The Gigabyte Z87N-Wifi is the company's flagship offering in the mITX lineup. By selecting the Intel Z87 chipset, this board shows immaculate performance in the MadShrimps test suite. Some performance flaws in early BIOSES were quickly corrected allowing the 2D and the 3D performance to get on par with its bigger sized Z87 brethren.
Of course the choice to opt for Intel's top Haswell chipset puts this nice board in an upper price class for mITX boards. A design decision that cuts on two sides: on one side you receive a solid board with great performance, adding the possibility for easy K skew processor overclocking; on the other side one main question has to be asked: does the higher price tag weigh up for the little performance boost over e.g. an H81 chipset motherboard ? An answer which will depend on the usage: if one utilizes the HD4600 and wants to maximize performance then yes a Z87 chipset board choice will be justified. However if the board is just used on a daily basis for standard HTPC usage, plus when running a non K skew processor or when running the setup with a discrete graphics card, then a lower end chipset with a far lower price tag might be a better bang for the buck option. Naturally Gigabyte also offers H81 powered boards, retailing at almost half the price of this Z87N-WiFi.
But back to the Z87N-Wifi now: it offers solid performance and good XMP memory compatibility. No matter what we threw at the Z87N mITX board, it remained right on the heels of the other Z87 Haswell boards we have tested. Secondly the dual LAN ports allows the user to setup e.g. a local server. The onboard Intel Centrino Wireless WLAN Bluetooth adapter opens the possibility to take advantage of Intel's Smart Connect and Wireless Display functionalities. To sum it up: The Z87N-WiFi is a great feature packed board that will be a reliable partner in all your multimedia endeavors ! This little board packs some great punch.
- Solid performer
- Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 adaptor
- Memory compatibility
- Dual LAN adapter
- High end intuitive Bios
- Price versus other Z87 mITX mobos
I wish to thank Bernice from Gigabyte for the Z87N-WiFi sample
Harry from Corsair for the Vengeance 16GB 2400C10 Pro kit
The Tones crew for the years of support