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

Pros: Fast
Fantastic layout
Onboard WiFi

Cons: Can't get the Bluetooth to work
Bios is a mess

Other Thoughts: I replaced the motherboard in my HTPC after my 6-year old GA-E7AUM-DS2H decided to die. The reviews looked good here, so I went ahead and dropped the money on this board. Putting everything in the case was so easy. The board is laid out better than almost any other board I've looked at. The connectors are almost all located in good places (except for the USB3 header as mentioned in other reviews). However, bringing it up has been an absolute nightmare and much more difficult than any board I've ever used. The first time through, I couldn't get the HDMI out to my receiver and TV working correctly. I started over and paid very close attention to the order of driver install. Finally everything worked right and no problems in the device manager. The WiFi is working (although like folks have mentioned can be flaky). However, I cannot for the life of me get the bluetooth working. The Intel Bluetooth driver installed ok and there are no issues according to the device manager. However, Windows behaves as if there is no bluetooth available. If I plug in a generic USB bluetooth adaptor, the device drivers refuse to install. The BIOS is a mess, with three different kids of interfaces. The first is a UEFI screen that is useless as far as I can tell as it does't really allow you to adjust anything. A second UEFI screen is really tough to work through. I finally ended up with the 'old' style BIOS screens, which are ok. There doesn't seem to be any bios option to turn the bluetooth radio on/off in the BIOS and there isn't anything I can do about that in Windows. So far, no joy getting my bluetooth keyboard hooked up. I dropped Gigabyte support a ticket and we'll see what happens. I'm not holding my breath.

System configuration:
GA-z97N-WiFi
i3-4370
Adata AX3U2400W8G11-DMV
drives and such from my old setup, so they aren't interesting.

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Jeff R.'s Profile

Display Name: Jeff R.

Date Joined: 08/05/06

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 7
  • First Review: 02/12/09
  • Last Review: 09/05/14
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