Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Haswell Mini-ITX Motherboard

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Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Haswell Mini-ITX Motherboard

October 15, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI
LGA1150 mini-ITX Motherboard
Street Price

Whenever a new desktop processor architecture drops there's usually a buildup of excitement before the first wave of mini-ITX motherboard using the new technology hits the market. This waiting period has shortened with every generation, not surprising given how everything to do with miniaturized computing is becoming increasingly fashionable. Most recently, when Intel's Haswell chips were launched, compatible mini-ITX boards were all ready to go, though it took some time for us to get our hands one one.

If you look at the current crop of such boards, you'll notice they're mostly separated into two distinct categories and price ranges. At around the US$200 level there are high-end enthusiast offerings using the Z87 chipset and armed with sophisticated voltage regulation circuitry to aide in overclocking along with other advanced features and software (some of which are gimmicky) designed to appeal to enthusiasts. At US$100 and below there are a bunch of budget SKUs based around the lower-end H81 and H87 chipsets.

H81 is a barebones chipset that has limited support for system memory, SATA 6 Gbps, and USB 3.0, and doesn't support CrossFire/SLI or overclocking at all. H87 doesn't have these restrictions except for overclocking — that's Z87's main advantage. Basically, if you want to mess around with your clock speeds, you usually have to pony up the big bucks. The Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI doesn't quite fit in this paradigm, walking out in no man's land as it were.

The box.

Like the cheaper offerings, it's light on extras and a few corners have been cut compared to its premium full-fledged counterparts. However, it comes it at a much more attractive price while retaining the Z87 chipset's advantages. It's currently available for about US$130 or about two thirds of what you would pay for one of the fancier models.

The accouterments are spartan, with only manuals, support discs, an I/O shield, an adjustable WiFi antenna, and a pair of SATA cables included.

Despite being a "budget" board, it's hard to complain about what you get in terms of features. The Z87 chipset is packed with everything most users would want. All four of its SATA ports are of the 6 Gbps variety, there's plenty of USB 3.0 ports and headers to go around, and RAID is on menu if you're looking for more flexible storage options. Gigabyte also included a NIC supporting 802.11n and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, two gigabit ethernet controllers (one Atheros and one Intel) for advanced networking setups, and three video outputs, one DVI, and two HDMI, though we would have preferred a DisplayPort.

Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI: Specifications
(from the product web page)
CPU Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.)
Chipset Intel® Z87 Express Chipset
Memory 2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 1600/1333 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)
Onboard Graphics Integrated Graphics Processor 1 x DVI-I port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
2 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160
* Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB
Audio Realtek® ALC892 codec
High Definition Audio
Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN Intel® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)(LAN1)
Atheros® GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)(LAN2)
* Teaming is not supported.
Wireless Communication module Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, supporting 2.4 GHz Single-Band
Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16
(The PCIEX16 slot conforms to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
1 x mini-PCI Express slot for the wireless communication module
Storage Interface Chipset 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
USB Chipset Up to 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Up to 6 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Internal I/O Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
1 x system fan header
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
1 x USB 2.0/1.1 header
1 x serial port header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
Back Panel Connectors 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
2 x HDMI ports
2 x antenna connectors
1 x DVI-I port
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
I/O Controller iTE® I/O Controller Chip
H/W Monitoring System voltage detection
CPU/System temperature detection
CPU/System fan speed detection
CPU/System fan speed control
* Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.
BIOS 2 x 64 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a
Unique Features Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
EZ Setup
Smart TimeLock
USB Blocker
Support for ON/OFF Charge
Support for Wi-Fi Share
Support for Cloud Station
Bundle Software Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology
Intel® Wireless Display
Operating System Support for Windows 8/7
Form Factor Mini-ITX Form Factor; 17.0cm x 17.0cm
Remark Due to different Linux support condition provided by chipset vendors, please download Linux driver from chipset vendors' website or 3rd party website.
Most hardware/software vendors may no longer offer drivers to support Win9X/ME/2000/XP. If drivers are available from the vendors, we will update them on the GIGABYTE website

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