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Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WiFi review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £93
inc VAT

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


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 socket LGA1155
Form factor Mini-ITX
Size 170x170mm
Processor support 2nd/3rd Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7
Processor external bus 100MHz
Chipset north bridge Intel Z77 Express
Chipset south bridge Intel Z77 Express
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 800, 1066, 1333, 1600
Maximum memory speed 12800
Memory slots 2
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £93

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 0
PCI slots 0
Fan headers 2
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 0
Serial ATA ports 2
RAID chipset (max disks) Intel Z77 Express (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)


Wired network ports 2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC892 (optical S/PDIF out, 5x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/1
Firewire ports / headers 0
Legacy ports none
Other ports DVI, 2xHDMI, 2x antenna
Cables included 2x SATA
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment RAM
CPU clock max adjustment 130MHz

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