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GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 Z87 Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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The GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 motherboard is among GIGABYTE's flagship boards supporting the forth generation of the Intel Core processor line through the integrated Z87 chipset. The board offers support for the newest generation of Intel LGA1150-based processors with all the integrated features and port support you've come to expect from a high-end board. At an MSRP of $419.99, the G1.Sniper 5 premium price is only matched by its premium and expansive feature set.

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GIGABYTE packed the G1.Sniper full of premium features to ensure its viability as a top-rated contender. The board features the Ultra Durable 5 Plus power technology and the Amp-Up Audio technology. Ultra Durable 5 Plus brings several high-end power components into the board's design: International Rectifier (IR) manufactured PowIRstage™ ICs and PWM controllers, Nippon Chemi-con manufactured Black Solid capacitors with a 10k hour operational rating at 105C, 15 micron gold plating on the CPU socket pins, and two 0.070mm copper layers imbedded into the PCB for optimal heat dissipation. GIGABYTE's Amp-Up Audio technology integrates an op-amp socket into the board's audio PCB, giving the user the ability to customize their audio listening experience. Additionally, the G1.Sniper 5 has the following integrated features: 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports; dual GigE NICs - an Intel NIC and a Qualcomm Killer NIC; four PCI-Express x16 slots for up to quad-card NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire support; three PCI-Express x1 slots; on board power, reset, and BIOS reset buttons; switch BIOS and Dual-BIOS switches; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; integrated voltage measurement points; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 Z87 motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the MSI website)

CPU

Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1150 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.)

Chipset

Intel® Z87 Express Chipset

Memory

4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor:
2 x HDMI ports, supporting a maximum resolution of 4096x2160
* Support for HDMI 1.4a version.
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 3840x2160
* Support for DisplayPort 1.2 version.
Maximum shared memory of 1 GB

Audio

Creative® Sound Core 3D chip
Support for Sound Blaster Recon3Di
High Definition Audio
2/5.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN

1 x Qualcomm® Atheros Killer E2201 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
1 x Intel® GbE LAN phy (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)
* Teaming is not supported.

Wireless Communication module

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, supporting 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band
Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR

Expansion Slots

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
* The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_2. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_2 slot will operate at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated.
(The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

Multi-Graphics Technology

Chipset:
Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFire™/NVIDIA® SLI™ technology

Storage Interface

Chipset:
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10

Marvell® 88SE9230 chip:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10

USB

Chipset:
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)
Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

Chipset + 2 Renesas® uPD720210 USB 3.0 Hubs:
Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (6 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)

* Please download & install Win8 USB patch for better compatibility.

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
10 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
7 x system fan headers
1 x water cooling fan header (CPU_OPT)
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x heatsink LED power connector
1 x heatsink fan connector
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
2 x BIOS switches
Voltage measurement points

Back Panel Connectors

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
2 x HDMI ports
1 x DisplayPort
1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out, Headphone/Speaker Out)

I/O Controller

iTE® I/O Controller Chip

H/W Monitoring

System voltage detection
CPU/System/PCH temperature detection
CPU/CPU_OPT/System fan speed detection
CPU/System overheating warning
CPU/CPU_OPT/System fan fail warning
CPU/CPU_OPT/System fan speed control
* Whether the fan speed control function is supported will depend on the cooler you install.

BIOS

2 x 128 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a

Unique Features

Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for APP Center
* Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
  • @BIOS
  • EasyTune
  • EZ Setup
  • ON/OFF Charge2
  • USB Blocker

Bundle Software

Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology

Operating System

Support for Windows 8/7

Form Factor

E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm
January 3, 2014 | 04:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey guys, thanks for the great reviews. They are really helpful, much appreciated.

I'm relatively new to pc gaming but I am addicted. It is vastly superior to consoles and I will never go back. I started with a gaming laptop in 2011 and I am ready to upgrade to a monster Desktop.

I have been researching all year and I know CES is around the corner and I will wait until after for some news BUT I'm tired of waiting. I am planning on placing an order month.

I want to build a MONEY IS NO OBJECT gaming rig based on the Z87 platform with the Nvidia 780 Ti classified card. I was hopeing for a 6GB card but again I'm tired of waiting.

The trouble I'm having is deciding on the motherboard.
What is the BEST motherboard out there for gaming.

Features I would like:

Good on board audio
Upgraded NIC on board for low latency (I'm a BF4 fenatic)
Good overclocking

Maximus extreme, Formula, Gigabyte Sniper or Msi Gaming???

Thank you.

January 3, 2014 | 05:58 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

The Sniper may offer you the best mix of features since it has the upgradable OP-AMP so you can customize the audio experience and the integrated Killer NIC allowing for network traffic tweaking.  However, any of the board's mentioned would give you a good gaming experience.

Make sure to pair the board with a good CPU and a strong PSU as well.

Good luck...

January 5, 2014 | 02:41 AM - Posted by ArcRendition

Morry,

This is a fantastic review Morry! Objective and extraordinarily detailed. As with Ryan, Josh and and Allyn, I have an immense amount of respect for your journalistic integrity, professionalism and the top-tier reviews you publish. You're handwork does not go unnoticed. I just wanted to articulate my appreciate for your devotion to PCper and it's audience. not only you but the top-tier reviews you publish.

Question:
I've been eyeing parts and so far I'm rather interested in the feature set of the ROG Hero motherboard. What do you think of Asus's "entry-level" ROG board? Would you suggest anything else at the ~$200 price level? So far I haven't found anything with such a rich feature set and great software suite.

- Stewart Graham

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