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GIGABYTE GA-H97N-WIFI LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggs Something is wrong rather than Not Bad but ... 01/10/2016

This review is from: GIGABYTE GA-H97N-WIFI LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Small, wifi integrated on board

Cons: The BIOS is a mess and lots of little issues.

Other Thoughts: So I've bought two similar boards: The H97N Wifi and Z97N-Wifi. They are pretty good little boards, but I've had some issues with them that were not expected. For example, when I first brought the Z97N up, I had problems with the bluetooth connection. It kept dropping and it took me a lot of trouble shooting to track down the issue. In the end, I had to get an unreleased driver direct from Gigabyte to solve that one.

With the H97N, the board has been up and running in a system I built for less than 6 months. Already the little coin battery that keeps the bios information valid has gone dead. At least I think that is all that is happening. It could be a bios issue. If it is only the battery, it is a little thing, but seriously? Less than 6 months and a dead battery?

My overall assessment is that this is a pretty good little board, but little things keep it from being great. Once I close up a system, I don't want to have to keep opening the box to fix this or that. I've always had good luck with gigabyte board reliability and have built many systems using their boards. The jury is still out on this one, though.

Update: I wanted to update my review with the issues I'm having with the bios battery. I've come to the conclusion something must be wrong with the motherboard. After having the battery go dead, I replaced it. That one went dead also. I plugged the new battery in, set up the BIOS again, shut things down. Turned off the power supply, waited over night. In the morning, the new battery was dead and the BIOS (of course) had lost its settings again. So I ordered a battery holder that could easily take the coin batteries. I've tested at least two new batteries: measure the voltage on the battery (3.1-3.2v). Put the battery in the system. Boot. Set up the BIOS. Boot again. Shut down. Turn off the power supply & unplug the system. Wait 2 min or so. Plug everything back in, turn everything on. BIOS settings lost. Turn everything off. Remove the battery, measure the voltage (2.7-2.8v). So basically, the battery gets drained sufficiently in a few minutes. I've repeated this several times. I suspect that something is wrong with the board. The only thing I can think of is that \the positive and negative terminals on the socket have somehow been reversed (socket placed on the MB backwards during manufacturing). I suppose I could test by installing the battery in the holder backwards, but I'm hesitant to do so lest something fry on the MB and it becomes unreturnable. It is undiagnosable with the equipment I have as there is no voltage on the pins when the MB is in operation. Perhaps I'm also the victim of bad quality control like someone else here. Color me very frustrated. Dropping the rating to one egg.

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GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-WIFI LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: see prior reviews

Cons: see prior reviews

Other Thoughts: I wanted to update my reviews regarding the bluetooth problems I was having. I finally heard back from Gigabyte support and the reply instructed me to do two things:
1. reseat the daughterboard
2. install a new driver (one that wasn't available on the downloads website)

Reseating the daughterboard requires removal of the motherboard as it is held in place by a retainer with screws through the bottom of the motherboard. So it was a bit of a hassle to disassemble everything to reseat the daughterboard.

Reseating the daughterboard cause the system to work for a few minutes and then stop. In fact, you could sit and watch the device manager where the device would work, then cease working, then work and so forth.

Installation of the new drivers seemed to fix the problem. So far so good. I'm not sure if the package they gave me is a beta package or not, but it seemed to fix whatever issue I was having.

One more egg added since everything seems to be running correctly. -1 egg total for how difficult of installation this has been.

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GIGABYTE GA-Z97N-WIFI LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Great board layout
Good feature set

Cons: WiFi problems
Bluetooth problems
Weird BIOS

Other Thoughts: I wrote a review that didn't get posted, so I'll try again. This board replaces an older Gigabyte board that was 6 years old and died in a thunderstorm despite the surge protection on the computer. It is an HTPC setup and so connects to my TV through a receiver. The board is one of the best laid out that I've worked with, with the exception of the USB3 header as noted below (they should have switched the USB2 and USB3 header locations). Everything went together well and there were absolutely no problems powering the board up. All the drivers (installed from the DVD) went in fine (although I had to start over once - the order is important) as long as you start with Windows SP1 and there were no identified problems in the device manager. The wifi radio tested as on, but it is flaky and stops working for some reason on and off as others have noted. The BIOS is updated to the latest F4 version. While the WiFi is problematic, I have a wired connection and so can work around that. What I can't work around is the non-functioning Bluetooth. Although all drivers are installed and appear to be functioning correctly, there is no Bluetooth enumerator and there is no way to add Bluetooth devices to the system. If I plug in a separate Bluetooth adaptor (into the USB port, for example), an error message pops up that the driver was installed incorrectly. Furthermore, I can find no way to ensure the Bluetooth radio is on or off. Since the WiFi radio is on, I can only suspect it is on. I've dropped a request to Gigabyte support but no response or action on that as yet.

Final thoughts on the BIOS. It is a real mess. There seems to be three separate BIOS areas. One that supposedly holds the most used features (UEFI BIOS), that really doesn't let you do anything more than set the clock. Another UEFI area that allows fine tweaking and finally the old style BIOS settings. The UEFI stuff is such a mess that I ended up in the old style BIOS for changing settings and such. It is really confusing and Gigabyte would do well with focusing on one or the other as the don't seem to be able to do both well.

GA-Z97N-WiFi
i3-4370
Adata AX3U2400W8G11-DMV

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Jeff R.'s Profile

Display Name: Jeff R.

Date Joined: 08/05/06

  • Reviews: 10
  • Helpfulness: 8
  • First Review: 02/12/09
  • Last Review: 01/10/16
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