Functionality and features
As with nearly every ITX-motherboard, the B250N Phoenix WiFi offers two memory slots and a single PCI-Express 3.0 X16-slot. Of course the latter supports the full bandwidth of 16 lanes and is perfectly suited to hold your graphics card. If you want to use the internal graphics card of your processor, you can connect your monitor using HDMI or DisplayPort. Gigabyte traded DVI for DisplayPort with that, which is not a bad trade in our opinion.
Despite the compact size we find a collection of USB 2.0-, 3.0- and 3.1-connectors on the ITX-board. USB 2.0 is present in the form of an internal header as well as in the form of two connectors at the back. The same goes for USB 3.0, only this time with four connectors on the I/O-panel. An ASMedia ASM2141-controller is used to offer two times USB 3.1: 1x Type-A and 1x Type-C. With the B150-variant the USB 3.1-speeds were slightly disappointing, but we have hope that Gigabyte solved these issues by choosing this chip.
As with the previous generation, Gigabyte is using an Intel WG-I219V-controller for the Ethernet connector. The WiFi connection is also cared for by Intel. To be precise: there is a Wireless-AC 8265-chip on the motherboard as M.2-module, a card with a maximum throughput of 867 Mbit/s and support for MU-MIMO. Regarding the latter, this is a small upgrade compared with the already solid 8260-chip in the B150-version.
There are few changes to the feature set otherwise. For storage there are still four SATA600-connectors and an M.2-slot at the back. There is also a Realtek ALC892-codec present, which offers no special features aside from an S/PDIF-output.
The power circuit remains the same, with three phases for the processor itself and two phases for other things, such as the integrated GPU and the memory. For this, an Intersil-controller is used as well as mosfets of ON Semiconductor. There are no heatsinks on the VRMs. With that, the board is not suited for overclocking or prolonged heavy load.
Spread across the motherboard we find three fan connectors, which all support PWM this time around. With Smart Fan 5 you can control them using the BIOS and the software. For things such as on-board on/off buttons there was no more room, both physically speaking as well as in terms of budget.