Z77 Mobo Roundup II: EVGA, ASRock, Gigabyte, Zotac - HotHardware

Z77 Mobo Roundup II: EVGA, ASRock, Gigabyte, Zotac

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The Z77-ITX WiFi is a nice motherboard, but Zotac gets bonus points for color-coordinating consistency; the PCB is predominantly black with yellow DIMM slots and black heatsinks, and even the SATA cables and 8-pin power extender in the box match the color scheme.

This board stands out in our roundup(s) as it’s the only one in the bunch in the mini-ITX form factor, but it boasts plenty of strong features, starting with support for all Intel socket LGA 1155 processors.


Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi
Specifications & Features

CPU:

Chipset:

Memory:



Expansion Slots:



Integrated Graphics:


Networking:


Audio:


SATA:


USB:


Form Factor:

2nd- and 3rd-generation Intel Core (LGA 1155) processors

Intel Z77 Express

DDR3-1600 MHz (2133 MHz OC)
2 x 240-pin DIMM
Up to 16GB

1 x PCI Express x16 (PCIe 3.0 capable with 3rd Generation Intel Core family CPU)
1 x mini-PCI Express (occupied by WiFi card)
1 x mSATA

Intel HD Graphics 2500/4000 ready
No SLI

2 x 10/100/1000Mbps
802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0

8-ch HD
Optical S/PDIF & HDMI outputs

2 (SATA 6.0 Gb/s)
2 (SATA 3.0 Gb/s)

4 USB 3.0 (2 on back panel / 2 on pin header)
8 USB 2.0 (4 on back panel / 4 on pin header)

mini-ITX 



There are just two memory slots, but you can plug in up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3-2133MHz (OC) memory if you use a pair of 8GB sticks. By dint of the motherboard’s size, graphics capabilities are limited somewhat by the presence of just one PCI-E x16 slot, although the integrated Intel graphics that come by way of a Sandy or Ivy bridge CPU support a pair of HDMI ports and mini-DisplayPort. There’s also a mini-PCI-E slot; it’s occupied by the included WiFi card, but in a pinch it wouldn’t be difficult to swap that out.

The Z77-ITX WiFi sports a pair each of SATA 6Gbps and SATA 3Gbps ports along with an mSATA port, and Zotac somehow fit support for a dozen USB ports on board as well--four USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0. Six of them (two of the former, four of the latter) made it onto the rear I/O panel.

         

In addition to the above, the I/O panel has a PS/2 port, dual gigabit LAN ports with LED indicators, dual antennae ports for the 802.11n + Bluetooth WiFi module, optical S/PDIF, six audio ports, and a clear CMOS button. There are physical power and reset buttons on the board, as well as a Debug LED.

         

Belying the Z77-ITX WiFi’s diminutive size, the small box includes a surprising amount of accessories including the driver installation disc, manual, quick installation guide, four SATA cables, 8-pin power extender, USB 3.0 header (with an optional low-profile bracket), I/O shield, the two WiFi antennae, and a mini-DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter.
 

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Building a comp for a friend. They probably will not ever take the cover off of the case unless something goes wrong with it. They play a few games and such. They are not really up on computer stuff but like to play games. Any thoughts, pros, cons to the Gigabyte for this sort of a build?

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It seems alot of the people I know for the z77 is going with EVGA. I got nothing aginst ASrock or Zotac but I haven't used their board before. As for gigabyte ive read alot of people recommend them but after using one of their boards (it was an AMD board so it may not apply since I personally have an ASUS anyways) I just lost some faith in gigabyte for the fact of just getting Windows to recognize a RAID I setup though the board. 

I can think of about 4 guys I know currently that run EVGA z77 boards and everyone of them loves it!

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I suprised to see that the Zotac beat out gigabyte in this test.

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Not surprised asrock took the award, they make solid boards at a great price.

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