Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, VR World

Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI : The Start Of A HTPC

Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI

Board Layout

Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI-2The board layout is fairly good, though there are some issues I came across when using this board in a Thermaltake Core V1.  The 24-pin for the PSU is up at the top of the board which is usually the standard place, but the placement of the 4-pin is right about the X16 slot.  This caused a bit of a headache with routing the cables, and it will definitely be an issue when a dedicated GPU is used.  The RAM slots are very close to the CPU socket so that means there will need to be RAM selected without big heatsinks.  The placement of the headers for the power, reset, and LEDs is up by the SATA ports and that made for a tricky hookup since it was almost as far back front the front panel as you can get.

Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI - 4

The rear panel has 2 USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports.  The PS/2 port can be used for either a mouse or keyboard. For video out there is two HDMI ports that can output 4K video and a dual-link DVI that can display up to 2560 x 1600.  The two connectors about the DVI are for the antennas that the WiFi module uses.  The Gigabit LAN is there for users who prefer to use a wired connection.  The audio ports are the standard fare of five analog outputs and an optical output.

Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI-5

The Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, model 7260HMW is responsible for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.  The 802.11ac gives Wi-Fi speeds of up to 867Mbps, which is much faster than the older N standard.  This means that the board is up to date with the latest wireless standards for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI-6When installing the heatsink it will be wise to install the memory before monuting the heatsink.  This Artic Freezer 13 Limited Edition isn’t a very big heatsink and it still just barely cleard the memory.  The socket is very close to the memory sockets which will make heatsink selection very hard if a low profile heatsink is needed.