Overclocking

We weren't sure what to expect with overclocking given the limited power design and lack of heatsinks. The latest EFI added vcore adjustment too, so it's clear the board hasn't been designed entirely for tweaking or high voltages. Indeed, we did need to ramp up loadline calibration, as there was a fair amount of vdroop, but eventually found that just 1.33V was needed to hit 5GHz - a great result.

Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi Review Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Gigabyte handily offers a similar software and EFI suite with all its enthusiast boards, and the Z270N-WiFi sports the same EFI and excellent software suite as the likes of the Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7, so you can head here to read our in-depth analysis.

Performance Analysis

The power consumption was consistently low with the Z270N-WiFi, and the low vcore once overclocked resulted in a 170W power draw for the system under load - a little less than most other boards we've seen - and it had the lowest overclocked idle and second lowest set of stock speed power draw numbers too.

Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi Review Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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There were no issues with M.2 performance with a read speed of 3,347MB/sec being right on the money with our Samsung 960 Evo. Audio performance was similarly on the ball with a particularly low THD result and slightly better performance than the MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC overall. Where the Z270N-WiFi wasn't so impressive were the raw performance benchmarks where it was often a little off the pace, although only by tiny amounts. It many tests, it simply matched the lower results we've seen anyway.

Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi Review Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi Review - Performance Analysis and Conclusion
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Conclusion

The Z270N-WiFi is a no-nonsense approach to an overclockable mini-ITX motherboard, and while there are a few niggles with the layout, a wanting number of fan headers as well as the board not being much to look at, it makes a strong case for ditching your ATX rig and opting for a mini-ITX system instead. It overclocks just as well, albeit with less cooling on offer, but has six SATA ports, an M.2 port, USB 3.1, and the latest Realtek onboard audio standard. You also get 802.11ac Wi-Fi and dual Intel LAN ports - things that many of the ATX boards we've tested so far lack - and for less money too. We'll be very interested to see what Gigabyte has in store with its Gaming-series board, but if you need a no-fuss Z270 mini-ITX board now for less than £140, the Z270N-WiFi is the one to get.
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