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  • Post published:09/05/2021
  • Post last modified:09/05/2021

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Gigabyte Z370N WIFI motherboard
Super small – super fast

In this review we test the petite Gigabyte Z370N WIFI motherboard, this Mini ITX Form Factor based measures just 17x17cm, yet is as fast as its bigger bethrens. We’ll pair it with the new six-core Core i7 8700K. Will it perform as fast as the more expensive SKUs? Well, heck yeah.

First a note, this review has been performed with the CPU bug patch, however, Gigabyte does not have its BIOSes updated. Performance might differ on CPU and more importantly, 4K NVMe SSD in the future.

Yes, we test the new Coffee Lake platform. Coffee Lake is the 8th generation desktop processors from Intel, including the new mainstream six-core part. A product line that is the direct answer and effect from what AMD has been pursuing aggressively in the desktop processor channel. With this first ‘mainstream’ step from Intel, they will offer 6-core processors. These will need to be paired with a new motherboard chipset and thus motherboard, the Z370 based ranges. 

With the introduction of Ryzen and more recently the announcement of Threadripper processors the processor market and channel have been turned upside-down, and Intel is slowly waking up from its S3 deep-sleep state finally realizing that they cannot keep serving just quad-core processors in a mainstream, as they have been doing for subsequent years now. AMD gave Intel a serious awakening call and as such, they needed to step up, significantly. Intel’s primary processor business has been releasing and refreshing quad-core processors for many years combined with high-margin spicy priced E type (e.g. Broadwell-E / Haswell-E / Skylake-X) processor release every now and then. You can’t really blame Intel either as there simply was no competition – hence they had no rush and have been relaxed all the way for years now. Intel did anticipate Zen (or Ryzen), but the AMD consumer aimed Threadripper 16-core and Naples server segment 32-core made Intel step up its game a notch as they shifted into a higher gear ever since Ryzen was released. Over the summer Skylake-X processors have been announced with limited releases and availability for the highest core count procs.  This has changed with the Coffee Lake generation of processors that have up-to six-cores alongside more affordable Z370 motherboards.

For roughly €157,- you purchase something small, yet feature rich. The board as stated is positioned in a more value region but still looks great. The end result is a nicely priced product that offers very competitive performance and tweaks just as well as it’s bigger brothers, and that includes fast DDR4 memory, an M2 slot and a proper x16 Gen 3.- graphics card slot. Wanna check out this board with us? Next page my man.  

 

 

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