There was a time when PC system builds required thorough planning, especially if it was based on a smaller form-factor motherboard. If the project was to be an HTPC, low-power processors were involved and sometimes components were undervolted to keep with the TDP requirements. Low-noise discrete video cards were selected because onboard video was not good enough for HD video output. With Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors, however, now it is possible to have flexible HTPC setups that can do all multimedia handling without the need for a separate GPU and without worrying about power consumption.
An increasing number of people have been building mini-ITX systems, as of late, and will only increase further with the push for all-in-one systems and compact gaming systems by manufacturers. This is a response to the increasing efficiency of system components and, thankfully, the technology is here to make various builds possible. Whether building an HTPC, a small LAN box or a home file-server, Gigabyte provides a mini-ITX motherboard that is flexible enough for the task.
The Gigabyte H77N-WiFi motherboard measures 170x170mm and conforms to the mini-ITX form factor standard. The Gigabyte H77N has dual-stream WiFi features provided by an Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 card, capable of Intel Wireless Display and Bluetooth 4.0 functionality. For HTPC users, Gigabyte provides a DVI-I as well as dual HDMI video outputs with 8-channel audio and HDCP compatibility. Unlike other mini-ITX mainboards, the Gigabyte H77N-WiFi motherboard is equipped with dual Realtek 8111F Gigabit LAN ports for additional network connectivity. Should users decide to build a mini-ITX gaming platform, a PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot is available for discrete GPU installation.