Over the past couple of days, two new Z77 mini-ITX motherboards have been seen on the radar.  The first is Gigabyte's Z77N-WiFi model, to be released alongside the H77N-WiFi equivalent.


Gigabyte have migrated the Z77 chipset to the top of the board, as seen by the chipset heatsink and the SATA/mPCIe slot.  The power delivery is devoid of cooling - judging by the mounting on the board this is how it will ship.  Oddly enough for a mITX we get dual gigabit Ethernet, both Realtek, combined with a Realtek ALC892 audio chip.  The placement of the USB 3.0 header is a little odd being towards the rear, as well as the SATA ports.  The main criticism may come due to the socket area, where should users wish to pair this board with a beefy GPU, the CPU will be limited in air cooler size.  Looks like All-In-One coolers may be preferential here.  Estimates state that this board will cost around $140 at release.

The other mini-ITX to enter the market comes from MSI in the form of the MSI Z77IA-E53.  We snapped this motherboard back at Computex, but now it comes to full release.


In a similar layout to the Gigabyte, we get the Chipset up top, along with the SATA ports and USB 3.0 header.  With the MSI we get a free mSATA port and WiFi/Bluetooth at the rear.  Chipset heatsinks also make an appearance, as well as a full 8-pin CPU power connector.  Though similarly to the Gigabyte, the CPU socket is near the PCIe slot.  No word on release or pricing as of yet.

These two motherboards will join the three Z77 mini-ITX already on the market from Zotac, ASRock and ASUS.  Not to mention that EVGA will also join the mini-ITX party soon with their own board hopefully arriving next month.  Out of these six, I have two in for review and hope to get as many of the others as possible.  Would you prefer them reviewed one-by-one or all at the same time?  What are you looking for in a mini-ITX motherboard?  Let us know in the comments.

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  • JezzaW - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - link

    The main reason in my opinion that you would chose mini-ITX over say a micro or full mainboard, is simply 1.to take advantage of smaller size 2.take advantage of the chipset to get lowest possible TDP.
    With the advancement of controlled power management of the PCI-E GPU now, this makes the total system draw even more power efficient than ever. Combine that with a S or T based CPU for lowest CPU TDP's and you can achieve alot with very low power requirements.
    Single reviews are fine. An educated person will make teh comparisons and analysis themselves based on ones requirements. Oh and Wake-On-Lan is a must these days incase you ever need to recover from a power outage, why else would you go low power if you were not going to leave it on 24/7.
  • jtmturner - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - link

    Any update on when we can expect the mItx review(s)?

    Really looking forward to hearing how the gigabyte boards measure up against Asus's P8's
  • dingetje - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    same here....would really like to see the review soon so i can pull some triggers

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