate, manual and a driver CD. A WiFi Antenna is also included for better reception. Below are the Z87X-OC ATX form size paired with the mITX sized Z87N-WiFi.



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